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magsalex Kioa Island - A travel report by Mags
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Kioa Island,  Fiji - flag Fiji
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magsalex's travel reports

Kioa Island - a touch of Polynesia in Fiji!

  28 votes
Kioa Island was purchased for £3015 in 1947 by the people of Vaitupu in Tuvalu (formerly the Ellice Islands). It is a glimpse of Polynesian life in Fiji.


The beach at Salia village
The beach at Salia village
Some concerns over overcrowding and poor soils contributed to the decision to purchase Kioa with the money earned by the people of Vaitupu who worked for the Americans during World War II. The land was considered fertile with the possibility of growing cocoa, coconuts and other crops. Salia is the only village on the island and has several hundred inhabitants. The island is privately owned and therefore you cannot turn up without an invitation. There is no accomodation and no facilities for tourists. We were given an introduction through a Slovenian photographer we had met who was living on Taveuni. We managed to get the pilot of the boat from Taveuni to Buca Bay to drop us off - he agreed as he was picking up the Chief's sister!

Favourite spots:
Dura - traditional canoe
Dura - traditional canoe
The fact that the island has not been affected by commercial tourism although it is difficult to say if this will always be the case. Walking along the beach and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere. Checking out the local handicrafts. The women are well known for their weaving and basketry. The men carve traditional canoes called druas.

What's really great:
Children of Kioa
Children of Kioa
Doing sevusevu with Alfred Kaisamy, the chairman of Kioa Island council, and his wife Paula who told us about the history of the island. The hospitality of Kuinita Tegei and her family who opened their home to us and fed us so well. The singing and dancing entertainment provided by Theresa and her friends. Unfortunately they had to endure some of my awful singing too! Learning a few words of the local language: Talofa= Hello Fakefatai= Thank you

Sights:
Kuinita
Kuinita
The village is easy to walk around and the locals are very friendly. There are no major sights to speak of. Near the school there is a stone commemorating the first 61 (?) people to land on the island.

Accommodations:
Evening entertainment!
Evening entertainment!
There is no accomodation for tourists. We stayed with a local family.

Nightlife:
Traditional dance!
Traditional dance!
None! The art of conversation lives on!

Hangouts:
Getting in on the act!
Getting in on the act!
None. There is a traditional drink called Toddy, which is made from fermented coconut sap. More powerful than kava!

Other recommendations:
Saying goodbye
Saying goodbye
The weather was not so good when we were there but apparently you can snorkel. There are diving sites in the area too.

A company called Tui Tui Adventure cruises does make a stop at the island.
We arranged with one of the locals to be taken by flyboat to Vatuvonu. A bus usually runs from near the school to Savusavu but be warned they do not always run in bad weather when the unsealed roads become a mud baths. We ended up in the back of a work truck sitting on copra sacks! All part of the joys of travel.

Restaurants:
Lunch!
Lunch!
Again there are no restaurants but the food provided by the family was great.
I did notice a small shop although it did not have too much in it!

Published on Thursday February 24th, 2005


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Fri, Feb 23 2007 - 10:32 PM rating by travler

Thank you for the update on this island

Thu, Sep 14 2006 - 07:04 PM rating by mrscanada

Did you know that 100 years ago the Fijians were man eatters? The no-see-ums still eat the ladies.

Wed, Oct 05 2005 - 08:23 PM rating by isaacmolina

wonderful report and fotos

Sat, Oct 01 2005 - 01:59 PM rating by zeca

Mbula! Your report is great!

Sun, Jul 03 2005 - 03:20 AM rating by brucemoon

Love to learn how you 'secured' your accommodation on this island.

Thu, Mar 03 2005 - 01:13 PM rating by mistybleu

A lovely report.

Misty

Fri, Feb 25 2005 - 05:27 PM rating by davidx

Now this is really different and interesting.

Fri, Feb 25 2005 - 04:42 PM rating by rangutan

Great! A very secret and unusual community, beautiful people instead of fancy architecture, undisturbed by tourists...

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