Bat Island, Fiji — Let’s Go Batty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFiji is known for beautiful islands, good surfing, white sand beaches, renowned diving, but bats…huh? I was pretty tired, almost loopy, when Spaceman and I arrived in Fiji for our honeymoon, but I rebounded quickly when the resort staff asked us if we wanted to take a sunset cruise to Bat Island…um, yes please!

As I came to find out, Fijians are incredibly nice people with a quick smile and a welcoming “bula!”. We hopped into our open-air boat, just the two of us, our captain, tasty bites of food and tropical drinks in search of bats.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we hugged the shoreline of our island, we marveled at the dense tropical forest climbing the hillsides. It was beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoon a small island appeared in the middle of an alcove. The weather looked like rain was near while some large black birds floated in the breeze. Suddenly our captain began making loud, awkward yells and claps. Another Fijian tradition? No, it turns out that we were traveling with the ‘bat whisperer’ (or shouter to be more precise). His cries were the wake-up call to hundreds of these black birds which came flying out of the island trees. Only these were not birds, they were bats! The biggest bats we had ever seen. It was incredible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sheer size and number of them darkened the sky and got me calculating the angle I would need to throw myself to make it under the seat in front of me if one decided to drop in for a little bite of my blood. Sensing my distress, our captain assured us that these were fruit bats, not to worry — I still kept my collar up. It was fascinating to watch these awkward fliers and their huge wing span.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlas, the rain did start to sputter so we turned away from Bat Island and followed our route back to our resort paradise. With drinks in hand and the ‘bat whisperer’ at the helm, we were off to a great start of our honeymoon.

Details: Bat Island, Beqa Bay, Fiji