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 )
[ Lodging / bed & breakfast ] [ Travel agent / tours ] [ Health spa / retreat center / camp ] [ Other vacation / travel ]
PO Box 63, Vunisea
City, State:
Vunisea, Kadavu, Fiji Islands, Country: other zipcode: -----
Phone: 679-333-6222 Fax: 679 333 6098
Send Email to Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort Contact: Stuart Gow
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 :

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 :

May 27, 2009

The wow factor - Fiji Times Online

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

May 25, 2009

Kadavu Island forum: where is waisalima beach resort - TripAdvisor

Sacramento, CA

"Matava Resort is a nice dive resort on the opposite side of the island and about 40 minutes from the airstrip by boat.

It's more rustic in nature because it's built on a hillside in the jungle rather than down closer to the beachfront. Gorgeous views abound form all over the property.

They have a wonderful veggie garden and a 4 star chef offering international dishes as well as local stuff.

They also have a fully equipeed big game fishing boat captained by a record holding IGFA representative. For this kind of fishing off KDV, this is the place to stay.

Snorkeling is done at a nearshore island that you can walk to at low tide, swim to at high tide. They have great diving and good people, too. Swimming off their place is not very good - at low tide it's a sand flat. "

Kadavu Island forum - TripAdvisor

May 22, 2009

EC3 Global launches Green Globe Lite

EC3 Global launches Green Globe Lite

Green Globe Lite, a global on-line program released today, will – for the first time – provide tourism operators with a user-friendly, affordable tool to measure their business’s carbon footprint and environment performance. The program targets small to medium-size businesses (SMEs) which make up a large percentage of the tourism industry.

Green Globe Lite’s operational health check involves a quantitative assessment of the business's performance in the areas of energy consumption; CO2 emissions; water consumption and waste production. It also provides guidelines for developing and implementing a sustainability policy. It meets international standards for carbon footprint calculation and is backed by the STCRC (Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre), the world's leading tourism research body, which is in turn backed by 17 of Australia's leading tertiary education institutions and industry bodies.

“While the final structure of the Federal Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme is still to be determined, SME tourism operators are recognising the benefits of measuring their environmental performance. Apart from the operational efficiencies, there are demonstrable bottom line benefits of significantly increased savings and profits through better resource management,” explained Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. EC3 Global manages the Green Globe programme on behalf of Green Globe Asia Pacific.

Melbourne City Council's Savings in the City project benchmarked 20 city hotels for energy, water and waste and introduced sustainable practices. Over two years from October, 2005, the selected hotels saw a combined reduction in waste of 2410 tonnes, or the equivalent of 628 truckloads. One hotel spent $4000 on reducing the energy used for lighting. The changes implemented saved the hotel $15,000 per year in energy costs, and a further $7500 on maintenance.

Incorporating feedback from a series of industry workshops undertaken with Australian Hotels Association (AHA) in 2007, Green Globe Lite addresses sustainable practices within accommodation, restaurant and spa operators; visitor information centres and administration offices. The program has been applauded by the Australian Hotels Association, which is promoting Green Globe Lite to its members. 

“The partnership between the AHA and Green Globe provides hotels across Australia with an affordable, easy-to-use tool to measure and assess their environmental performance. It provides a clear pathway for them to adopt sustainable policies and practices,” said AHA Chief Executive Officer Bill Healey.

At A$850 per annum, the Green Globe Lite program is an investment of only A$2.30 - or a cup of coffee - a day and is undertaken without a third party audit or additional third party input. For further information on Green Globe Lite, visit or call +61 (0) 7 3238 1900.

EC3 Global launches Green Globe Lite

May 20, 2009

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

Upapalmtree in Fiji

"Matava- the astrolabe hideaway. Great place, great snorkelling ,great people. They will go out of their way to help you!"

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

May 19, 2009

Matava is gonna be at Scuba Show 2009 - May 30th & 31st @ The Long Beach Convention Center

Matava is gonna be at
THE Diving Event of the Year!
America's Largest Consumer Dive Expo
Now in our 22nd Year

Weekend At A Glance

Sat., May 30
Exhibits Open 10:00am to 6:00pm
Seminars 11:00am to 5:00pm
Film Festival 11:00am to 5:00pm
Casino Party 6:00pm to 11:00pm

Sun., May 31
Exhibits Open 10:00am to 5:00pm
Seminars 11:00am to 4:00pm
Film Festival 11:00am to 4:00pm

Exhibit Hall
76,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space will host over 200 exhibitors featuring new and revolutionary dive gear, dive travel representatives and scuba experts. This is the largest consumer dive expo in the U.S.!

