FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
For package prices please click on the package you are interested and the pricing (per week, per person) is at the bottom of the page. Remember though that you need a minimum group size of 10 people.
HOW MUCH CASH WILL I NEED?
Your accommodation, transfers and meals (when staying at Korovou Eco-Tour Resort, if at Mantaray Island Resort you will be on a compulsory meal plan which can be pre-paid at the time of booking or paid directly to the resort upon check-in) are included in your program fee. You will need a bit of cash to pay for any snacks and additional drinks or to partake in weekend activities. Note that there are no ATM’s in the Yasawa Islands so grab your cash (ATMS’ are available at Port Denarau) on the mainland before you go or pay by credit/debit card.
IS A DEPOSIT NEEDED?
A non-refundable 10% deposit is required to reserve placement on the programme with the balance due one month prior to your program commencement date.
WHAT REFUND POLICY IS IN PLACE?
Cancellation Policy: We will not regard a booking as canceled unless (and until) written notice is received by us either directly from Vinaka Volunteer clients or someone acting on the client’s authority (or subject to clause 8).
No Show or less than 7 day’s notice - 100%
Less than 14 day’s notice - 50%
Less than one months’ notice - 25%
Outside one months' notice - $100.00 per person
DO WE HAVE TO PAY TO VOLUNTEER?
Voluntourism is a concept that allows a two-way exchange. Voluntourists get to sample local culture and receive a wonderful overseas travel experience in exchange for donating their time, energy and yes, money to be able to carry out work. For Vinaka Fiji, the money covers your stay at a resort, transfers, meals (in the case of Korovou Eco-Tour Resort), supplies used during the voluntourism program as well as staffing to make your trip safe, easy and worthwhile.
WHY ARE MEALS INCLUDED AT ONE RESORT AND NOT AT THE OTHER?
The two resorts we offer are quite different in terms of the standard of accommodation. Korovou Eco-Tour Resort is a more basic offering yet still completely comfortable with the added benefit of a pool but due to it being simpler facilities, the overarching cost includes meals. With Barefoot Manta Island Resort and Mantaray Island Resort, it is a higher standard of facilities and meals. They do have a compulsory meal plan which covers all meals and is payable to the resort either through Vinaka Fiji before your trip or direct at the time of your stay.
HOW CAN WE RAISE MONEY FOR MY TRIP?
We recommend the use of Fund My Travel platform which is a donation platform for you to spread the word of what you are doing and source donations to help cover your trip.
WHEN IS THE FULL PAYMENT DUE?
1 month prior to travel commencement
IS THE TRIP TAX DEDUCTABLE?
This will depend on the Tax laws in your country regarding donations/voluntourism.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE?
You get to choose the type of room you would like to stay in, either a dorm (sharing with others and has shared bathroom facilities) or bure (private room generally with its’ own ensuite bathroom). With the bures, you can also choose to have one on your own or to share with up to 3 others. Bures also have their own en suites.
CAN I REQUEST MY OWN ROOM?
Sure can! You can request a single bure with your own en suite if you prefer.
CAN WE SHARE ROOMS WITH A FRIEND?
Yep! We have bure options for up to 4 people. Let us know when you book and we can sort that out for you.
DO WE HAVE TO STAY IN DORMS?
Nope! You can choose to stay in dorms (it’s a bit cheaper) or in bures with 1-4 people per bure, its up to you.
IS THEIR AIR CONDITIONING/FANS?
At Korovou Eco-Tour Resort and Barefoot Kuata Island Resort, all dorms and bures are fan cooled. The dorm at Mantaray Island Resort is air conditioned and all bures there are either fan cooled or air conditioned.
DO WE NEED TO BRING OUT OWN BEDDING?
No, all bedding is provided but we do recommend that you bring your own towels and toiletries. There are laundry facilities on-site at both resorts.
IS FOOD INCLUDED?
Meals are included in the price for Korovou Eco-Tour Resort and are additional with a compulsory meal plan at Barefoot Kuata Island Resort and Mantaray Island Resort. Both include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
WHAT OTHER FOOD IS THERE TO BUY?
Both resorts have a restaurant where you can buy additional food as well as snacks and drinks as needed. There is also a pizza bar on the beach at Mantaray Island Resort which is popular with their guests.
IS THE BAR OPEN TO VOLUNTEERS?
Yes. Any drinks ordered from the bar are subject to additional cost.
DO THE MEALS CATER FOR VEGETARIANS?
Yes. Please make our reservations team aware of any dietary requirements or allergies at the time of booking.
ARE THERE GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
Yes. Please make our reservations team aware of any dietary requirements or allergies at the time of booking.
HOW DO WE GET THERE?
Vinaka Fiji packages depart from Port Denarau onboard the Yasawa Flyer which takes you to your base camp resort (this trip takes around 3 hours). Port Denarau is around 20 minutes drive from Nadi International Airport.
ARE TRANSFERS INCLUDED?
Vessel transfers to and from Port Denarau are included and vehicle transfers to and from Port Denarau can be arranged either from your mainland accommodation or the airport.
HOW LONG DO TRANSFERS TAKE?
Around 3 hours from Port Denarau to the resort you will be staying at.
ARE TRANSFERS FROM/TO MY MAINLAND ACCOMMODATION INCLUDED?
