Dec 18, 2009

National Geographic Adventure to Stop Publishing

National Geographic will cease printing National Geographic Adventure, its outdoor magazine, the company said Thursday afternoon. The title will continue online and in special “newsstand editions, books, e-magazines, mobile applications and a robust Web site,” the company said in a statement.

Rumors had been swirling that the company was selling Adventure. A spokeswoman, Heather Wyatt, said that while “people did approach us, it goes to the strength of the brand” that it chose to keep the magazine online.

The magazine’s ad pages had fallen 59.1 percent in the third quarter of this year versus a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau , giving it one of the biggest declines in the industry.

The magazine was started a decade ago, and recently published its 10th anniversary issue.

National Geographic Adventure to Stop Publishing - Media Decoder Blog - NYTimes.com

Matava fully operational after Cyclone MICK

http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/e/en/enimal/905450_merry_christmas.jpgOn Monday 14th December 2009 Fiji was hit by a Tropical Cyclone, TC Mick. The cyclone passed straight over the main island and just to the East of Kadavu Island. Although the resort experienced high winds and heavy rain, no damage was done to the resort at all, apart from the loss of some thatch from the corner of the roof of the dive centre. The guests and staff spent the whole day playing cards, board games and reading books safely in the Main Bure while Maggie served breakfast, lunch and dinner as normal. Richard has said that the biggest thing he is upset about is that most of the mangoes came down out the big mango tree! No mango jam this year!

By Tuesday 15th December we were once again fishing, diving and trekking as normal, in glorious sunshine albeit with a stiff breeze!

The cyclone passed quickly and was over in less than a day, however Kadavu island, like the main island, did experiences high winds. Kadavu's main Telecom Fiji tower in Vunisea sustained damage and at the moment, all communication (including mobile services) are down on Kadavu.

Unfortunately this means that we are currently unable to communicate directly with our reservations system at the resort. A communications issue such as this would normally be repaired quickly however with the other wind damage to many systems on the main island, it may be a few days before normal communications with the resort is re-established. Please bear with us.

Furthermore, Airports Fiji Ltd was also engaged in an upgrade to Kadavu Airport last week. Although no interruptions to services were expected, the works (now delayed by the cyclone) have now caused short term interruptions to flight services. All flights to and from Kadavu from Nadi International Airport and Suva Airport are currently suspended and we have been advised that the airport will re-open on the 18th December 2009.

We appreciate your patience in these matters, and rest assured that we are all fine and 100% fully operational at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort.

May we take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for this festive season

Richard, Adrian, Jeanie, Stuart & The Team

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort


Matava fully operational after Cyclone MICK - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards Recognizes Rivers Fiji For It’s Preservation of Cultural Heritage Practices | Adventure Travel News

riversfijiAngels Camp, California – Rivers Fiji, an O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) affiliate organization, has been highly commended in the “Preservation of Cultural Heritage” category at this year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. Rivers Fiji, a whitewater rafting and multi-sport outfitter committed to sustainable tourism practices in the Fiji Islands, was selected as one of the top 35 companies out of more than 2000 nominations worldwide.

The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world. They are a collaboration of the online travel directory responsibletravel.com, UK media partners Telegraph Travel and Geographical Magazine and World Travel Market (WTM). WTM hosted the awards ceremony earlier this month. The central tenet of the awards is that all types of tourism can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people.

Rivers Fiji is the result of one of many O.A.R.S. Family of Companies’ sustainable tourism endeavours. George and Pam Wendt founded O.A.R.S. in 1969 with a goal to help people of all ages and abilities enjoy “the best outdoor experience of their lives.” This Northern California-based whitewater rafting and adventure travel outfitter is recognized as a leading environmental steward within the industry. O.A.R.S. was the first, and only, North American rafting outfitter to be 100% carbon neutral through the support of carbon offset projects that are inspected, verified and certified by independent third parties including Green-e, the Gold Standard, CDM, and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance. Because of O.A.R.S.’ eco-savvy reputation, they have been asked repeatedly to host education trips for congressional staffers, politicians and eco-celebrities. It is the 1998 founding of Rivers Fiji, however, that the company is most proud.
 
By supporting community development and environmental conservation, Rivers Fiji programs are not only “eco-friendly,” they define eco-tourism. With the help of 9 mataqali (landowning groups), 2 villages, a logging company, and the Native Land Trust Board (NLTB), O.A.R.S. and Rivers Fiji successfully established the Upper Navua Conservation Area in 2000. This unique public-private partnership protects the pristine Upper Navua River Canyon from future logging or gravel extraction in a 10.5-mile conservation corridor. In return, Rivers Fiji compensates the NLTB and landowners through lease payments, user fees and employment opportunities.

Rivers Fiji believes that empowering local communities in this manner makes its programs successful. “We have created full-time employment for the local people,” said George Wendt, President of the O.A.R.S. Family of Companies. “In fact, with the exception of our managing director, all of our employees are from the communities where we operate. Thus they have a real stake in the long-term sustainability of the places we visit and in Rivers Fiji as a sustainable tourism operation. Infractions by logging companies and plans for road development through the conservation area have been thwarted due to mataqali alerting Rivers Fiji management and local authorities.”

Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. Marketing and Partnerships Director, stated from the awards ceremony in London, “Historically Fiji’s tourism development has been focused on the coastal communities – with Fiji’s interior populations receiving little benefit. Rivers Fiji, however, provides economic alternatives for people whose previous development options were limited to logging and resource extraction. We believe Rivers Fiji has helped broadened Fiji’s overall perspective regarding the economic value of conservation as it relates to its people and ecosystems.”

Dr. Harold Goodwin, Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Chair of Judges said, “Working our way through this year’s long lists, we were impressed by the willingness of so many organizations to take responsibility and to do what they can to help make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Despite the economic difficulties being faced by the travel and tourism industry, responsible tourism continues to move ahead, and I’m continually impressed as more is achieved by more people. As judges we are all very aware of the great work that is being done by so many and our decisions are often very difficult and sometimes long debated.”

Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards Recognizes Rivers Fiji For It’s Preservation of Cultural Heritage Practices | Adventure Travel News

Oct 30, 2009

Outdoor Travel Adventures | Matava Dive Package - Kadavu Island

7 nights from $2,499 per person

Grade: 2 | Soft to Moderate

Country: Fiji
Activity: Scuba Diving

2009 Price:from $2,499 per person (based on double occupancy)

2010 Dates: Any Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday

Come and dive the best of Kadavu Island on this awesome 7-night package, including 5 days of scuba diving. Stay at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort directly on the Great Astrolabe Reef. Matava is a genuine eco-adventure-hideaway designed to cause minimal impact on the environment and to promote conservation awareness with the local community and visitors.

Drift to sleep to the soothing roar of the waves breaking on the distant reef and be awakened to the call of exotic native wildlife.Matava caters to a maximum of only 22 guests in lush tropical surrounding ensuring a private haven away form the hustle and bustle of crowds. Traditional thatched Fijian 'bures' with solid mahogany timber polished floors, louvre windows, timber Queen and King Sized beds and private decks are nestled in the rainforest to offer privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

You can dive the world renowned Great Astrolabe Reef all year round. The striking Astrolabe Reef and the Kadavu group of islands have both been created by past volcanic activity and tectonic movements. The Matava Resort is right on the doorstep of this magnificent living organism, home to an abundance of marine life unequalled in Fiji. Divers and snorkelers can expect a diversity of fish life and corals of every conceivable color and hue.

Included:

  • International Airfare from LAX on Air Pacific / Pacific Sun
  • 5 days of 2-tank diving (10 dives) at Mad Fish Dive Centre
  • All day free access to shore diving at The Critter Junction
  • 7 nights in an Oceanview Traditional Bure
  • Traditional Lovo evening with entertainment and kava drinking
  • Waterfall trek on final non-dive day
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited tea/coffee)
  • Airport and boat transfers to/from Kadavu airport
  • All taxes
Not Included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Unlisted activities such as guided hiking and kayaking, sailing, fishing and whale watching tours
*Price subject to change based on exchange rate at time of booking.

Outdoor Travel Adventures | Matava Dive Package - Kadavu Island

Oct 10, 2009

Ecotourism Eco Tropical Resorts, eco lodges, eco hotels, and eco resorts

Ultimate Eco Escapes
Sport Diver Magazine Sept 2009
Matava named as one of only 6 Ultimate Eco Escapes in the World in Sport Diver Magazine – September 2009

Ecotourism Eco Tropical Resorts, eco lodges, eco hotels, and eco resorts

Oct 7, 2009

Diving in Fiji: DIVE ME, new dive boat being built in Navua, Fiji for Mad Fish Dive Centre 7 Oct 2009



DIVE ME, new dive boat being built in Navua, Fiji for Mad Fish Dive Centre 7 Oct 2009
DIVE ME, new dive boat being built in Navua, Fiji for Mad Fish Dive Centre 7 Oct 2009
Originally uploaded by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort.


Diving in Fiji: DIVE ME, new dive boat being built in Navua, Fiji for Mad Fish Dive Centre 7 Oct 2009

Oct 6, 2009

A unique experience - TripAdvisor

This place makes you forget about the rest of the world. The staff & management are so friendly, the views are amazing, but you have to put in mind that an enviornment friendly resort means its running on solar energy power, so dont expect ACs or fans, just clean pure air !

I'll be visiting Matava Resort again in the upcoming fishing season for sure.

A unique experience - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Sep 21, 2009

Ultimate Eco Escapes - Sport Diver Magazine Sept 2009 - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava named as an Ultimate Eco Escape in Sport Diver Magazine

Sport Diver Magazine - September 2009

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort is pround to be named as one of the world's Ultimate eco Escapes by PADI Diving Society's SPORT DIVER Magazine in September 2009.

Sport Diver September 2009

Ultimate Eco Escapes - Sport Diver Magazine Sept 2009



Ultimate Eco Escapes - Sport Diver Magazine Sept 2009 - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Sep 16, 2009

WIN A SEVEN-NIGHT TRIP TO MATAVA—FIJI’S PREMIER ECO ADVENTURE RESORT IN 2ND ANNUAL OCEAN IN FOCUS CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

Project AWARE Foundation and SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank are joining forces to host the second annual Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography contest that seeks entries showing the destructive impact on marine environments in order to inspire conservationist actions. Photographers of all experience levels, including conservationists, scientists, divers, travelers and students are encouraged to compete for the contests’ Grand Prize: a diving vacation to Fiji, including a seven-night stay at Matava—Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort. Prizes also include sterling silver coral-inspired necklaces from Hannah Garrison, beautiful Bob Talbot prints and carbon offsets from NativeEnergy. Photographers will compete for prizes in two contest categories: Species of Concern/Ecosystem Decline and Humans and the Ocean: Impacts and Solutions.

“This photo contest is geared toward advancing ocean conservation through the power of imagery,” according to SeaWeb President, Dawn M. Marin. “There are many problems to be addressed in the ocean. Anyone who holds a camera in their hand has the power to change the hearts and minds of people around them through the images they capture and the inspiration those images can provide.”

Information: info@matava.com


Tourism Fiji July 2009

Sep 14, 2009

TIES Travel Green Guide 2009

Sep 6, 2009

Matava is Fiji's first Resort member of The International Ecotourism Society - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava recognised as TIES first ever resort member in the Fiji Islands
Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to announce that we are Fiji's first Resort Business member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES).
The International Ecotourism Society

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, and sustainable travel.

A common question asked is what EXACTLY is ecotourism? Ecotourism is: "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990)

TIES promotes ecotourism, which is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people," by:

  • Creating an international network of individuals, institutions and the tourism industry;
  • Educating tourists and tourism professionals; and
  • Influencing the tourism industry, public institutions and donors to integrate the principles of ecotourism into their operations and policies.


The International Ecotourism Society "Uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel, TIES promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."
To achieve and maintain membership of TIES Matava must abide by all the Principles of TIES and Ecotourism.

Principles of Ecotourism:The Great Astrolabe Reef in Kadavu, Fiji

Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
  • Minimize impact.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
  • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
  • Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate.
"At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to be a Resort member of TIES, the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association." said Matava Director, Mr Richard Akhtar.

"We also see this as a great step forward and opportunity for all Fiji resorts, both on Kadavu and in the Fiji Islands, to move forward in their standards to achieve truly world class service and capabilities required for this membership level and to do it in the true spirit of ecotourism."


Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort Mr Akhtar finished by saying "We would like to thank all friends and clients of Matava and Mad Fish Dive Centre past and present who have contributed to the success of our eco resort and we look forward to exciting times ahead."

The International Ecotourism Soceity (TIES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism. Founded in 1990, TIES has been in the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, research and publications. TIES' global network of ecotourism professionals and travelers is leading the efforts to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development. Through membership services, industry outreach and educational programs, TIES is committed to helping organizations, communities and individuals promote and practice the principles of ecotourism. TIES currently has members in more than 90 countries, representing various professional fields and industry segments including: academics, consultants, conservation professionals and organizations, governments, architects, tour operators, lodge owners and managers, general development experts, and ecotourists.

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava - Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian 'bures' with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

Matava is Fiji's first Resort member of The International Ecotourism Society - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Jetstar to fight V Australia for Fiji rights

After V Australia announced its intentions for Fiji as its second international destination, Jetstar has confirmed that it too wants to fly the South Pacific route and intends to scoop the air rights from underneath the start-up carrier.

In a filing with the International Air Services Commission (IASC), Qantas Group acknowledged Virgin Group’s intentions to fly Fiji and said it would apply for the same seats.

“The Qantas Group has noted the application by V Australia, dated 12 August 2009, for an allocation of 1,267 seats on the Fiji route,” said Qantas to the IASC.

“The Qantas Group intends to apply for an allocation of capacity on this route which would comprise shelf capacity and a portion of the capacity which V Australia has applied for.”

As both carriers have applied for the same limited capacity, the IASC has in turn asked both carriers to explain how their services would benefit the public and submit their responses before the 8th of September.

Due to the “limited capacity” on the route, the airlines will have to justify why they, and not their competitor, should get the air rights to Fiji.

V Australia intends to fly its 360-seat Boeing 777-300ERs to Nadi and is looking for rights to 1,267 seats a week, while Jetstar will look to fly its 213 Airbus A320s into Nadi with 1,491 seats a week.


Jetstar to fight V Australia for Fiji rights - etravelblackboard.com

Sep 4, 2009

TIES Joins the ATTA's 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit to Co-Lead Sustainable Tourism Trade Forums

Washington, DC, August 25, 2009 – Two newly featured forums scheduled for the Adventure Travel Trade Association's 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit, both addressing sustainable tourism, will gain heightened conservation expertise and perspectives through the first-time conference collaboration between the ATTA and The International Ecotourism Society (TIES).
ATTA and TIES, which for years have together explored common interests in promoting responsible tourism and sustainable practices, are co-developing and will co-lead the Meeting of the Minds and Collaborative Learning interactive forums. The ATTA’s trade-only Adventure Travel World Summit is set for October 19-22 in Charlevoix, Québec Province, Canada.
"Tackling matters such as sustainable tourism requires the best minds,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “The Summit offers a timely and high quality setting to join minds, debate openly, share resources, bring common visions together, and to ensure these discussions continue long after conference. With the ATTA and TIES collaborating, we've got an incredible opportunity to create the perfect forum for the subject."
ATTA and TIES guided, the two-part Meeting of the Minds "Sustainability" forums will address key challenges and opportunities concerning a variety of topics (e.g., carbon offsets, voluntourism, education, outreach, training, etc.) brought forth by the global adventure travel industry for collective brainstorming, dialogue and debate. Whereas the Meeting of the Minds “think-tank” forums will focus on broad industry matters, the two Collaborative Learning "Sustainable Tourism in Emerging Destinations" forums will provide delegates the chance to share and explore their own real-world case studies to build understanding, to gain practical tools, insights and action plans for organizational implementation.
"Participating in the ATTA's Adventure Travel World Summit is a great opportunity for our two organizations to visibly convey our shared interests in sustainability initiatives," said TIES Chair Dr. Kelly Bricker. "We're thrilled to represent TIES global network at the Summit, where sustainability is at the forefront of innovative and interactive discussions. TIES will be able to contribute to and help strengthen the industry-wide efforts to mainstream sustainability through education, collaboration and proactive outreach."
Others actively contributing sustainability expertise to these forums include:
  • Dr. Rachel Dodds - Icarus Foundation
  • Richard Edwards - Planeterra
  • Megan Epler Wood – EplerWood International
  • Sarah Fazendin - The Fazendin Portfolio
  • Christina Heyniger - Xola Consulting
  • Nadia LeBon - Mountain Lodges of Peru
  • Brad Nahill - SEE Turtles
  • Wallace J Nichols - OceanRevolution.org
  • Daniella Ruby Papi - PepyRide
  • Valere Tjolle - VISION on Sustainable Tourism
Adventure Travel World Summit sponsors include: Host Destination Tourisme Québec and Aventure Ecotourisme Québec; Major Sponsors ExOfficio and Men’s Journal; and Key Sponsors Alpine Tourist Commission, Archaeology Magazine, Best of the Alps, Brazil, Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile, Eddie Bauer, Innovation Norway, and National Geographic Adventure. Summit registration and program information is available on the Summit website.
# # #
About The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
TIES is a non-profit association committed to promoting ecotourism, which is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people" (TIES, 1990), through outreach, education, and collaboration. TIES' global network supports and is supported by members from over 90 countries, who are leading the vital efforts to make travel and tourism more sustainable. A global source of knowledge and advocacy, TIES' Your Travel Choice Blog offers an interactive platform to engage, educate and inspire everyone to make travel choices that make a difference.

About the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

Established in 1990, the ATTA is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences, the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler's hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.

Aug 31, 2009

Matava Resort- das Tor zum Great Astrolab Reef - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Im Im August 2009 besuchte ich das Matava-Resort auf Kadavu, der südlichsten der Fidschi-Inseln. Hauptprogramm meines Urlaubes war das Tauchen und dafür ist die Lage des Resorts ideal: auf der Südseite der Insel gelegen, bietet es mit Bootsfahrten von max. 40min Zugang zu insgesamt ca. 20 verschiedenen ausgewiesenen Tauch-Spots am Great Astrolab Reef, aber auch die Möglichkeit, das Riff an anderer Stelle zu erkunden. Die Philosophie des Resorts ist die Umweltverträglichkeit/ökologischen Nachhaltigkeit und die Kooperation mit den umliegenden Dörfern. Die Unterkünfte selbst liegen verstreut an einem kleinen Hügel, teils direkt am Strand, teils ein Stück bergauf. Doch jede der traditionell eingerichteten Hütten, von den Einheimischen Buré genannt, bietet einen einzigartigen Blick auf die vorliegende Lagune mit einer kleinen Insel sowie dem Riff. Die einzelnen Hütten sind für max. 3 Personen ausgelegt. Ausgestattet sind sie mit Doppelbett mit Moskitonetz, wenn nötig Einzelbett mit Moskitonetz, Schrank und Sitzgruppe. Das Bad ist über die Terrasse erreichbar und bietet WC, Waschbecken und Dusche mit Gaswassererhitzer. Licht gibt es nur über Solarenergie, Steckdosen sind in den Hütten keine vorhanden. Akkus etc. können aber in der Hauptburé geladen werden- vorausgesetzt, die Sonne scheint. Insgesamt sind die Hütten schlicht und einfach, aber dennoch gut ausgestattet. Der Service begeisert mit einer mir bis dahin unbekannten Offenheit und Freundlichkeit. Fragen, Wünsche oder Probleme wurden sofort in Angriff genommen und immer mit vollster Zufriedenheit erfüllt. Das Essen ist sehr abwechslungsreich und bietet eine große Fülle an unterschiedlichen Küchen (Indisch, Thai, Lokal u.vm.), eine vielseitige Auswahl von Früchten aus dem resorteigenen Obst- und Gemüsegarten sowie vielfältigste Variationen von fangfrischem Fisch, der teils von den Gästen selbst geangelt wurde. Angeln und Angelausflüge sind jedoch nur einer vielen möglichen Aktivitäten. Egal ob Schnorcheln oder Baden, Vogelbeobachtungen, Besuch von Dorf und Einheimischen, oder einem Spaziergang mit einem einheimischen Medizinmann- für jeden Geschmack ist was dabei. Eine große Rolle spielt im Matava auch das Tauchen. Der integrierte Tauch-Shop ist mit allem für einen erfolgreichen Tauchgang Nötigen ausgerüstet. Es ist ein großes Tauchboot vorhanden, aber bei größeren Gruppen werden auch mehrere Boote eingesetzt. Die Boote sind immer mit Sauerstoffkoffer und Notttelefon ausgerüstet und im Falle eines Notfalles existiert auch ein Notfallplan, der auch aushängt. Des Weiteren bietet der Tauch- Shop die Möglichkeit zur Aus- und Weiterbildung von Tauchern auf Basis des PADI-Ausbildungssystems.

Weiterhin als positiv zu nennen ist die familiäre Atmosphäre sowohl zwischen Gästen und Personal, als auch zwischen den Gästen untereinander. Aufgrund der geringen Anzahl von Gästen kommt man schnell miteinander ins Gespräch, egal ob bei den Mahlzeiten, bei der traditionellen Kava-Zeremonie oder den unterschiedlichsten Aktivitäten.

Zusammenfassend lässt sich also sagen, dass das Matava Resort durchaus ein Geheimtipp für all jene ist, die sich ausschließlich auf Sonne, Strand, sportliche und kulturelle Aktivitäten konzentrieren möchten und Abstand vom Alltag suchen. Und das alles in einer sehr freundlichen, offenherzigen und kommunikativen Atmosphäre!!!

Matava Resort- das Tor zum Great Astrolab Reef - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Aug 17, 2009

IGFA August Hot Catches

Fishing the waters of Fiji, Tim Simpson, Coomera Waters QLD, Australia, guided by Capt. Adrian Watt, landed a wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) on June 17, weighing 31.6 kg (69 lb 10 oz) on 4 kg (8 lb) Platypus Lo-Stretch test line.

Simpson, the editor of the South Pacific specialist offshore gamefishing magazine Bluewater said he was fishing the coral reefs at 200 fathoms, 30 miles off Kadavu Island, Fiji aboard Watt’s boat Bite Me, using Halco Laser Pro 190 trolling minnow lures which he reported are phenomenally successful for wahoo.

He and top American marine photographer Bill Boyce were on a mission to attempt world records on light-tackle for wahoo and sailfish. Over the past four years Simpson has been pursuing the current IGFA record of 56 lb 11oz (25.71 kg) caught off Bermuda a decade ago. Both he and Boyce were locked into a double hookup, battling their tooth laddened fish which each sizzled off 500 meters of line, sometimes straight down and in opposite directions several times.

Full details, plus all the secrets of how Simpson achieved the pending record, will be published in a spectacular feature article in BlueWater Issue 75 – on sale in early September. See www.bluewatermag.com.au for more.

IGFA August Hot Catches

Aug 9, 2009

Travel Green Guide - The International Ecotourism Society - TIES

Travel Green Guide

Coming in Fall 2009: Travel Green Guide 2009 will be available for FREE download here.

>> Please sign up for TIES eNewsletter or join as a free Traveler Member to be notified once the guide becomes available.



Travel Green Guide - The International Ecotourism Society - TIES

Jul 29, 2009

Waterfall and adventure in Kadavu, Fiji

Cool vid by Dja!

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Our trip consisted of 5 nights at the Matava Eco Resort on Kadavu, three nights at the Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour, Nadi and six nights at Paradise Tavenui on Tavenui.

The three islands each offered a different experience, which combined to make a wonderful trip.

On arrival in Kadavu, we were met by a member of the Matava staff and driven to a small harbour for the start of a 45 minute boat trip to the resort. We were warned that that the trip would be a wet one, so duly donned the wet weather gear provided. Whilst it did prove to be a wet journey, we enjoyed every minute as we anticipated our arrival at Matava. We weren’t disappointed. We were met by Maggie with the offer of a hot or cold drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and lunch. After a few formalities, Maggie escorted us to our Bure. With its wooden deck overlooking the ocean, it was the perfect setting.

The Bure was simply furnished. The dominant feature being the queen sized bed. It was clean and well-maintained.

In the evening (using Oil Lamps to light the way) we met the other guests and began to get to know them and the staff over a few drinks and our excellent dinner.

The following morning, after a simple, but more than adequate breakfast, we went out on our first dive trip.

The boat was suited to around 6-8 divers. It had an awning to provide shade and protection from the rain (which we experienced quite a bit of throughout our stay in Fiji), but no facilities for cameras. That said this didn’t prove a problem.

We undertook 10 dives in total. The only site which we dived twice was Manta Point, which was on our final day’s diving. On our first dive of the morning we were privileged to witness a solitary Manta, which spent around 20 minutes in the area. The dive site, with or without mantas, was the best we experienced on this bit of our trip. The corals were in excellent condition and the fish life was abundant. We’ve never seen so many anemone fish together in a single area. It was very special. This sentence really describes Matava for us. We loved the fact that it was out of the way, that you had to make an effort to get there. We liked the simplicity. The staff were great. They were helpful, courteous, friendly and fun to be with. They genuinely wanted their guests to have the best possible time that they could.

It is certainly on our list of places to go back to.

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Jul 21, 2009

Major first for resorts - Fiji Times Online

DIVE students of Matava Resort will not only learn how to dive but given an opportunity to participate in conservation projects.

This is after the Kadavu-based resort became the first in the Asia Pacific region to sign up for Project AWARE C-Card scheme.

Project AWARE Foun-dation works in partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to combat challenges facing underwater environments.

The project inspires conservation by incorporating its messages in dive training materials as well as creating awareness and education campaigns.

The AWARE certification card scheme ensures that all of the resort's PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) students, whose cards are processed online, automatically receive one of the three new Project AWARE versions of their PADI certification card.

"The donation will be paid for out of Matava's profits, and not be charged to the student.

"The student will be given the chance to further donate to Project AWARE at the end of their course, as is normally offered on every PADI course worldwide.

"This effort shows Matava's support for underwater conservation by issuing Project AWARE's limited edition c-card as every PADI certification or replacement card." Matava director Richard Akhtar said.

The donations will support underwater and shoreline clean-ups and marine debris prevention, coral reef monitoring and conservation, shark protection, research and education improved resource management, environmental education for divers and children.

"This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Project AWARE and they depend on support from divers and dive centres such as us to enable them to continue with ongoing projects that are essential for the long term protection of the underwater environment." said Mr Akhtar.

Major first for resorts - Fiji Times Online

Jul 17, 2009

You May Already be a Nature Nerd

By Betsy Franz

When I was growing up, there were two distinct types of people: the cool people and the nerds. The cool people were the football players, the cheerleaders, and anyone in a rock band. The nerds were the ones who got good grades, wore black rimmed glasses and were much more likely to have a microscope or a telescope at home than they were to have a date on Friday night.

Generally speaking, the birdwatchers and the backyard botanists fell into the nerd category. Cool kids didn’t even know what a chrysalis was much less have one in a jar in their bedroom.

But times have changed. Protecting the planet and all of its creepy crawly inhabitants is not only sociably responsible AND socially acceptable but it is also suddenly cool.

