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“Excellent diving holiday location”

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Safari Island Lodge
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent diving holiday location”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Great venue for exploring the reefs around Fiji. April and Craig were excellent guides finding really good dive sites and expert knowledge off all of the species we found, on the rare occasion April didn't know we learnt new underwater sign language! Brilliant.
Warren, Stephanie and all of the staff were excellent hosts.
Really a great venue to get a way from it all and enjoy nature.

Room Tip: The beach huts would be my choice.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed August 15, 2013

I did my PADI courses there and felt completely comfortable with the instructors. I might even become a dive instructor because of them! the waters there are incredible and filled with amazing fish and beautiful coral. The vatu-i-ra passage is well worth it and will be hard to find something that incredible again! The slight down side is that the dorm is all the way at the top of a hill but climbing it a few times a day is a real work out. The food could be a bit better and a wider range but the baked goods are delicious! all the staff is really welcoming and friendly! i will make it back one day to enjoy those waters again!

Room Tip: dorms have amazing view!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Meg M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I read the other comments before writing mine. I read things about the owner Warren. When I went there, his brother was also there, so I didn't really spoke to him. The only thing I noticed is that locals seemed to have the "worst" jobs...They were boat drivers, cook, janitor...I went to Safari Lodge to make my diving licence. My instructor was from NZ. I think a Fijian could have done the same.
The dive was really nice. The dorm was fine. The food was good, but a bit expensive. Be aware of the fees when you pay by credit card. I would recommend that place for diving and for a night or two, but not for a whole week or for a holiday.

Room Tip: Watch for the FROGS!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank VeronickaJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Safari Lodge is a complex of different accommodation options (beach apartments, basic rooms, backpackers accom, apartments located up a hill) located on a nice quiet Rakiraki Island where you can escape all unwanted attention and relax or do one of many available activities - windsurfing, kiting, diving, kayaking, walking or fishing...
We stayed with my husband for 3 nights in June 13, I wanted to do windsurfing courses, but there was no wind for 2 days, which should be an exception there, so we did 2 fishing trips (handline and trawling) with one of local guys employed at the lodge and it was great experience, (we caught 15 fish in 3 hours with handline fishing, but just one bigger fish when trawling, because we went only for 2 hours and couldn't go far enough on the sea, we found the 4 hour trip overpriced).
Last day the wind picked up a little bit so the owner (Warren) gave me quite a nice 2 hour windsurfing lesson, the water and beach is beautiful over there as well!

Accommodation - we stayed in a basic room in the main building, but had a nice terrace and there are many rooms in buildings located up a steep hill with nice views from the terrace in front of the building. There's nice garden with hammocks between the beach and main building.

Meals - you have the option to cook for yourself or pay for 3 meals, the food was different, sometimes great sometimes less tasty, but there was always some vegetables and dessert:)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hanule007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suva, Fiji
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

What to come for:
- wind sports
- friendly, laid-back, collegial and familial atmosphere
- wholesome simple meals
- activities (kayak, walking, trail running, snorkelling, diving)
- clean, simple, comfortable rooms

What not to come for (what there isn't):
- overzealous 'Bula' greetings from staff
- traditional dances and kava ceremonies
- manicured gardens
- carefully, tastefully, romantically ornamented rooms
- luxury soaps and beauty products, fluffed pillows

Warren and Stephanie's "lodge" is a small collection of bures, rooms, and villas scattered on a property stretching from the beach to the hilltop. Meals are communal and wholesome, with little fried stuff. The people we met were here for short visits or month+ stays, some in the backpacker lodgings (with big kitchen) and others in the simple, clean, functional private villa or bures.

The activities are the real draw of the place. The island is a good place for pleasant walking or dirt track jogging (not always easy in Fiji, without village permission), and this gives access to a number of additional beaches. And of course there is fantastic windsurfing, kiting, diving, and snorkelling. Probably the top spot for wind sports in Fiji. We had three good windy days and 2 calm ones, time to shift to the free kayaks and stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling.