Coach transfers from most Wailoaloa, Nadi and Denarau hotels/resorts are included in your transfer. Please check with the team when booking to confirm this.
WHERE DO THE TRANSFERS DEPART FROM/RETURN TO?
Port Denarau which is around 20 minutes from Nadi International Airport.
CAN WE UPGRADE ON THE TRANSFER BOAT?
Yes. A Captains Lounge upgrade can be arranged which includes access to an air-conditioned lounge on board the Yasawa Flyer, including complimentary snacks and drinks for the duration of the transfer.
WHEN SHOULD WE BOOK MY FLIGHTS?
As early as possible, ideally when you pay your deposit.
DO I NEED TO SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE?
WILL I NEED A VISA OR PASSPORT?
It is the responsibility of all volunteers travelling with Vinaka Fiji Volunteering to check and adhere to Fiji’s visa requirements. As most volunteers choose to stay and travel around Fiji before or after volunteering, they should enter the country on a ‘Visitor/Tourist Visa’, which can be obtained for a period of up to 3 months. There is currently no specific visa for volunteers in Fiji and as volunteering is not considered work under Immigration requirements, you do not need a work visa. Please note that visitors to Fiji must have at least 6 months left to run on their passport to gain entry.
HOW FAR AHEAD OF TIME DO WE NEED TO BOOK?
As much as possible. Ideally 6+ months.
DO I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE?
It is an essential condition of travelling with Vinaka Fiji Volunteering that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of any emergency medical treatment or accident and to protect your holiday payments in the event of cancellation. Vinaka Fiji Volunteering has insurance cover available with a leading insurer of adventure-style travel, which can be taken out at the time of booking.
WHY DO I NEED A POLICE CHECK?
When choosing the Children, Schools and Education Package, it is a requirement of the Fijian government that everyone associated with that program be police vetted for the safety of the children.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL?
Fiji is gorgeous no matter what time of the year but it does tend to get a bit hot and humid during the rainy season from November to March.
WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN I DO WHILE THERE (OTHER THAN VOLUNTEER)?
There is plenty to see and explore in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands. Some highlights include swimming with manta rays (May-Oct only), Snorkelling with Reef Sharks, the Sawa-I-Lau caves, fabulous snorkelling & diving, hiking, kayaking, and swimming. Our guests also love meeting new people and often make friends for life with other Vinaka Fiji guests.
CAN I BRING GIFTS FOR THE VILLAGERS WE WORK WITH?
If you wish. Things like school supplies (blank exercise books, pencils, colouring pencils etc), books and sports gear are always appreciated in the local villages and schools.
IS VINAKA FIJI A REPUTABLE ORGANISATION?
Absolutely. We have been around for more than 10 years now working with the people of the Yasawa Islands alongside the Fijian government. We are happy to provide references at your request.
HOW DO I KNOW MY DONATION IS GOING WHERE YOU SAY IT IS?
The donations made are used to facilitate the Vinaka Fiji Volunteering mission and purchase some of the materials and resources required to make our projects possible.
The villagers live far from the ‘paradise’ that first meets the eye when staying at a resort. In fact, the Yasawa communities struggle from day to day with immense shortages of clean drinking water, little to no health services or facilities, poor nutrition, a lack of educational support and supplies, inadequate power and no sustainable way of life for the future.
The Trust works directly with the communities of the Yasawa Islands so that the villagers are involved in determining their needs, participate in the planning and implementation and share responsibility for completion of the projects embarked upon.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE VINAKA FIJI?
With plenty of countries offering voluntourism products these days, why not choose to visit a tropical paradise for your voluntourism trip? Not only is the area stunningly beautiful, but the people of Fiji are also known to be happy and vibrant with bright Bula smiles wherever you go.
WILL THERE BE TIME TO SIGHT SEE WHILE ON THE TRIP?
Yes. Your weekends are free to explore this fabulous region and you should be back at base camp around 3 or 4pm each day which gives plenty of time to relax or take in the scenery and activities on offer at your base camp resort each day.
CAN I ADD ON A HOLIDAY IN FIJI BEFORE OR AFTER MY TRIP?
Absolutely! Fiji is a fabulous place to explore with so many activities and places to see. Being locals, we know all the best spots so speak to us for recommendations.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY BEFORE/AFTER MY VOLUNTOURISM TRIP?
We do recommend arriving in Fiji a day or two before your departure to the Yasawa Islands. We can help you organised pre and post accommodation with options available at a range of price points. For those on a budget, we recommend the Wailoaloa area which is still close to Port Denarau but without the high-end resort pricing. If you are arriving late the night before your departure to the Yasawa Islands, we recommend The Palms which is right next to Port Denarau to cut down transfer timings.
WHAT AGE ARE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE THAT TRAVEL WITH VINAKA FIJI?
Mostly 18-25 but a wide range of ages overall.
CAN I VOLUNTEER WITH A GROUP OF FRIENDS OR FAMILY?
Of course, in fact, we recommend it! There is a minimum of 10 people needed to book a package so gather a group together.
HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY WILL I BE 'VOLUNTEERING'?
From Monday to Friday (weekends free) you will be leaving base camp via long boat each morning you have a 30-60 minute trip to your days destination. From there you will be on site for around 6 hours per day before returning to base camp at around 3-4pm.