Sure, there are many different shades of ‘green’, and environmental responsibility takes many forms. Every day citizens and celebrities alike are proud to proclaim their passion for solar energy and hybrid automobiles. But how many of them are ready to come out of the closet when it comes to the more nerdish pastimes such as bird watching and butterfly gardening? How many of them are ready to admit that they not only hug trees, but they also fondle flowers and even caress critters from time to time?

Certainly we can imagine animal activist celebs such as Mary Tyler Moore and Ellen DeGeneres getting eye-to-eye with the bunnies and squirrels in their yard. And Martha Stewart must surely appreciate the serenade of songbirds in her flower filled gardens.

But what about other well-known environmental celebrities? Do nature lover Darryl Hannah and inner-city gardener Bette Midler welcome the wonders of wildlife to their backyard landscapes? Has Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Bacon or Ed Begley Jr. ever marveled at the metamorphous of a butterfly? Do Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pierce Brosnan hang nectar feeders to attract hovering hummingbirds? Has Ted Danson, Willie Nelson or Robert Kennedy, Jr. ever pulled out a magnifying glass to help identify an unknown insect?

If they haven’t, then perhaps they should. It’s a wonderful cause to want to save the planet but it isn’t a planet of asphalt and steel and carbon spewing monolithic factories that we are trying to save. It’s the miniscule miracles. The sights that, in the past, only the nerds have taken the time to notice. And it is there, perhaps, when one gets eye-to-eye with the birds and the butterflies and the creatures that visit our gardens and wander through our yards, that we realize what it is we are working so hard to protect.

So whether you are a star studded celebrity, a prima ballerina or a single parent , it’s time to admit your nerdiness to the world. Go ahead and get excited about the tadpoles in your garden pond and the butterflies eating your herb garden! Grab the magnifying glass and a good nature guide and share the great outdoors with the ones you love.

And if you still aren’t sure whether you want to admit that you are a nerd or not, here are a few questions to help you decide:

You may be a nature nerd if: See here: The GenGreen Blog » You May Already be a Nature Nerd

Jun 26, 2009

Ecotourism at ECOCLUB®, the International Ecotourism Club™,  a global ecological tourism network

ECOCLUB® - International Ecotourism Club™ promotes social & ecological change through & within Tourism. An acclaimed news & social network with Members, individuals & organisations worldwide! It was founded on July 1, 1999 and is based in Athens, Greece (European Union). Our correspondence address is: ECOCLUB S.A. PO BOX 65232, PSIHICO, ATHENS 154 10, GREECE. ECOCLUB® is co-directed by Antonis B. Petropoulos & Frosso K. Dimitrakopoulou. The word and mark ECOCLUB® is a registered trademark of ECOCLUB S.A. Contact us

We support the philosophy and practice of Social Ecotourism / Ecosocial Tourism worldwide. We participate in tourism policy & decision-making processes, conferences, and the worldwide progressive movements. On a day to day basis, we act as an alternative, low-cost ecotourism consultancy, promoting environmentally-friendly holiday options & related services, supporting ecotourism practitioners, academics and students, offering resources such as specialist news coverage, networking and career opportunities, information about upcoming events, new publications, consultancy and funding opportunities and much more. ECOCLUB, the International Ecotourism Magazine™, our electronic publication, is packed with exclusive ecotourism news and views and interviews with tourism & environment leaders & pioneers. We also promote quality cooperative, ecological and organic products at low prices via the ECOCLUB.com Shop.

Ecotourism at ECOCLUB®, the International Ecotourism Club™, a global ecological tourism network

Jun 25, 2009

$863 -- Fiji from Los Angeles (Roundtrip), incl. Taxes

$863 -- Fiji from Los Angeles (Roundtrip), incl. Taxes* new

Fares to Fiji from Los Angeles have been slashed to an amazing price of $863 roundtrip, including taxes. This fare is available for travel June 10 - Dec. 30 on Air Pacific to Nadi on Fiji's the main island of Viti Levu.

This sale ends July 14.

Click here to purchase tickets directly with Air Pacific. Look for the "Get Packing" fare at a base fare of $565. Final price will include approximately $298 in taxes and fees.


Cheap Flights - Flight Specials - Air Pacific

Flyers choose green with a new flight booking tool : TerraCurve.com - Go beyond green. | Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

Even in today’s rough economy, travelers are eager to put the environment first. A new and free online flight search tool has shown that, when given a choice, travelers typically choose carbon-efficient flights.

The tool is being tested in a pilot phase (no pun intended) on select websites and has generated over 10,000 flight searches so far. According to booking statistics, 57% of users selected the cheapest/lowest carbon option to pay an average premium of 19% over lowest cost/higher carbon options.

Developed by Global Travel Market (GTM) and The Carbon Consultancy in association with the International Center for Responsible Tourism, the flight search tool offers provides efficiency ratings of both long and short haul fleets used by major airlines, while highlighting lower carbon emitting direct flights versus indirect flights.

The goal: determine and reduce a trip’s carbon footprint before it even takes place.

Flyers choose green with a new flight booking tool : TerraCurve.com - Go beyond green. | Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

Jun 22, 2009

Special place! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Matava is a special place. It is not a luxury eco resort and not for the high maintenance crowd. It is simply a wonderful eco resort with a fantastic staff. The lure of Matava draws the same type of people here. If you want to spend some time with those who like adventure and are well travelled, then you picked the right place. We usually stay at the best places when we travel but we wanted to take it down and notch, kick off our shoes (literally) and enjoy a bit of the “real” Fiji.

Hopefully you’ll be greeted by Maggie when you arrive. He makes the whole place come to life. When he isn’t there you miss him greatly. He’ll have you cracking up laughing every time he talks and don’t believe a word he says! You’ll see what I mean when you get there. .. :)

Speaking of getting there, the boat transfer is an adventure in itself so be prepared. Check out the picture with my husband standing in front of our boat. It takes about an hour to get to the lodge. If it is windy and there are waves, you’ll probably be very wet by time you arrive. They give you raincoats but they are so full of holes they don’t help much. They can’t use large boats because the tide can get VERY low. Large boats can’t make it through the reef passages. If you arrive during low tide be prepared to have to walk through some mud to get to and from shore.

Now I say Matava is not a luxury eco resort but if you stay in the Honeymoon bure it will feel like it is. The Honeymoon bure is beautiful and has the large deck with fantastic views. The mosquito net over the bed adds ambience to the room but it is not just for looks. Luckily, it was cool and windy while we were here so mosquitos only bothered us a bit on one night but we slept with the net every night. There are no ceiling fans or a/c, just the ocean breeze. There is also no heat in the rooms so you bundle up or snuggle to get warm. We were there at the end of May and it was chilly, almost cold. Bring a jacket or long sleeve shirt and pants.

All power is solar and there are on-demand gas water heaters. There is a charging station in the main lodge where you can charge batteries, laptops, etc… There are no plugs in the rooms and they do not allow hairdryers to run. In your bure there is a welcome book and it explains that running a hairdryer for 5 minutes uses enough power to run the resort for a week. The book continues to say that however, they will give you a ride in one of their boats for 5 minutes to give you what they like to call the windswept and wild look. I cracked up when I read it!

