Parrots & Sharks in Tonga

Monday, 13 January 2014

Fafa red shining parrot 271

I’m still waiting for more comprehensive news on Ha’apai, the last stop on my recent Tonga visit and the island group hardest hit by Cyclone Ian. The cyclone turned up just after we left.

◄ The koki or red shining parrot is supposedly found only on ‘Eua and in fact originates from Fiji. This one’s on Fafa Island, just offshore from Nuku’alofa. The Fafa Island Resort was our first stop in Tonga and the island’s red shining parrots arrived from a defunct bird sanctuary on the main island, Tongatapu. They hang around the old aviary because food is provided there, but in fact they’re quite free to come and go and very happy to pose for close up portraits by visiting photographers.





Fafa black tip reef shark 271

I encountered some slightly larger sharks while scuba diving at Ha’apai a week later, but my first Tongan shark encounter took place in ankle deep water on my first morning at Fafa. A little school of baby black tip reef sharks was busy chasing smaller fish just a few steps from the beach. ►