Tokou village was the first village in Fiji to be converted to Catholicism so if you’re interested in religious history than this is a good pick. The first missionaries to Fiji in the 1800’s are also buried here and the picturesque cemetery is set right into the hills. The tour was arranged by our guest house owners, John & Marilyn of Levuka Homestay and the tour was faultless from start to finish. True Fijian hospitality we will never forget.
We were picked up at the house by our guides and driven to the village on a mostly gravel road. The ride took around 10 min and is lovely and scenic following the coast. The village enjoys a lush tropical mountainous backdrop and on arrival we were given salosalo (garlands) and each assigned a tour guide. We then went to visit the chief and did a sevusevu (offering) so we could roam the village with his blessings. After the ceremony we were shown the lovo (underground oven) pit and were explained how the food was prepared, which we would eat later for lunch.
Then we went and visited their school, the church and the historic gravesites where the first French priest and 5 nuns to Fiji were buried. Next we were taken down to a common area to have kava (local beverage) and to eat the lovo food; earthy smoked chicken, dalo (like potato) and palusami (spinach in coconut cream) – the flavours were lovely and it was great to eat really authentic food. After we finished eating we were treated to a meke, local dancing that tells a story, it was a really good show, and then it was our turn to dance each with one member of the village, which was great deal of fun!
What we found when wondering through the village was how genuinely warm hearted everyone was from the gorgeous little children to the village elders, everyone has time to chat and of course their trademark bula greetings and smiles. We have been on a few village tours in our time and most are rushed these days but Tokou village was just at your pace. We were there for a good couple of hours, mostly wandering and having a talanoa (chatting) and time just seemed to pass us by – bit like Levuka actually. Highly recommend a visit to Tokou village and vinaka vakalevu to everyone in the village especially our guides!
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