After seven straight days of wind and rain, the tropical low finally moved on and the sun came out. Suddenly it was like the last week had never happened and we found ourselves back in the middle of a tropical paradise.
I immediately took advantage of the change in conditions and booked a snorkelling tour to the nearby marine reserve, which is administered by the nearby Namada Village.
Tambua Sands Resort
We spent a night at the serene Tambua Sands Beach Resort, staying in one of the well fitted out beach side bure’s. Tambua Sands is cosier than some of the larger resorts, housing guests in a selection of 25 villas, many of which have spectacular views of the ocean.
The resort’s manager Wayne gets to know all the guests personally and when I mentioned I wanted to go snorkelling he recommended a tour of the nearby Namada Village marine reserve. I quickly booked and a local guide was arranged within an hour. While I waited, I got to finally get the Phantom 3 drone into the air on a sunny day and took the above picture of the resort.
Namada Village Marine Reserve
My guide was a local lad from the village, along with his young apprentice. Namada Village is right next to Tambua Sands so we were in the water in no time.
Despite the very poor recent weather, the visibility didn’t seem to be affected as you can see from the above shot. There were not too large fish about, but there was evidence the reserve is a bit of a nursery as there were many juveniles scampering around, most too fast for my camera.
The corals were spectacular though, especially for this close to the shore.
Scenic Coral at Namada Village Marine Reserve
I found the middle section of the reserve to be the most scenic, with lots of different varieties of colourful corals. The visibility was best here too, so I could set up landscape shots. I photographed in slow sync flash mode with a high aperture, so I could capture as much of the background as possible.
I was told by my guides that there is a local type of lobster living in numbers within the reserve, but despite some hard looking, we didn’t come across any. They may have been sheltering from the recent bad conditions caused by the near cyclone.
After about an hour in the water we made our way back to shore and walked across the road into the village.
The second part of the tour was a quick overview of the village, in particular the farm lands where they grow their food.
The above picture is of a villager just returning from cutting some taro. Taro must be a staple food in Fiji as this was the second taro cutter I had met in two days, the previous guy was in the markets in Suva.
I was shown many different types of local food growing, including casava, paw paw, taro, noni, mangoes, tomatoes, egg plant and my favourite, sweet potatoes (which are white, not orange here).
I greatly enjoyed the entire experience, and found it well worth the $49 Fijian dollars it cost, all of which went to the village.
If you would like more info on Tambua Sands Beach Resort (from where you can book the snorkelling and village tour), click the link below.
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