33 seminars are presented during the weekend, packed with information, learning and entertainment. Top dive experts from around the globe will present detailed information on marine life, must-know travel information, photography and video techniques, dive medicine and more.

World famous marine artist Wyland will be appearing in person to do a live painting at the show and exhibit a large portion of his artwork.

Film Festival
Films from top pros and talented amateurs feature images from around the world. For maximum thrill, the films are screened on a 3-story tall mega screen inside the exhibit hall.

Casino Party
Las Vegas style gaming will be available for your enjoyment on Saturday night. The event benefits the non-profit California Ships To Reefs working to create artificial reefs from surplus ships.

ScubaShow 2008 Video

2009 Sponsors

Scuba Show 2009 - May 30th & 31st @ The Long Beach Convention Center

May 18, 2009

Is your ecohotel really green? How to tell

Helpful tips to help you make an informed decision when booking an eco hotel
With pollution and climate change as ever-growing concerns, it is evident that every social sector needs to play a more active role in mitigating the negative impact of their actions and strive for sustainability. The tourism industry is stepping up to the plate in this struggle for sustainability and setting environmentally sound goals and standards. 
In this context, the ecohotel is gaining rapid popularity. Consumers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, and are opting for green accommodations that tend to minimize their environmental footprint when traveling. But what are green accommodations? How can travelers know when they’re choosing eco hotels and not conventional hotels that simply advertise an eco friendly image? It’s necessary to provide a concrete definition of what an eco hotel actually is, so that travelers can make more informed decisions when booking accommodations and hotel owners can better understand how to provide for consumer demands. Generally speaking, Ecotrotters defines ecohotels as those which:
  • Make important environmental improvements to their structure and practices in order to minimize their impact on the environment
  • Place an emphasis on sustainability and environmental conservation
  • Consider the needs of local communities and promote fair trade
  • Promote knowledge and understanding of sustainability and ecological practices
When booking your accommodations, try to look for hotels that minimize their impact by employing simple practices such as using natural cooling as opposed to air conditioning, replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lamps, installing low-flow shower heads and toilets, and offering a sheet and towel reuse program whereby guests have their linens exchanged every few days instead of daily. All these simple actions provide great benefits to the environment by reducing the amount of energy needed. Recycling is another sound practice, which can include composting kitchen materials and recycling waste water. Something else you can check for when making a decision as to whether your accommodations are eco friendly or not is the hotel’s use of its grounds. Hotels are moving a step closer to sustainability, and are thus greener, when they grow their own produce or buy ingredients produced locally to prepare the food offered to their guests.
Social responsibility is another key factor when determining how green a hotel is. Eco hotels must have a deep respect for local culture and traditions and provide jobs for the local and/or indigenous populations. They should also offer environmental training programs for staff and environmental courses and seminars for hotel guests, as well as participate in ecological projects off hotel property. Check if your choice accommodations follow any of these practices. 
These are just some examples of eco measures employed by green hotels. However, the consumer must be careful not to fall prey to those establishments that claim to be environmentally friendly when in fact they are not. Guests shouldn’t hesitate to ask if a hotel has a written policy concerning environmental initiatives and relations with local people. As there are currently more than 100 eco certification programs worldwide with different standards, perhaps what guests must first do is familiarize themselves with the general criteria that make a hotel green, and decide which suits their needs and objectives. - Eco Articles - Is your ecohotel really green? How to tell

How to offset carbon emissions for travel and living

Take a look at the different actions you can take to reduce and offset the build-up of greenhouse gases

