Tonga is an unspoilt kingdom known as “The Friendly Islands”, spread out over 170 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Tongatapu is the capital, however, the focus of the trip is on the island of Vava’u in the northern reaches of the country.
Here pigs and chickens roam the streets, rugged and low-key villages are peppered among the palm trees and the beaches, but despite the lack of luxury hotels the gorgeous beaches and very warm nature of the local people make you feel incredibly welcome – life runs along at a slow and informal pace.
Tonga has many beautiful snorkeling opportunities, but the main drawcard for us here is the annual migration of the humpback whales through the area. The humpbacks migrate from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic to the waters of Tonga to birth, nurse, court and mate before returning to the colder waters to feed again. Tonga is one of the very few places in the world where it is possible to snorkel with these majestic giants and their calves.
Fiji, a small country just a short flight from Tonga, has it all including white sand beaches, palm trees and warm turquoise water. Kaduva Island – the fourth largest island in Fiji – is our destination which is a short domestic flight from the international airport.
Kaduva has just one town and a handful of roads which makes it the perfect base to relax and explore unspoilt landscapes and uncrowded snorkel spots of the Great Astrolabe Reef.
The 15 day Tonga & Fiji Snorkeling Safari is a fully escorted small group snorkel safari takes us to remote destinations for some once-in-a-life-time snorkeling.
Our first 7 nights will be spent in the Tongan Beach Resort and from here we will spend four days watching and swimming with the Humpback Whales. Being one of only two places on the planet where this activity can be experienced, we will follow a stringent set of guidelines which will ensure our safety and enjoyment while protecting the whales and calves from harm and discomfort. Only four of us can be in the water with a guide at any one time. We will take turns following a rota system, to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to experience and interact with these gentle giants.
We will also spend one full day snorkeling some of the beautiful reefs of Tonga before heading off to our next destination in Fiji.
After a short international flight we arrive in beautiful Fiji, a country known for its white beaches, turquoise waters and stunning reefs. Kaduva Island – the fourth largest island in Fiji – is our destination which is a quick domestic flight from the international airport. We base ourselves out of the Matava Resort for five days of snorkeling with two snorkel excursions per day, which will be made by boat, to a full range of sites; from tranquil coral gardens to more adventurous snorkel sites in the Barrier Reef Passageways. At each of the sites, we expect to see white-tip and grey reef sharks, schooling jacks, barracuda, surgeonfish and giant groupers. There are good opportunities for snorkeling with manta rays at Manta Reef.
Topside there are rainforest treks, bird watching and sea kayak trips to enjoy.
The Tongan Resort
We start our experience in the Vava’u island group, where we base ourselves at The Tongan Resort located on the island of ‘Utungake. This beachfront property has 12 guest rooms, all boasting lovely sea views from their spacious covered decked balconies. The rooms are equipped with ceiling fans, private bathrooms, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerators, safes and are serviced daily.
The beachfront restaurant offers an array of Pacific Rim dishes made from fresh and locally caught and grown ingredients. All meals are ordered a la carte. Cocktails and a variety of local and international beverages can be enjoyed at the Sandpit Bar.
One evening in the week will be dedicated to Local Culture and a buffet meal of mostly local specialities is served, while we are entertained by children from the local school showcasing their traditional song and dance.
Once we arrive at our base in Fiji, we settle into the Matava Resort. This small Fijian Style beachfront resort has 10 Bures, designed for privacy and comfort. The high ceilings and large windows facing the ocean are simply beautiful. The resort is built from sustainably sourced Fijian wood and uses solar power for lighting and water heating. The bures are comfortable – fully airconditioned with private bathrooms, surrounded by the tropical nature typical of Fiji.
Guests can enjoy a full breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the dining room and the resort is easily able to accommodate special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and so on. Most the fresh ingredients used in the dishes are farmed on-site in the organic farm and orchard which are tended to by local farmers.
Tour Price - US$6,350 per person / £4,920
Our joining instructions for our Tonga & Fiji Snorkel Safari
This tour begins at Vava'u international airport, Tonga (VAV) and finishes at Nadi international airport, Fiji (NAN).
There are a handful of flight options leaving from the US notably Fijian Airways who fly indirectly via Nadi airport, with an average travel time of 20 hours. Fijian Airways are also able to include the inter Tonga-Fiji flights on one ticket which keeps things consistent and convenient. Air New Zealand, via Auckland (AKL) also fly a similar route with an average travel time of 19 hours if flying from the West Coast, USA.
To find out the latest availability on this tour click on the link below:
Enquiry for Tonga & Fiji Snorkeling Safari
Phone: 0117 369 0443
4.6 Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH