Description of Yasawa Islands
The Yasawas are a place of scenic beauty, a highly preserved environment and with plenty of interesting history.
More than 20 pristine islands scattered over an area of 135 square kilometers North West of Viti Levu comprise to make up the Yasawa Islands. The summits of broken ridges and jagged peaks, rainforests , long stretches of beach and reefs that form calm lagoons together provide a spectacular visual feast to visitors.
From its volcanic island beginnings, a sanctuary for the abundant marine life was born. Our coral and sea life will astonish you – turtles and many colorful fish such as beautiful parrot fish are commonly seen in our nearby waters. You might even be lucky enough to witness the hunting techniques of the kingfisher, plummeting from high above the water diving for dinner. There are more than 100 species of birds that can be spotted throughout the Yasawas.
In 1789, the first European that sighted the Yasawas was the Englishman, Captain William Blight (in Fiji they refer to him as ‘Bligh’). Three thousand years before him, settlers migrated from New Britain in the Western Pacific to colonize Fiji. The English described them as fearless warriors and ferocious cannibals with druas (canoes), as they would occasionally attack them. As laborers were brought from India by the English to work on the sugar cane in Viti Levu, in the 19th century the Yasawas remained indigenous, and this is very visible in the living Fijian culture constantly celebrated throughout the Yasawas.
Oarsman’s Bay Lodge is situated on the South Western corner of Nacula Island. Nacula is the third largest island in the Yasawas chain.
The Island of Nacula was first inhabited by the Yavusa Drola who some say came from the Nakavadra Hills. The first settlers established themselves on the eastern side of the Island, and called the area Drola. Because of the scarcity of water and for other reasons, they left Drola for the western side of the Island, and settled at Malakati. Some members of the Yavusa then went and built another settlement at Natia, not far from Malakati, and this village became known as Nacula.
It appears that the ancestors of the Drola people of today lived in a number of different settlements until they finally all moved and settled together at Nacula village. Sometime later, some of the Kai Drola from Nacula moved and settled again at Cobe, with the motive being to occupy more land. Not long after that, another group of people living at Nacula went on and settled the area at Navotua, also for the sake of occupying land. Even when they settled at these places, away from Nacula, they still recognized and continued to give their allegiance to the Chief living at Nacula, who is the Tui Drola. Thus the Island of Nacula was established with four separate villages.
On these remote Fijian islands, you will find the real people, with minimum exposure to western civilization. They are known for their hospitality, generosity and warm hearted welcome. From the moment Fijians are born, they live with the idea that family and caring for each other is the most important thing in life. Even the casual visitor will note their smile, kindness and the constant invitations to join in for a celebration, a meal or to drink a bowl of Kava. In the Yasawas, the guest is always honored in the village and their visit is cause for celebration.