Human beings have needs which must be met. But in meeting those needs, our actions are causing a build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which are a consequence of the energy and the services we use every day. We burn fossil fuels for electricity in our homes and businesses, for transportation, and to manufacture the goods we buy and consume every day. Considering that doing without energy seems highly unlikely, we should at least take actions to offset our CO2 emissions. This is where carbon offsets come into play.
Carbon offsets are financial instruments representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which allow governments, businesses, and individuals to compensate for their emissions. One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. Carbon offsets are bought by either governments and businesses to comply with restrictions on the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions allowed, or at a much smaller scale, by individuals, businesses, and governments that wish to mitigate their emissions. By participating in sustainable projects, we are generating offsets. Some of these projects include reforestation, energy efficiency projects, methane abatement, and the production of renewable energy, such as hydroelectric dams and wind farms.
Although these projects may seem unrelated to our daily lives, there are plenty of simple actions we can take to offset carbon emissions. Through more efficient heating, cooling, and lighting we can drastically reduce our energy consumption. By simply replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and taking out our sweaters from the closet and lowering the thermostat during winter months, we are making a difference, believe it or not. Carpooling and using public transport are also simple actions that lessen our impact.
When traveling, many of us decide to fly to our destinations, either for comfort or to save time. Air travel, however, produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other form of transportation. We can make our travel greener by donating to a series of projects that help offset greenhouse gases resulting from our trips. The internet offers hundreds of sites introducing carbon offsetting projects to which you can make donations. The environmental impact of your flight is calculated and a price is allotted as to how much that impact actually costs. You donate that amount to the project, and thus offset the emissions caused by your flight. Several airlines throughout the world are also looking at neutralizing the effects of their flights on the environment, so before you buy your ticket, check if your airline company is involved in a carbon offset program.
Most carbon offset projects that you may participate in will not only reduce global carbon emissions, but will improve the quality of life of the populations where the projects are developed. Through a reforestation project, for example, we are not only reducing carbon emissions, but also providing a better education for children who would otherwise spend their time collecting wood for fuel. We are also helping preserve forests and providing a habitat of many plants and animals.
Participating in offsetting practices is not as difficult as it seems. There are numerous types of activities that can generate carbon offsets. We can modify many of our daily activities to reduce our carbon emissions, make donations to established carbon offset programs, or do business with companies and service providers that follow carbon offsetting practices. Whatever action we take, we must always study our options and choose transparent methods for mitigating our impact. - Eco Articles - How to offset carbon emissions for travel and living

May 15, 2009

Whole Travel Launches Rating System To Keep Eco-Friendly Hotels Honest

The “green” incarnation of travel, called ecotourism, mandates that travelers minimize their cultural, economic, and environmental impacts as much as possible to promote sustainability. But while there are thousands of hotels worldwide that promote themselves as “green”, many of them are only partially fulfilling these requirements - they might not be wasting energy, but are paying locals at near-slave wages, or funneling money out of the local economy.

Whole Travel, a new site that launches tonight, is looking to keep these hotels honest while promoting the concept of sustainable travel. The site assigns each hotel with a score based on its environmental, cultural, and economic impacts, as well as its “customer interaction”, or how well it teaches visitors about the issues that affect their destination.

To receive a score, hotels first self-assign a rating based on how well they think they fare in each category. Whole Travel CEO Matthew Davie acknowledges that these scores will be biased, but believes that submitting a misleading score would actually hurt hotels in the long run, as readers of the site would be able to tag them as dishonest and discourage prospective customers. However, the site isn’t relying on good faith alone - it is also working with local non-profits around the world to verify rating for hotels in their regions. The site is also working with international non-profits like Sustainable Travel International, which has similar goals but is based on a “badge” system that hotels need to pay for to become accredited as Green.

Besides the new hotel rating system, Whole Travel also includes a number of more standard features that you’d expect on a travel site. Users can search for hotels using descriptive keywords rather than location names (you could search for “relaxing” for a list of locations that fit the bill). The site also includes standard lists of hotel pricing and links to Kayak to book flights and hotels.

As a travel site Whole Travel isn’t doing anything new - you can aggregate hotel listings on countless other places across the web. But its “green” hotel rating system could prove both very popular and very lucrative, provided the site is able to establish credibility. And with partnerships with major hotel chains already in the works, the company may not be far from painting the world - and its pocketbook - green.

