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Ecotourism firm promotes wonders of Falease'ela

A local ecotourism firm has urged the public to consider taking up its "eco adventure tours" in Falease'ela, promising that the experience will not leave them disappointed.

Tuiafutea Orisene Va'afusuaga, who manages the local ecotourism company Lalotalie E.C.A.T. (Eco Cultural Adventure Tourism) Ventures, said people should take up the package that is on offer in Falease'ela to see their natural wonders such as waterfalls as well as participate in the coastal walk and visit mangroves. 

"We actually have sixteen waterfalls in all shapes and sizes and heights but we use fourteen of them. There are two of them down where the village is and are nice little waterfalls," Tuiafutea said in an interview with Samoa Observer. 

He said that the waterfalls are the highlight of the tour, aside from the canoe rides in the Lefaga Bay together with the coastal walks and visits to the mangrove area.

"Most of them have nice little water holes that we jump into," he said.

Tuiafutea said it is an adventure and the third waterfall has the right height for visitors to jump off safely and swim.

"We got a bit of climbing. It has a good variety of activities. There are a few that you would think are challenging," he said.

He added that safety is always first during the tours and they always have a briefing on what to expect.

"Our tour guides are wonderful. We do all the training and make sure that safety is first," he emphasised. "We have canoe rides in the Lefaga Bay. There are nice little mangrove forests to visit and we have legends to be told around the bay."

According to Tuiafutea, one of the legends in the area is "Liua le vai o Sina" which he said lies at the heart of who they are.

"We have been blessed with these rivers and these waterfalls, and we treat it as a sacred identity or site and we look after it through our conservation. So the waterfalls are there for everyone to be enjoyed," he added. "We share it and we share it with passion and love because the tour guides talk about the legends along the way."

He further reiterated that Lalotalie E.C.A.T. Ventures is looking at all the activities that ecotourism is all about.

"The true essence of eco tourism is protecting the environment. E.C.A.T. covers the culture, natural and adventure part of it," he added while appealing for Samoans to get and be adventurous.

Due to the lockdown they are currently focusing on the domestic market in a bid to encourage more people to exercise and see the wonders Samoa has to offer.

"There are amazing natural resources in Samoa to utilise and protect. So part of E.C.A.T. is a way for us to work with the village about protecting the environment," he added. 

Upon the lifting of the state of emergency [S.O.E.], are looking to expand Lalotalie E.C.A.T. Ventures to the international market.

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