Adding to the laid-back appeal of Matava is they ask you to go barefoot in the main lodge. In the evening, they sound the drum at 6pm to let everyone know the bar is open (if you want something before then you can get it). This lets all know that if they want to come down to share stories of the day, come on down. Gas lanterns provide light giving everything a warm feeling. One night we had a kava ceremony during the cocktail hour. After we started dinner, the Fijians who were still drinking began singing. It was magical and they were in perfect harmony. It was a very special evening.

Dinner is served at 7pm (or around there in Fijian time). The food here is FANTASTIC, especially the soups! There is lots of variety, fresh ingredients, and flavor. We were here for 5 days and we had something new every day.

When you are finished socializing for the night and ready to go back to your bure, you either use a flashlight or take one of their lanterns to light the way. Once you get back to your bure, look up. The night sky here is unbelievable! The Milky Way is right above you. It is awesome what you can see without any light pollution.

Staying at Matava is a special experience and one we are glad we did. We wanted a true Fijian experience before we went to Taveuni for a completely over the top one. The Fijians here are extra warm and welcoming. We met Jennie, one of the owners, and she was equally as friendly and welcoming. Visiting Kadavu and getting away from all the super touristy stuff gives you a chance to be a part of the real Fiji.

Things to do:

If you want some exercise, take a walk up the trails behind the property. Hike up to the house at the top, go right then keep taking the trails to the left and you’ll go up, up, up to some great views overlooking the ocean and the island.

Definitely hike to the waterfall in the village. It is beautiful!

Dive Manta reef. They try to make sure everyone that stays here goes at least once. We were lucky and saw 3. We hung out by one just watching him feed. It was wonderful! The only thing is we were surprised at how poor visibility was. We had expected better but they also said it was the time of year. Taveuni has much better visibility but you rarely see any big stuff there. We also found out about a place on Viti Levu called Pacific Harbor that is known for Tiger sharks.

Special place! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Travel Healthy: Handling Mosquitoes and Other Bugs - The Green Guide

On a recent trip to Vietnam, I reluctantly found myself looking for malaria medication in the best "pharmacy" available, a bare room full of unmarked jars of pills down one of Ho Chi Minh City's back alleys. Luckily, neither the pills nor malaria got to me. However, poor planning can pose a threat not only to one's health but also to that of the ecosystems we visit.

While protecting against food-borne illness is your first line of defense, other diseases await unwary travelers. Take care when swimming, as schistosomiasis, carried by parasitic worms, and "swimmer's itch," or cercarial dermatitis, carried by microscopic parasites, are common in freshwater in parts of the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia. Malaria-bearing mosquitoes, endemic in West Africa and South Asia, infect 300 to 500 million people worldwide annually, while mosquitoes in Southeast Asia carry dengue fever and those in Africa and South America carry yellow fever. U.S. travel isn't risk-free either; mosquito-borne West Nile Virus claimed 165 U.S. lives in 2006, not to mention rodent-borne hantavirus and tick-transported Lyme disease.

Read full article here: Travel Healthy: Handling Mosquitoes and Other Bugs - The Green Guide

Jun 17, 2009

Heaven!! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Our stay was UNBELIEVABLE! We have travelled extensively, but this far exceeded our expectations. The lodge was remote enough to escape the typical tourism crowd, but still provided so much.

The bures were incredibly comfortable with amazing views to the ocean and the staff were like family. We felt welcome as soon as we stepped off the boat.

The food was also amazing. Every meal was a wonderful surprise of fresh ingredients and spices (and plenty of it).

We were so sad to leave because after only one week, we felt as if we belonged at Matava. We will definitely be back.

Thanks so much to every single person at Matava. We will be forever grateful for such a wonderful experience.

Heaven!! - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Jun 15, 2009

Sustainable Outdoor Clothing Range Launched

A new website has been launched for outdoor enthusiasts wishing to lessen their impact on the environment. The website is perhaps the first of its kind as it’s entire range of outdoor and adventure clothing is sustainably and ethically sourced.

Rebearth whos ‘Protect your Playground’ slogan reflects their commitment to mother earth provides eco friendly, sustainable, recycled and carbon impact minimised apparel and equipment for cyclists, mountain bikers, surfers, climbers and for anyone who enjoys spending their time in the great outdoors.

The Primary aim of Rebearth Future Adventure is conceived from an enjoyment of the natural environment as a playground for outdoor adventure activities and thus the desire to retain it in its current if not enhanced natural state. Whether your adventures take place afloat, with your head in the clouds, take the rocky road or keep you grounded on the beach or in the forest, Rebearth Future Adventure offer a range of products to suit your needs.
From Bamboo base layers and lanyards to Organic cotton clothing, from recycled tyre belts and sandals to surf wax and wind up head torches all made using environmentally friendly or recycled materials give you the chance to enjoy the great outdoors without your adventures having a negative impact on our planet.

Putting climate control and carbon reduction at the centre of all aspects of Rebearth Future Adventures business operations from retail to transportation, from manufacturing to marketing coupled with a social and environmental ethos including the donation of part of our profits to local and national projects means that you can be sure that when you purchase one of our products you are not merely paying lip service to protecting your playground but are in a small way actually helping to preserve our environment.

To see the ‘Rebearth’ collection visit their online store on the link below.
http://www.rebearth.co.uk

Rebearth future adventure - grounded

Jun 14, 2009

New iPhone app gets you in the 'green habit' | MNN - Mother Nature Network

An MNN exclusive. I just learned of a very exciting partnership between two cutting-edge media companies in California whose love child is destined to become the definitive green iPhone app.
The app, an upgraded version of 3rdWhale -- which provides iPhone owners with access to a rapidly growing list of local, green businesses -- will now carry content from Creative Citizen, the wiki for green living.
Here is a first sneak peak at the app which will integrate a comprehensive collection of "Creative Solutions" for sustainable living:
One feature that sets the Creative Solution apart from those hordes of redundant "green tips" is that each solution carries with it with a set of tangible benefits, enumerating precisely how that action will reduce the use of water, energy, waste, carbon dioxide AND dollars.
Creative Citizen adds up all the actions that you pledge and tracks your cumulative environmental contribution (and financial savings).
3rdWhale allows iPhone users to download the app (for free currently) which provides them with a map of local green businesses by proximity -- everything from organic restaurants to eco-dry cleaners -- and the new Creative Solutions.
The app will be unveiled at an event in Santa Monica this Saturday called "The Evolution of Green: from Hype to Habit." Produced by EcoNouveau, the event will gather together many of California's most influential green leaders to answer one very important question (as quoted on the MaxGladwell blog):

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the green movement, but we’re not seeing a lot of habit. The results just aren’t materializing. Relative to the chatter, there should be much more change. Everyone is green in principle, but very few are green in practice. Why is that?