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Whole Travel image
Location:Palo Alto, California, United States
Founded: September, 2006
Whole Travel is a travel site that encourages eco-friendly tourism by aiming to rate hotels by how “green” they are. World Travel also changes the way people search for travel locations by searching for activities rather than location. Learn More

Whole Travel Launches Rating System To Keep Eco-Friendly Hotels Honest

May 10, 2009

How to add fair trade to your ecovacation

Easy ways to promote the cultural integrity of local communities during your travel

When thinking of eco vacations, unspoiled natural environments and green hotels are what probably first comes to mind. However, eco holidays also entail a certain respect and concern for the local communities we are visiting. By directly supporting local communities as much as possible during our travels, we are contributing to the preservation and improvement of the area, and thus helping to create benefits for the locals as well as future travelers. But how can we support local communities during our travels? One simple, transparent way is by adding fair trade to our eco vacation. 
Fair trade is an international certification program that aims to alleviate world poverty by empowering small producers and eliminating the middleman, supporting environmental sustainability in the process. Farmers and laborers in developing countries are more often than not paid extremely low wages that cannot cover their daily expenses. Through fair trade practices, however, wages paid must allow workers to at least cover the cost of sustainable production. By earning appropriate wages, producers may spend more, which helps the community as a whole. Workers also receive an added premium to promote the community’s economic growth. Working conditions are also improved through specific health and safety requirements that must be met. 
Although fair trade leads to fair wages and better working conditions, it provides an added bonus- environmental protection and sustainability. Most fair trade products are organic, and those which are not usually follow specific production practices that are environmentally sustainable. For example, although the farm itself may not be certified as organic, chances are that the farmer will still be practicing organic farming techniques such as minimizing pesticides and herbicides. This leads to more natural crops and a reduction of the negative environmental impact resulting from human activity. And as consumers, we enjoy healthier, more delicious products. 
Considering the obvious benefits of fair trade, then, we should try to participate in the process during our vacation. We can do this by thinking about where our money goes before buying anything. We must ask ourselves, was this piece of jewelry/craft/souvenir made by local artisans? Was this fruit/vegetable grown by local farmers? Buying from local artisans and producers, eating at local restaurants that buy from local producers, and staying at hotels that both employ locals and buy from locals are some simple ways of contributing to the fair trade ideal. Both at home and away, we can maintain the principles of fair trade by taking a look at what we buy. The easiest way to buy fair trade items is to look for the Fair Trade certified label. And we must remember- not only by participating in environmental projects or reducing our energy consumption are we helping the world become a better place. - Eco Articles - How to add fair trade to your ecovacation

May 8, 2009

Hostels that we find outstanding

A collection of hostels that we find outstanding. Check it out:

Lazy – New Zealand
The Lazy Fish has been around for a long time now (two decades?) but it still is one of the nicest places you can find. Tucked away in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds it is only reachable by boat and with its love for details is creates a great atmosphere. – Ecuador
Nestled in the Valley of Longevity this unique place combines it all: rich nature, cosy accommodation, great food and a beautiful pool. You can tell that the owners have set up their dream hostel.

Matava - – Fiji
Few getaways in Fiji can boast secluded splendour combined with the adrenalin rush of adventure like Matava. This place is unique. You can not beat the combination of this eco-oriented far out place and world-class diving at the Great Astrolabe Reef.

Dolphin Bay – Fiji
No roads, no cars, no discos, no dress code – this amazing place caught our attention due to its unbelievable setting. You are at the beach and in the jungle at the same time, sharks swimming up right to your tent…The diving is magic!

The Tree – New Zealand
The tree House is set in a subtropical garden next to a great forest and right at the water of Hokianga Harbour. The owners are chilled people and it is easy to get sucked into this easy lifestyle. It is the place to chill out.

Poc-Na Youth Hostel – no internet site – Mexico
The pirate hangout on Isla Mujeres: Right at the beach it features this unsurpassed Bacardi island feeling. It is basic, not to say rustic, but it certainly is one of the greatest places to meet fellow hard-core travellers.

Cat’s – Spain
This beautiful hostel in Madrid adds some sophisticated European style and flavour to the international hostelling scene. Cat’s is so stunningly beautiful that you never want to leave – you just need to hang out around the central patio and take it all in. And then you go out and party hard.

Red Lantern – China
This Chinese courtyard hostel is a great introduction to the country. While not exactly ion Beijing downtown this family-run business preserves the charm of a splendid era. Stuffed with Chinese ornaments you feel like Tintin on a mission…

Arnott’s – Hawaii
Be prepared for some big adventures while on Big Island – the place to stay is Arnott’s Lodge in Hilo (Yes, the owner is one of the cookie guys). Set in a lush tropical garden Arnoot’s provides everything a budget-minded traveller could wish for. They organise outstanding day trips. – USA
Charleston, South Carolina, may not be on the backpacker trail, but it does have an outstanding Hostel. The NotSoHostel provides some Southern architecture and hospitality. The fantastic veranda and porches are especially cosy.

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