Fiji Guide

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Before You Go

Visas

Visitors who do not need visas can get permits on arrival to stay for up to four months; these may be extended toup to six months. You must have a valid passport, an onward or return air ticket and adequate funds for your stay. To renew visas you must go directly to the immigration office in Suva - don't expect to accomplish this task overthe phone from your hotel.

For a more complete source of immigration information see the official Fiji government web site.

Work Visas

Those wishing to reside and work in Fiji should be advised that work permits are nearly impossible to get. The only exceptions are for visitors with skills the government thinks are worth the permission to stay. The best procedure in this case is to apply in writing to the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Government Buildings, Suva, prior to entering the country. In practice, it's usually only your employer who can obtain a work permit for you, after agreeing to hire you (assuming you have a locally-rare skill). Volunteer work is always possible but finding a paying job will be difficult at best.

Customs

If you’re 17 or over you may bring the following items into Fiji duty free:

  1. Cigarettes, not exceeding 250 sticks or
  2. Cigars, not exceeding 250grams net weight or
  3. Tobacco not exceeding 250grams net weight or
  4. Any combination of (1) to (3) above, provided the total net weight does not exceed 250grams
  5. Spirituous Liquors not exceeding 2.25 liters or
  6. Wines, not exceeding 4.5 liters or
  7. Beer, not exceeding 4.5 liters or
  8. Any combination of the goods in paragraph (5) to (7) above, provided that they combination does not exceed the equivalent quantity under any one paragraph
  9. Other dutiable goods, not exceeding FJ$400.00 in value.

Airport Tax

Airport of F$100 is usually included in your air ticket.

What to Bring -- Checklist

Dress in Fiji is usually casual and, because of the warm climate, it's easy to subscribe to the adage 'travel light'. Unless you plan to travel in the high mountains, you can be certain it will always be warm, even at night. So clothing should be light. Bathing suit and shorts (for men and women) are practical and always fashionable around resorts, but scanty clothing should never be worn outside these areas, especially in or near a Fijian village. Cotton shirts and dresses are also necessary, as are sandals, a waterproof jacket or coat for the odd tropical downpour, a light sweater, a hat to shield you from the intense rays, sun block, sunglasses, insect repellent and perhaps small souvenirs or toys for Fijian children. Guitar strings and T-shirts make fine gifts for villagers, as do framed photos to thank a family after you return home for hospitality extended.

We find that most people over pack. When you take into consideration that the inter-island flights have weight limits of 15kg (about 33 pounds) per person for your checked luggage, it helps to leave out the unnecessary items. Dress is casual at all resorts, and most offer laundry services. Our motto is ‘don’t pack more than you can carry by yourself all at once’. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be your principal attire. A formal event might mean wearing ‘crisp casual’ clothing, or maybe more tailored ‘safari’ type attire.

Here is a checklist that may be helpful:

Sun Protection-- Hat, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, sunglasses (with leash)

Prescription medications--In addition, aspirin, band-aids, Neosporin, Sudafed, Dramamine, etc. – Keep in mind that you may be in very remote areas with little access to even basic medical supplies. Most resorts have relatively advanced medical kits, but replenishing them is always difficult. Feel free to leave any supplies at the end of your stay- they would be greatly appreciated.

Camera--Batteries/charger, film or memory card

Small LED flashlight or headlamp

Plastic zip-loc or garbage bags for segregating dirty or wet items

Water bottle--(empty for travel through airport securities, or just pick up a bottle of Fiji Water when you get there)

Small pack baby wipes for remote clean up.

Optional additional items:

  • Notebook or journal
  • Binoculars
  • Bird watching, beautiful scenery, dolphins and whales
  • Books, magazines or other reading material
  • Many resorts have a ‘leave and take’ library where you can leave the book you finish and take one you have not read yet.
  • Belt back or day pack


Gift items:
Our clients also ask what sort of things they can bring as gifts for the villages they visit. Since many villages don’t have good access to shops, the items below are always greatly appreciated. Gently used clothing and toy items will be redistributed among the villagers, and Fijians love to read but books are difficult to get in remote areas.

Medical supplies--Any basic items like band-aids, ace bandages, gauze, betadine, antibacterial ointments, decongestents, plus OTC pain remedies like ibuprofen and naproxen.

School supplies--Pencils, pens paper, journals, art supplies, chalk, etc.

Reading materials--Books, magazines, comic books

Reading glasses

Clothing--Especially baby clothes and outgrown children’s clothes, but everything up to adult shorts and shirts are also appreciated, including lightweight jackets.

Footwear--Flip flops, running shoes, athletic footwear (Rugby and soccer are both popular).

Toys

Photos of your home and yourselves--Most Fijians don’t get to travel much, and many have never even been traveling around Fiji. They are always curious about where their guests come from, and they love to see and hear about your family. If you have a Polaroid and can still get film for it, taking your picture with them and leaving it so that they can remember you is very much appreciated.

Diving Essentials: What to Bring

Most resorts have snorkeling equipment for rent or loan, but we recommend bringing your own. You never know whether a rental mask will fit well, and what kind of shape it will be in. If you have your own you know how it fits and can use it at any time. A dive operator in Fiji use American equipment almost exclusively in their rental programs, and the vast majority is fairly new and well maintained. Wetsuits take a beating though, and again due to fit issues we recommend that you bring your own. We always bring our own dive gear, but many divers weigh the inconvenience of bringing their gear against the daily cost and other drawbacks of renting. Tanks, weights and belts are always provided by the dive operator.

  • Mask, Fins (and booties) and Snorkel
  • BCD
  • Regulator
  • Dive computer
  • Wet Suit
  • Safety sausage, other safety items
  • Mesh carrying bag


You will see some people diving in shorts and a t-shirt and others in a full 5mm with hood, both on the same dive. Your own comfort level depends on metabolism, water temperature, how many dives you’ve done that day and that week, and many other factors. You’ll find that you tend to get colder toward the end of each dive, more on repetitive dives, and further along your trip after having done multiple dives. We usually take a shorty and a 3/5mm full wetsuit. A lightweight hood is a good addition in case you get just a little cold.

Crime

Although violent crime against visitors is rare, petty theft is on the rise, even on the outer islands, and visitors should be aware of that. If you are in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic, avoid leaving your clothing on the clothesline for long periods of time - it may well be gone when you return. Shoes, particularly expensive hiking boots and the like, are also prime targets for casual thieves; it might be wise not to leave them unattended. Valuables should always be stored in a safe, if one is available. Guesthouses are often the target of local thieves and I've heard especially worrying reports of petty theft in Somosomo (Taveuni). Perhaps the best thing one can say is that violent crimes are still rare.

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