Well, one answer might be the lack of a portable tool that connects your daily activities with your green intentions. And it is just this void that the new 3rdWhale app hopes to fill by, as they say, "mobilizing the green revolution."
The 3rdWhale app is also designed for what the developers like to call "radical collaboration." A common buzz word in the politically correct world of CSR (corporate social responsibility) but the 3rdWhale/CreativeCitizen guys seem to mean it. Unlike most other apps, it is an open API within Apple's own open API, meaning that 3rd parties can create add-ons to the application, including a rumored green business rating system which will screen business owners for their green practices and rate them accordingly.
I have followed Creative Citizen closely from its formation by Scott Badenoch and Argam Derhartunian into one of the most robust tools for helping individuals live more sustainably. The fact that it is now integrating with a mobile search engine of local green businesses puts it well on its way to becoming the must-have app for green techies.
UPDATE: The Saturday event is currently at capacity but the CreativeCitizen programs will be streaming the event live (including interviews by yours truly) via a twitter feed:

Should be a fun event with lots of eco-celebs of PlanetGreen fame in attendance. You can check back here on this post or watch it on the CreativeCitizen website.


New iPhone app gets you in the 'green habit' | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Jun 13, 2009

Facebook | Username

Starting NOW, you can choose a username for your Facebook account to easily direct friends, family, and coworkers to your profile.

To select your username, visit the link NOW:
http://www.facebook.com/username/

To learn more about usernames, visit the Help Center:
http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=89

Jun 12, 2009

Tell the Travel Industry How You Want Them to Get Greener

Tell the Travel Industry How You Want Them to Get Greener

Tourism and hospitality leaders want to make your vacations and business travel a "greener" experience for you, and for the planet. Global environmental and travel organizations, suppliers and media have joined with CMI Green and BBMG to produce this first-ever, comprehensive Green Traveler Survey. Your important feedback will help airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and destinations make their operations and communications greener.

Your answers are strictly confidential - none of the information you provide will be used for marketing purposes, nor will you be added to any lists without your optional, express consent at the conclusion of the survey.

Completing the online survey takes only 12-15 minutes, and as an incentive to complete it, TEN WINNERS will receive a choice of a $50 iTunes gift card, or a $50 Amazon credit, or a $50 donation to the charity of your choice.

Please take a moment now to take the survey. Your feedback really matters! Please also email the link to your friends and colleagues, and ask them to complete their survey by June 15th.

Jun 10, 2009

Sightseeing : Birdwatching in Fiji : Gowealthy.com

Bird watching is a pleasure in Fiji, with a variety of rare and indigenous found in its forests.

You can observe the Fiji Goshawk glide majestically, a bird you only find in Fiji, or the Blue-Crested Broadbill, found only in the Viti Levu rainforest, or hear the deep hollow call of the Barking Pigeon at the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park.
 
There are about 80 species of terrestrial and freshwater birds of which about 10 have been introduced. They are distributed throughout the islands but those interested in sampling an array bird should consider visiting three islands: Viti Levu (which has 56 of the 81 known species found in the group), Kadavu, and the Garden Island of Taveuni. In general, the larger islands tend to be more ecologically intact and the bigger birds--notably the parrots and pigeons--are easily seen.
 
There are three species of hawk in Fiji. The most common is the swamp harrier, Circus approximans, which is most commonly seen over the grasslands, swamps and wooded areas. It feeds on rodents, birds and occasionally snakes. The Fiji Goshawk, Accipiter rufitoques, ranges from the coast to inland areas and preys on lizards, insects and other birds. Peregrine falcons, Falcus peregrinus, can also be found in Fiji but are not commonly observed. 
 
There are several varieties of dove in Fiji. The most common is the introduced spotted turtle dove, Streptopelia chinensis, which is also among the most destructive vis a vis fruit crops. Among the most sought after by birders is the orange dove, Ptiliponus victor found in Vanua Levu, Taveuni and some of the other offshore islands. The male of the species is a bright orange with the exception of an olive green head. So rare is this bird that you'll be hard pressed to find a photo of it in any book.
 
Peale's pigeon, Ducula latrans , as Paddy Ryan, the South Pacific's premier nature photographer points out in his superb Fiji's Natural Heritage guide, is "more likely to be seen than heard" and sounds a great deal like a barking dog. Thus when walking through a remote rainforest, the bark you'll hear is more likely avian rather than canine in origin.
 
The white-collared kingfisher, Halcyon chloris, is a striking blue with a white collar around the neck. I've often seen them dipping into a friend's swimming pool in Taveuni. Also seen on Taveuni is the silktail, Lamprolia victoriae. Once thought to be a bird of paradise, it is becoming increasingly rare on other islands most likely because of logging. Paddy Ryan describes it as a deep black with metallic blue spangling on the head and breast.


Sightseeing : Birdwatching in Fiji : Gowealthy.com

Jun 1, 2009

Green Travel

HOW GREEN ARE YOUR TRAVELS?

Help Protect Your Favorite Travel Destination

"Green" Hotels Association® is encouraging all travelers to green up their travel. The U. S. Travel Data Center estimates that 43 million US travelers are "ecologically concerned." These travelers will be especially interested, but all travelers can take part in this important mission(the greening of the travel industry-whether away for business or pleasure.

Managers of all businesses react and respond to requests of guests, customers and clients who voice their concerns. So, when you write a note or speak directly to management regarding our environment, you are casting a vote. You can write a note to the general manager of the hotel, to the captain of the airplane and to the manager of a tour company or cruise line with compliments or comments regarding their green program. Thank them for their green program if they have one. Or, ask why they don't have a green program. As a paying customer, it is important that you let them know that you want them to lower water and energy usage and reduce solid waste-and that you want to participate.

"Encourage businesses to think as you do by choosing where to spend your travel dollars. Spend your dollars with travel businesses that are interested in protecting the beautiful destinations we all love to visit", suggests President Patricia Griffin.

Hotels and airlines which have an environmental agenda deserve your patronization. Book your guestrooms and meeting rooms with hotels that are clearly interested in protecting our environment, and let management know that's why you've chosen their hotel. "Green" Hotels Association® member hotels are encouraged to implement water-saving measures, execute energy-saving techniques and reduce solid waste. Rather than putting all these measures into effect "behind the doors", GHA encourages all lodging accommodations to get guests and clients involved. Hotels can offer towel and sheet-changing options, soap and shampoo dispensers, guestroom recycling baskets and reduced food-related waste. Almost all guests realize that we need to help protect our favorite destinations. Those guests are more than willing to participate in a hotel's green program. Choose "green" hotels by calling or faxing "Green" Hotels Association® for a list of members. Or, check out GHA's Internet site-www.greenhotels.com.

"Further ideas for greener individual travel", says Patricia Griffin, "include: during your hotel stay, let management know that it is not necessary to change your towels and sheets every day. When you leave the room, turn off the AC/heat, lights and TV. Carry your own bar soap and shampoo. Leave the little bottles of shampoo if you don't use them. Avoid room service."

