Best time to visit Fiji

Rising of the Balolo in Fiji 2024

A great occasion to wake up in the middle of the night and catch a marine delicacy

Best time: October–November

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One unusual thing for us but not for Fijians is the harvest of the reef, more precisely catching the balolo worm. Balolo is a local delicacy which deserves to be called the caviar of the Pacific. With joy and excitement, locals "hunt" for edible sea worms which rise in millions to the surface in October or November, on the eighth day after the full moon, for the purpose of reproducing. These worms can be hunted in several locations in Vanua Levu, Yasawas, Mamanucas, Vatulele, Kadavu, Lomaiviti, Taveuni, and more.

Due to its nature, this kind of edible worm spends most of its time in deep holes of coral reefs. The balolo consists of a mass of green threads. At dawn, they rise to the surface covering it with a dense wriggling mass. After that, the Fijians paddle around in their canoes and scoop them up into baskets. The balolo worm is a true delicacy in Fiji. Locals cook it in different ways: in leaves in the native oven, by boiling or by making it into soup, and even eat it raw. They are so fond of these sea worms that they have even named one Fijian month after it.

Practical info

When do balolo worms come to the surface in Fiji?

During the mating season, on the eighth day following the full moon of October or November, the balolo worm will appear in Fiji. This annual occurrence is highly esteemed by the people of Fiji, and they have a long tradition of catering these worms. The balolo worms are a vital element of Fiji's culture. Show more

Where are the ideal areas for balolo worm hunting in Fiji?

Balolo worm hunting is possible in many regions of Fiji, such as Vanua Levu, Yasawas, Mamanucas, Vatulele, Kadavu, Lomaiviti, Taveuni, and more. However, the ideal location for hunting balolo worms often changes depending on weather conditions and the season. To obtain the best hunting spot information, it is recommended that you ask locals. Show more

What are the different Fijian balolo worm dishes?

Fijian cuisine has several balolo worm recipes, including baking the worms in leaves in an indigenous oven, boiling them, creating soup, or consuming them raw. The balolo worm is esteemed as a delicacy, and its consumption is a significant part of Fiji's food culture. Balolo worm soup is a prevalent Fijian dish, well-known for containing high nutritious value and being extremely tasty. Show more

Why do the people of Fiji have a preference for balolo worms?

For centuries, the Fijians have caught and ingested balolo worms for their cultural relevance and nutritional value. In fact, one of their months is named after these sea worms. The ascension of the balolo worm is a rare natural event in Fiji, and the locals cherish it. Capturing and cooking the balolo worms is a crucial custom in Fijian culture. Show more

Is balolo worm hunting in Fiji an activity available to tourists?

Tourists are encouraged to participate in balolo worm hunting in Fiji. However, you should go with a local guide familiar with the traditional methods of hunting and the appropriate locations. This experience is both fun and informative, offering an exceptional view of Fijian food and culture. Nonetheless, while taking part in this activity, please remember to observe Fiji's customs and traditions. Show more

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