Fiji - healthy travel

Fiji is made up of over 300 islands, of which only around 100 are populated. When most people think of Fiji they think of beautiful beaches, tropical resorts and sparkling blue waters. Visitors can swim, snorkel and dive in the clear waters with coral reefs teeming with underwater life. The population of Fiji is made up of a number of various cultures, the main ones being Melanesian, Polynesian, Indian, European and Chinese. The common language is English but you will be welcomed with a warm Bula! when you arrive. It has a pleasant tropical climate, it's malaria free, there are numerous high quality accommodations to choose from and it's only around 4 hours travel from the east coast of Australia.

Fiji has a mild tropical climate throughout most of the year. The seasons are broken up into the 'wet' season stretching from November to April and the 'dry' season from May to October. Fiji has average temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius which can reach 30 on a hot summer day. During the cooler months, July and August the temperature can drop to 18-20 degrees at night. Humidity is always high from a minimum of 60% up to around 90% on hot, windless summer days. Tropical cyclones are most prevalent from November to April. While cyclones are not that common they can cause a great deal of damage when they hit.

Food & Drink
Avoid fruit and vegetables that are not washed in safe water. Thoroughly cooked food is usually safe as long as it has not been left standing or has been re-heated. Stick to the major resorts and popular and busy restaurants.

The water in Fiji's major towns, hotels and resorts is generally safe to drink. However outside these areas be wary even on major Island resorts. Stick to bottled water and avoid ice in your drinks. Take care that bottled water that you buy is properly sealed and not just re-filled from a tap. Milk should also be used with caution as it is often unpasturised.

Health Issues
There is no malaria in Fiji but there are plenty of other diseases to avoid. Diarrhoea is common and is caused by drinking contaminated water or food. Hepatitis A is spread by poor sanitation, contaminated water, shellfish or food sold by handlers with poor hygiene. Taking care of what you eat and drink will help avoid it. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood. Avoid body piercing. Typhoid fever is also spread through contact with contaminated food or water. Dengue fever, although rare, can be dangerous for the elderly and small children and is spread by mosquitoes. Take care to avoid mosquito bites, especially during the day.

Crime and theft are on the rise in Fiji so care needs to taken away from resorts and popular tourist places. Traders in major towns can become aggressive to the point of dragging you into their shops. There are a number of dangerous sea creatures including venomous fish, jellyfish, and sea snakes. Shark attacks are very rare in Fiji.

Medical Help
Hospitals are located in Suva, Sigatoka, Lautoka, Savusavu and Nadi. Most towns have a government clinic with a district nurse. Private medical services are also available and major resorts normally offer some type of medical support. Check with your travel agent what type of support each resort offers. Medical services for the traveller can be costly so travel health insurance is recommended.

Population: approx. 849,000, Currency: Fiji dollar (FJD); Time: UTC +12 (UTC +13 in summer); Official Language: English, Bau Fijian, Hindi; Capital: Suva

For more information on healthy travel with your family check our healthy travel guide.


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