This place is free of the typical Fijian resort's endless "Bula" greetings, dance sessions, and kava bowls (the island has been freehold land for generations - it isn't on village terrain). Aside from Warren and Stephanie, their staff included a dive master (Stone), a windsurf pro (Pete), and a few friendly cleaning, food, and grounds people. Meals are cooked at their base on the mainland and arrives by boat each day.

We came not for the windsports, but for a family break with children (5 & 9), and it was great. They had the run of the property - together with Warren and Stephanie's similar aged daughter - and we didn't have to worry. Sand castles, kayaks, forest play, trampoline, snorkelling, banana boat, walks...

We stayed in a beach front bure, across the main garden from the restaurant. They are building a third bure next door, scheduled to finish by 20 July, so there was construction noise and generator noise all day at the bure. But in our case we didn't come to sleep in or rest in the bure, so it worked out (it would have ruined a 'sleeping in' and reading in bed kind of holiday). The construction doesn't affect the rest of the place or activities.

Overall, the place is laid back, looks sloppy and unorganised, with little effort on the aesthetics of gardens and decorations found at 'relax or romantic' resorts. The food is good (but no choice), the rooms and beds clean, comfy, and correct, but nothing fancy. The focus is on sports, activities, good people, so if you come with that in mind, you will hugely enjoy.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stian91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
coolangatta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We had a great time here, we had good wind everyday.
It was one of the most relaxing holidays i've ever had.
This is not a 5 star resort. and its definately on "island time."
which is why i found it so relaxing.!!!!
If you want to be pampered in a luxurious environment , then this is not the place for you.!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank morgan s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My fiance and I arrived in Rakiraki in early September 2012, based on a tip that there was some great kite surfing - Even though I've never done it, I wanted to try. Found Saf Is Lodge on T.A. and booked a room from downtown Rakiraki. Got a taxi to the pier and had to wait a little over an hour and a half before our water taxi arrived and brought us to the resort (Fiji Time in full effect). Immediately signed up for a kite surfing lesson. After multiple failed attempts at lessons, the last day we took a water taxi to the break point and there was absolutely no wind. Warren (the owner and kite instructor) charged me $100 - half price - for what I felt like was nothing more than a boat ride and an explanation of the emergency release I could have got on youtube. I felt a bit ripped off because the kite didn't actually get off the water at all.

Food was pretty good if you like Indian cuisine. The accommodation was basic, but comfortable - no hot water, warm blankets, comfy couches and hammocks. Two star rating is because of the failed kite lesson and the $100 charge for it, otherwise it would have been three.

Room Tip: Long walk up the path to get to the bunk bed dorms. Watch out for the FROGS!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JHWorldTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Safari Island Lodge

Property: Safari Island Lodge
Address: Nananu-i-Ra Island, Rakiraki, Viti Levu, Fiji
Location: Fiji > Viti Levu > Rakiraki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Rakiraki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Safari Island Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fiji's Kitesurf, Windsurf, Dive & Fishing Ultimate ResortWelcome to island paradise!Safari Lodge lies on a pristine beach on the remote Nananu-i-ra island in the South Pacific Ocean. These tropical waters provide perfect conditions for our watersports focused resort. We are a quiet friendly boutique resort with a maximum of 40 guests and a variey of accommodation options.Facing the consistent trade winds, Nananu-I-Ra Island is a wind-sports paradise! April to January provide steady 15-30 Knot winds, perfect for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing! All year round we also offer PADI Scuba Diving - Come and Dive the amazing Bligh Waters and Vatu-I-Ra Passage - breathtaking National Geographic quality dive sites! Sailing, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Fishing adventures and Stand Up Paddling (SUP) are also available every day!Our accommodation varies and includes Beachfront Bures, Ocean View Villas, Private Rooms and bunk style dorm rooms for groups only meters from the beach. We offer solar hot water showers, 24hr power & Wi-Fi 3G speed Internet access is also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Safari Island Hotel Rakiraki
Safari Island Lodge Fiji/Rakiraki

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