Welcome to my new series: “TELL ME MORE ABOUT:” where I will be sharing resources from my favorite past adventures around our planet during this time when we cannot travel due to COVID-19. In the next weeks, I will share about all 10 trips in my recent article on Ms Magazine and I wanted you to have access to the photos, articles and videos that I produced from these experiences. For now, I hope you find inspiration until we can all begin to wander around the world again.
I visited Likuliku Lagoon Resort, stayed in an overwater bungalow and learned how they are bringing the Fijian Crested Iguana back from the brink of extinction. I also stayed at their sister property, Malolo Island Resort and went scuba diving. I shared about my experiences in many articles, videos and social media which you can find below.
See all of my adventures in these videos:
ARTICLE in TODAY.com: “We All Need to Unplug!
Fiji in my Ms. magazine article: 10 Global Travel Adventures To Inspire Global Eco-Activism
The Republic of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean consists of over 330 islands, about a third of which are inhabited. These islands have been populated for 5,000 years, originally settled by adventurers who are thought to have made their way over 1,000 miles by canoe from New Zealand. Like many island nations, Fiji is home to numerous unique plants and animals, many of which also floated by sea from other far-off lands and have adapted to Fiji’s unique environment over many millions of years.
5,000 years of human habitation are exacting a toll of Fiji’s rich biodiversity. Some researchers have estimated that 25 percent of bird species, 12 percent of mammals, 67 percent of amphibians and 11 percent of reptiles and plants are already threatened or endangered.
In my first several visits to the Fijian Islands, I said, “Bula,” which means hello and welcome, to everyone. I loved the clear waters, incredible scuba diving and white sandy beaches. On my recent stay at Likuliku Lagoon Resort, I also loved lending a helping hand in the fight to save the Fijian Crested Iguana. This creature was thought to be extinct—but after two were found nearly 10 years ago, the resort has made heroic efforts, along with USGS and the San Diego Zoo, to restore the tropical dry forest, remove the invasive species and create a captive breeding program.
I got a first hand look at a turn-back-the-clock success story at the Likuliku Lagoon Resort (owned by Ahura Resorts) on Fiji’s volcanic Malolo Island, which has brought the Fijian crested iguana back from the brink of extinction. Ahura resorts have claimed to be wholly committed to sustainable tourism and have backed that commitment up with, among other things, herculean efforts to save this iconic, critically endangered iguana. Their efforts have included restoring the tropical dry forest with over 4500 seedlings of nearly two dozen species planted in the last four years, controlling mammalian invasive species, implementing a Fijian Crested Iguana captive breeding program and collaborating with scientists from USGS and San Diego Zoo.
From 1984 to 2010, there were no sightings of the Fijian crested iguana. Today, there are many sightings of the species out in the last remnant of protected forest within the resort leases.
There is an educational and awareness program implemented for guests, staff, the local community and also at the sister property, Malolo Island Resort. While on property, guests can assist with tree planting and scouting at night for these amazing species. Part of the nightly room fee goes to help with their environment initiatives and conservation programs, and you can make a donation at any time.
These articles appear on my site, We Said Go Travel, and the Jewish Journal: