fiji



Location: Pacific Ocean
Capital: Suva

Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 12 hours
Daylight savings time: during southern hemisphere summer
Current time: 14:13
Population: 859,178
Currency: Fijian dollar
Dialling code: +679
Internet suffix: .fj

Fiji is a Pacific Island archipelago country known for its natural beauty, well-preserved community traditions and tropical climate.


Overall security situation: mostly secure
Crime rate: low
Murder rate: slightly above the world average
Gun ownership levels: very low
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no

For the most part, Fiji is a secure country and a safe destination. However, it has experienced political instability in its recent history. There are occasional protests and demonstrations, some of which can be large for a country of this size, although they are usually non-violent.

The country’s institutions are also vulnerable to potential shocks in the future, such as further unrest, intercommunal tensions or even natural disaster, which would put a major strain on the authorities.

Otherwise, the crime rate is low and there is a very low risk of terrorism. Fiji is also amongst the ten countries with the lowest guns-per-capita ratios in the world.


Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: left
Infrastructure quality: very poor
Urban ATM availability: moderate
Electricity supply: 240V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: poor
Plug types: I

Plug type I (2 or 3 flat pins, those with 3 pins are grounded/earthed, those with 2 are not)




Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: room for improvement
Infectious disease prevalence: some infectious diseases are prevalent

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: frequent cases
Rabies prevalence: rare/non-existent
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Natural disaster risk: extremely high
Natural hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to April; flooding; occasional landslides
Tropical storms: common
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no


Government type: republic
Socio-economic development score: 6/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 93.7%
Unemployment rate: moderately low
Civil liberties: some restrictions, usually mild

Investment rating: sub-investment grade / speculative grade / junk status
Corruption levels: fairly high
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Ethnic groups: iTaukei 56.8% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.5%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 4.5% (European, part European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese)
Beliefs: Protestant 45% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, and Anglican 0.8%), Hindu 27.9%, other Christian 10.4%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other 0.3%, none 0.8%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.

Infrastructure

  • Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
  • This can make it difficult to get around.
  • Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
  • Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
  • Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
  • Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be significantly less extensive than more developed countries.
  • There may be very limited facilities, staff, techniques and medications available, especially in more isolated or underdeveloped areas.
  • There may not be adequate reliable blood supplies in local hospitals.
  • Pharmacists and other sources of even basic medical products may be difficult to find.
  • Aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible, taking basic medical supplies.
  • Research whether or not certain medications are legal in your destination(s).
  • Take extra supplies of any routinely-taken medicines.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • Avoid carrying medication for other travellers.
  • In the event of serious illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • Large gatherings of people can be difficult to predict or control and can lead to issues such as mob violence, arson, assault and looting.
  • The security forces may use excessive force to control events in some circumstances, posing an indiscriminate risk to anyone in the area.
  • Even without any particular violence, large demonstrations can be at risk of poor crowd control, which can lead to crushes and stampedes.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party-political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.
  • If civil unrest appears to be particularly volatile, or set to last for an extended period, try to stock up with essential items (including food, water and medicine) in case you are stuck in your accommodation or work place or other location for an extended period of time.
  • Be prepared to alter your plans at short notice and even to leave the area or even the whole country if conditions escalate. deteriorate.
  • Identify evacuation routes and safe havens in case you need to get out of harms way at short notice.
  • It is also advisable to identify the evacuation routes and fire safety procedures at your accommodation and/or work place in case you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Beware of photography at sensitive sites or during civil disturbance.

Religious or conservative attitudes

  • Exercise sensitivity in societies which place a high value on perceived morality, even if it goes against personal beliefs and values.
  • Research what local cultural practises, attitudes, values and laws you will need to be mindful of before travelling.
  • Note that some behaviours, interactions and attire may also attract unwanted attention, cause offence or trigger a hostile response.
  • Note that some subjects may be taboo so avoid discussing them with people if you think it might cause offence.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Crime

  • Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
  • Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
  • You may wish to avoid the higher risk areas, but this is not always practical.
  • As such, in higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Note that jewellery, watches, mobile phones, laptops or other items may mark you out as a potential target for petty thieves.
  • Be careful with your wallet and cash.
  • Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
  • In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.