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Avout Rivers Fiji

Community-Based Tourism

While Rivers Fiji guides come from a variety of backgrounds, most come from the villages and remote outposts along the rivers we float. Most are typically chosen for this job not by the company but through a cooperative, consisting of village elders, traditional land-owners and Rivers Fiji. In going through this thorough process we collectively assure that not only are the most suitable individuals selected but also that the cultural / sociological decision-making processes are maintained and supported.

In addition to our guides’ on-river responsibilities, they also assist the company in conducting tourism impact studies on their villages. The information obtained from these studies combined with the suggestions offered by both the guides and the elders ultimately directs Rivers Fiji in the management of the company and its river trips regarding customs, land use and culture.

All of our guides are eager to share the knowledge of their culture, river and landscape in ways only a true Fijian could. Most of the Rivers Fiji guides, having grown up along the rivers we run, possess an enormous amount of knowledge of the areas you will explore on our trips. With a little prompting you'll be surprised with a depth of knowledge obtained not from books or formal education but from a lifetime of interacting with and living in the environment they call home and we call wild.

In addition to the above, all Rivers Fiji guides have completed our extensive guide training program which includes but is not limited to whitewater navigation, trip leading, first-aid, CPR, minimum impact philosophy, and swift water rescue to name a few.

All in all we are very proud of our guides and their abilities to lead you safely and enjoyably through some of Fiji's most beautiful, unknown and exciting countryside.

Our Guides

Basilio Cakaunivalu

Born in the highlands of the Namosi Valley in Nakavika Village, ‘Bas’ is a member of our original guide school. Since then, he has risen in the ranks and is currently a manager for Rivers Fiji. Bas oversees the care and maintenance of all our equipment, assists in the office, drives our trucks and buses, acts as our company liaison with land owners and enjoys guiding when he gets the chance. Once a force in the local rugby ranks, Basilio continues to be a force to be reckoned with on Fiji's rivers and coastlines.

Moses Batirua

Mo-B, as we call him, has been the backbone of our Upper Navua operation for many years. Moses attended Rivers Fiji’s first guide school for the Upper Navua and has been a loyal guide ever since. He is our senior-most trip leader on the Upper Navua and is probably River's Fiji's most famous guide. Mo-B has guided on multiple film and TV shoots, celebrity events and is regularly requested by guests from all over the world. Mo has represented his family clan, Ketenatukani, proudly for many years.

Adre Sunika

Another senior guide in our ranks, Adre, or just ‘Dre, comes from Nakavika Village alongside the ‘Luva River and is also a member of our original guide school. Adre brings over a decade of experience to River's Fiji and trip-leads on both the ‘Luva and Upper Navua Rivers and also assists in the office with daily trip logistics. He also manages our camp during multi-day trips in Nakavika. When not guiding, Adre enjoys dominating opponents on the rugby field, representing a local club team.

Jovilisi Talega

Jovilisi, or just Jo to his peers, was trained in our 2006 guide school and hails from Nokorovou Village along Fiji’s southern coast. Jo’s family is one of the nine land owners sharing in the success of Rivers Fiji. Jo has proven to be a great guide for us, working steadily over the years to become one of our most relied-upon staff. He loves to play rugby and has made several international appearances for the local club team Uprising. Watch for Jovilisi in the pro circuit someday. Don’t forget about us, Jo!

Mosese Vokula

Mo-V is no stranger to the ‘Luva River. He was born on its banks in Nakavika Village, and graduated from our original guide school on the ‘Luva River. Moses has guided hundreds, if not thousands of trips on the ‘Luva  and guides for us on the Upper Navua River when needed. He also works for Rivers Fiji as our groups’ liaison in our highlands camp and personally attends to our guests and works with volunteer groups staying in Nakavika Village.

Kinivuai Domona

Kini first joined the ranks of Rivers Fiji after attending our 2006 guide school. Also from Nokorovou Village, Kini represents his land owning family – Sauturaga Nokorovou. Kini is always a favorite of our guests due to his great sense of humor and high energy and has become a solid river guide who we anticipate will be part of our organization for many more years to come.

Petero Koroduva

Petero comes from the village of Nakavika and guides for us on the ‘Luva River. Working for Rivers Fiji from early on, he shares his experience and knowledge of the ‘Luva region and its rich history. Although he mainly guides trips on the ‘Luva, he occasionally makes an appearance on the Upper Navua River. He is considered the ‘King’ when it comes to the traditional village Kava ceremony, Sevusevu, and the art of drinking kava. He is also reputed to be one of Nakavika’s most prolific hunters of wild boar. Watch out ladies!

Tevita Naililiwalu

Tevita, or ‘Te’ as we call him, has taken his job as an Upper Navua guide for Rivers Fiji very seriously. Relatively new to the company, he earned his position as a core Upper Navua River guide after the 2008 guide school. Te is the first guide on our staff from Wainadiro Village, where our Upper Navua trips take out, and is likely to be with us for many years. Rivers Fiji has come to rely on Te for his strong abilities and reliability.

Tobia Matavura

Tobia represents our long lineage of ‘Luva guides coming from Nakavika Village. ‘Toby’ graduated from our 2006 guide school and quickly earned the respect of the ‘Luva and Upper Navua guides alike. He is a hard worker and has come to be an important part of our company. Toby occasionally guides on the Upper Navua and is a regular on the ‘Luva River. He is also an important part of our overnight camp programs on the ‘Luva River.

Eparama Tanavicabei

‘Epa’ represents one of our land owning families from Nabukelevu Village, just upstream of our put in on the Upper Navua River. Eparama is a graduate of our 2008 guide school and we are happy to have him on our Rivers Fiji team. He has proven to be a natural river guide, is a hard worker and truly enjoys meeting people from all over the world on our trips. We hope to have Epa as a guide for Rivers Fiji for many years to come.

Pasemaca Baleiwai

We call her Pa. We also call her Awesome. Pasemaca is the Rivers Fiji office assistant and is the daily voice and face of Rivers Fiji. She manages all our daily office tasks and is truly priceless. You may get to talk with her when you make a booking or meet her when you join us on one of our trips. She is in the trenches of the Fiji operations and is personally responsible for so many critical tasks. Most recently, Pa signed up for our 2010 guide school and trained to be a guide.

Naresh Chand

Hailing from the northern shores of Fiji’s second largest island – Vanua Levu – Naresh is our full time driver and vehicle attendant and has perhaps the hardest job in the company as the driver of our 4x4 buses and trucks. Always an adventure in itself, the journey into the highlands of the Upper Navua and ‘Luva Rivers is a rigorous undertaking and requires experience and expert driving skills. It’s good to know we’re all in good hands with Naresh!

Rajnesh Ram

Our number two driver, Raj, knows that driving for Rivers Fiji requires lots of hard work. When not driving, he is in charge of the daily maintenance of our 4x4 fleet of buses and trucks. This is important work, and Raj is a primary reason our trips are a success. We are grateful for Raj’s hard work and dedication to Rivers Fiji.

Laniana Talemaivatuwiri

If you have been on a trip with Rivers Fiji, you probably tasted the best banana bread you’ve ever had. You can thank ‘La for that! She has been with Rivers Fiji since before we even ran our first trip, is a mother to us all and very dear to our hearts. La is willing to help whenever and wherever she might be needed. We thank her for her wonderful banana bread that nourishes our guests each day as we journey into the rainforest.