Sigatoka River Safari is a dream come true for our Managing Director, Mr Jay Whyte.
Was All a Dream"
1991, as a young 13 yr old boy, Australian Jay Whyte visited Fiji for the first
time with his family and family friends. It was on the 3rd day of his stay that
Jay's life would change forever. It was the meeting of 23yr old Pita Matasau, a Security Guard at the Resort.
Jay first met Pita, he became his shadow, following Pita everywhere on his
rounds of the resort & listening to the amazing stories Pita would share
about Fiji, his village and his family. After 2 days of learning all about Fiji,
Pita invited Jay & family to his village of Draiba, deep in the Fijian
in Draiba, after the 2hr inland excursion, Jay and his family would be blown
away by what they experienced. Spending time in the village, swimming in the
river and generally spending a day in the life of the Fijian people saw Jay
fall in love with Fiji, its culture and its people!!!
and Jay remained friends and kept in touch writing letters back and forth, in
the days before E-mails & TXT's. Jay would visit Fiji every two years
thereafter and Pita would visit Australia for the first time in 1993.
It was whilst on holiday in
New Zealand in 1992 that the IDEA was first born. Enjoying a jet boat ride on a
river in the North Island, the jet boat simply cruising along the river, it was then Jay as a 14yr old had a vision, to
transport people to Draiba along the Sigatoka River. This idea would sit in
hibernation for many years, until 2003 when facing a cross roads in life, Jay's
idea came flooding back into his mind and it went from being just an idea, to a
Intensive research followed
and by great coincidence, when enquiring about building a boat in New Zealand
Jay had unknowingly contacted the pioneer of Safari jet boating in New Zealand,
Neil Ross. Jay worked with Neil to build
a boat for the conditions in Fiji and in 2005, Neil visited Fiji and surveyed
the river and by August of that year work began on a vessel for the mighty Sigatoka
moved to Fiji in August 2005, having registered the business in Fiji and his
lifelong friend Pita on board as a business partner, he was lucky enough to
meet Josh Ratukuna who would join the
team and would accompany Jay to New Zealand to learn
the art of being a jet boat captain under the tutelage of
was on the 9th March 2006, that Fiji's Original and the World's First ever Jet
boat & village experience came to life.
A major factor in the
decision to work with 15 villages was that Jay did not want to encroach on the
village's daily lifestyle too much and wanted to strike a balance between tourism
and the village's traditional ways.
date, the Sigatoka River Safari has assisted in the development of these rural
communities directly and indirectly, with the vanua (people) of Navosa seeing
much needed tourism development deep in the interior and enabling them to share
their amazing spirit with many people from around the world. So many amazing
stories have come out from school scholarships, clothing, footpaths, church
constructions, kindergartens, school supplies, financial donations and thousands
of people falling in love with Fiji!!!!
are so lucky to be able to share this amazing part of Fiji with all our
friends, just as Pita did with Jay in
Cruise your way up the magnificent Sigatoka River to visit authentic Fijian villages and experience a day in the life of the real ‘kaiviti’ (Fijian). Your driver and guide will bring the journey to life, introducing you to the rich culture of the people of Fiji and sharing the history, customs and legends of the area with you.
We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our employees, the environment and most importantly the people of Fiji, taking great care in our involvement with each.