Book flights with airlines that recycle the waste created when serving food and beverages to passengers. British Airways, for instance, has a very strong environmental agenda. Southwest Airlines recycles all cabin waste, and was the first to offer electronic ticketing systemwide.

Use the hotel van instead of renting a car. Use public transportation in your destination city.

Before you leave home, you can take the first steps to green up your travel by turning down the thermostat on your hot water heater, adjusting your AC/heat thermostat and stopping your newspaper.

You can help protect the beautiful business and pleasure destinations we all love to visit. You can help protect Mother Earth. You can help protect our environment for future generations.

"Green" Hotels Association - Green Travel

May 30, 2009

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
( Free listing. Entered Oct 2008 )
Categories:
[ Lodging / bed & breakfast ] [ Travel agent / tours ] [ Health spa / retreat center / camp ] [ Other vacation / travel ]
Address:
PO Box 63, Vunisea
City, State:
Vunisea, Kadavu, Fiji Islands, Country: other zipcode: -----
Phone: 679-333-6222 Fax: 679 333 6098
WebSite:
http://www.matava.com
Send Email to Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort Contact: Stuart Gow
Description:
Matava is Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in Fiji. Mad Fish Dive Centre is Matava's on site PADI Dive Centre. We dive the The Great Astrolabe Reef extensively and cater for all levels of diver from beginner to experienced. Mad Fish Dive Centre will take you to sites varying in depths, currents and visibility ranging from 20 - 50m where you can expect a kaleidoscope of colourful corals and wonderful marine life - we can assure you that you won't be disappointed. Superb blue water game fishing for wahoo, sailfish and marlin with Bite Me Fishing Charters awaits you at Matava in Kadavu, Fiji Islands.

Online Ordering: Yes Mail Order Possible: No Nonprofit: No

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Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

May 28, 2009

Sightseeing : Birdwatching in Fiji : Gowealthy.com

Bird watching is a pleasure in Fiji, with a variety of rare and indigenous found in its forests.

You can observe the Fiji Goshawk glide majestically, a bird you only find in Fiji, or the Blue-Crested Broadbill, found only in the Viti Levu rainforest, or hear the deep hollow call of the Barking Pigeon at the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park.
 
There are about 80 species of terrestrial and freshwater birds of which about 10 have been introduced. They are distributed throughout the islands but those interested in sampling an array bird should consider visiting three islands: Viti Levu (which has 56 of the 81 known species found in the group), Kadavu, and the Garden Island of Taveuni. In general, the larger islands tend to be more ecologically intact and the bigger birds--notably the parrots and pigeons--are easily seen.
 
There are three species of hawk in Fiji. The most common is the swamp harrier, Circus approximans, which is most commonly seen over the grasslands, swamps and wooded areas. It feeds on rodents, birds and occasionally snakes. The Fiji Goshawk, Accipiter rufitoques, ranges from the coast to inland areas and preys on lizards, insects and other birds. Peregrine falcons, Falcus peregrinus, can also be found in Fiji but are not commonly observed. 
 
There are several varieties of dove in Fiji. The most common is the introduced spotted turtle dove, Streptopelia chinensis, which is also among the most destructive vis a vis fruit crops. Among the most sought after by birders is the orange dove, Ptiliponus victor found in Vanua Levu, Taveuni and some of the other offshore islands. The male of the species is a bright orange with the exception of an olive green head. So rare is this bird that you'll be hard pressed to find a photo of it in any book.
 
Peale's pigeon, Ducula latrans , as Paddy Ryan, the South Pacific's premier nature photographer points out in his superb Fiji's Natural Heritage guide, is "more likely to be seen than heard" and sounds a great deal like a barking dog. Thus when walking through a remote rainforest, the bark you'll hear is more likely avian rather than canine in origin.
 
The white-collared kingfisher, Halcyon chloris, is a striking blue with a white collar around the neck. I've often seen them dipping into a friend's swimming pool in Taveuni. Also seen on Taveuni is the silktail, Lamprolia victoriae. Once thought to be a bird of paradise, it is becoming increasingly rare on other islands most likely because of logging. Paddy Ryan describes it as a deep black with metallic blue spangling on the head and breast.


Sightseeing : Birdwatching in Fiji : Gowealthy.com

May 27, 2009

The wow factor - Fiji Times Online

By MARGARET WISE
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SEVEN years ago, two poms and a yankee gave up their career and took a chance on Matava, a little known resort on Kadavu.

The friendship forged 20 years prior was for the long haul so trust was never an issue when the trio decided to combine their zeal with business in a distant island home.

Richard Akhtar, (left) Adrian Watt and Jeanie Mailliard are now major players in dive tourism - their position solidified this year by a recent acquisition - a major environmental award from PADI, the world's largest international scuba certification agency, last month.

And at a dive expo last week, the resort bordered by the Great Astrolabe Reef, was easily identified as one of the best dive spots in Fiji.

"We are so proud of this achievement because it is the only one given in the region and Fiji has never won before," Fiji Islands Hotel Association executive Michael Wong said.

Mr Akhtar, who met fellow Englishman Adrian in London, said contrary to belief, dive tourism had a great potential to enhance and promote the marine ecosystem.

"The award means a lot because it is a recognition of the work we and the community have out in over the past five years," he said as he explained he first came to Fiji ten years ago as a conservationist. He met Jeanie, an American, while on a tour of South Africa.

"Ours is a partnership that started as friends 25 years ago. We looked at a number of options and saw Matava, that was already in operation, as a good opportunity."

Mr Akhtar said diving was a niche market that had a great potential to grow if efforts to protect the reef continued.

"There is a huge gap for this kind of tourism and we try to keep it all natural, that is the cornerstone of everything we do, the natural beauty is still there and it will always be a draw for us," he added, referring to the industry as a whole.

The PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards 2009 was in the category Project Aware marine environment award.

The awards were developed to better recognize the achievements of those PADI dive centers and resorts which have made significant contributions to the growth and development of diving.

Last year a major resort upgrade saw the addition of new high-tech solar power plant. Working in conjunction with our neighboring village of Kadavu Koro, the resort has also established a marine reserve from the boundary of the Matava foreshore extending out to encompass the opposite Waya island.

"This area is protected from any sort of fishing, shell collecting and reef walking. Our focus at Matava is eco-tourism. We promote the natural environment, both marine and terrestrial and have adopted programmes to avoid damaging our environment," Mr Akhtar siad.

"These include conservation awareness, and waste management (recycling) programmes at the resort and with local villages. There are no power generators at Matava - our lighting is primarily solar, with additional kerosene lanterns if required. All rubbish is also sorted, food waste is fed to local pigs and we compost as much waste as possible." "Plastic and glass bottles are recycled."

Ecologically conscious yet adventure driven, the three directors who operate this intimate getaway where 22 guests can stay at a time, have proven they were born to blend in our natural environment - offering our visitors a whole new breed of holiday experience.



The wow factor - Fiji Times Online