Olivias Homestay, Nagigi Village, Savusavu, Fiji Islands
$50 p/n, $25 for food for two people p/n
Olivia is, true to Fijian form, one of the friendliest, most generous and kindhearted people in the world. She runs a small, quiet homestay near Savusavu which makes it well worth stopping off on Vanua Levu on the way to or from Taveuni.
It was impossible to find any info about the homestay online, so hopefully this will help the next people looking for her!
The only way to get in touch with Olivia is to write to her at her PO Box in Savusavu, or,to make it easier, go and find her in the market. There are phone numbers and email addresses online which do not work. However most days she runs a stall in Savusavu market – just ask any of the stallholders for Olivia and you will be pointed in the right direction. Within an hour or so, she’ll have got you on a bus to her village and you will be enjoying some fresh, home cooked Fijian fare, walking on the beautiful beach and meeting the family.
The phone number and email she gave to the Lonely Planet guide is fake so don’t waste time calling it!
What to expect
You are living in a fairly remote Fijian village. Do not expect luxury, this is basic living. No wifi, showering with a bucket and evenings by candlelight are all part of the charm here. The room we stayed in was a comfortable sized double with a basic en suite wet room. Water is only turned on twice a day – morning and evening, so be tactical! Olivia does have electricity in the main room of the house, so you can charge a phone or camera, but it does not cover the bedrooms.
Olivia’s cooking is excellent Fijian traditional fare. If you do not like fish, you may be out of luck. Typical breakfast would be bread and jam, with a papaya or mango, and lemongrass tea. Dinner is always a large hot meal, fried fish in Lolo (coconut milk) or curried aubergine for example. Lunch varies between hot and cold but is always sizeable. Fijian cuisine relies quite heavily on tinned fish, so you will likely be tucking into a fair bit of mackerel and tuna.
You will get the chance to meet the villagers, visit the local school, explore the beach with Olivia, learn about how the village farms its food, snorkel, swim to the nearest island, possibly get out on a Bilibili raft if the weather permits, or even go fishing or hunting with some of the local guys.
For the true Fiji experience, you can’t find better!