May 10, 2009

Trip Report Fiji 1999

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit Fiji, I'd say that you have missed one of the truly fabulous places on the planet. Aside from birding, there is ample opportunity to see many of the wonders of the sea and make connections with some of the friendliest people we have met in our travels. People still greet each other, and foreigners, with a friendly "Bula". We were fortunate to get to spend 5 nights with a Fijian-Indian family and form bonds that hopefully will last our lifetime. Often times as we were walking down roads to look for birds, farmers would stop and talk to us and offer a papaya. Theirs is a culture that seems to want to make time to be more human with each other. Probably not a bad idea for other cultures to emulate.

Fiji is the kind of place where birding can be much more leisurely than in other locales. There are not that many birds that can be seen (somewhere around 120 according to Pratt, et al). Most of the birds are fairly easy to see, with the more difficult species creating enough of a challenge to make it interesting. It was because of this that we found we had time to enjoy other activities as well. Therefore, it made for a much more rounded trip than other journeys where birding was our only focus.

Read full list here: Fiji 1999