Fiji, A Mesmerising Visa-Free Destination for Kenyans.
For the Kenyans who travel a lot, as well as those who read my blog, you all know that we have an exceptionally beautiful planet. There are destinations in this world that are so breathtaking that they defy logic. As such is one spectacular country called Fiji. In the recent past a lot of Kenyans who are looking for holiday destinations are restricted to certain countries due to strict visa restrictions. As surprising as it may sound, one of the main hindrances to world travel is not the lack of money. It is the strict regulations and guidelines imposed by most countries when it comes to getting a tourist visa. Imagine all those stunning destinations; all those mind-boggling cultural differences and all that wonderful foreign food only a Visa Application Approval away. Thankfully, there are certain destinations that do not require you to get a visa as long as you have a Kenyan Passport.
Recently, Kenyan passport was ranked 50th in the world out of 199 indexed passports. This means that Kenyan passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 68 countries in the world including Mauritius, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Ethiopia, Philippines, Singapore, Fiji. Many of these destinations will either grant you a visa on arrival or allow you to stay within their borders for a stipulated period of time completely Visa Free.
Today let’s concentrate with Fiji, a spectacular destination that is so unique in many ways. The tropical climate makes it so beautiful and I love my lenses every time I set my foot there. Set your internal clock to ‘Fiji time’: exploring the archipelago’s exquisite beaches, undersea marvels, lush interiors and fascinating culture shouldn’t be rushed.
Throwing down your towel in a foreign land it not east but not in the dazzling sands of Fiji beaches, perfect palm trees and waters so blue they glow – Fiji’s beaches look airbrushed. While stunning stretches abound, it’s on the islands of the Mamanucas and Yasawas that you’ll find heavenly heavyweights. These beaches are the poster-child for paradise, luring thousands of visitors keen to discover their own South Sea idyll. The appeal of the islands stretches beyond holiday snaps; the reefs, bays and sublime sands have provided cinematic eye candy to films including Cast Away with Tom Hanks and 1980 teen-dream classic The Blue Lagoon.
As they say ‘Wetter is Better’ and so is Fiji. Fiji’s calm seas belie the riot of life going on within. With seemingly endless stretches of intensely coloured reefs and more than 1500 species of fish and colossal creatures Fiji’s underwater world is worth the plunge. Seasoned divers and snorkellers will find plenty to excite them, while first-timers will be bubbling excited exclamations into their mouthpieces. Anywhere a fin flashes or coral waves, you’ll find a diving or snorkel day trip and there are excellent live-aboard journeys for those after a truly immersive experience.
However one might be wondering if this holiday all about a beach life, to me that’s just a perception and there is life beyond the beach. While it’s easy to spend your holiday relaxed on a beach. Fiji offers ample opportunities for hikers, birdwatchers, amblers and forest-fanciers, particularly on the islands of Taveuni also known as ‘The Garden Island’ for its ludicrously lush interiors and Kadavu, a less-travelled slice of prehistoric paradise with almost no roads to speak of. If urban wildlife is your thing, Suva boasts a surprising nightlife scene, while towns like Savusavu entice with rollicking taverns and meet-the-locals haunts.
A Warm Welcome will get you going no matter the direction you take after landing in Fiji. Fijian life revolves around the church, the village, the rugby field and the garden. While this may sound insular, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more open and welcoming population. Though the realities of local life are less sunny than the country’s skies – many regions are poor and lack basic services – Fijians are famous for their hospitality and warmth, which makes it easy to make friends or immerse yourself in Fijian culture on a village homestead. You will also be able to indulge in a delicious buffet luncheon. Morning and afternoon tea, music and entertainment Buffet luncheon including barbecue chicken, whole baked fish, sausages, garden fresh salads, fruit, fresh baked bread rolls, local beer, wine and soft drinks Yaqona (kava) welcome ceremony.
Finally it’s the culture that I really want to immerse myself into. The inhabitants of Fiji are multi cultural. But the Indigenous Fijians originated from the Lapita people who were groups of nautical groups that originated from Eastern Indonesia and the Philippines. It’s believed that they arrived on the Fijian islands during the second millennium and, for lack of a better word, hooked up with Melanesians and Polynesians. And just before hopping on a flight that will take you to the various smaller islands of Fiji, stay a night or two on the main island and check out what it has to offer