Raanui tours - A family, A culture, A Way of Life
In Polynesian culture, the family structure is multi-generational and is to be understood as an enlarged entity comprised of the parents, their children, uncles & aunts, cousins, smaller cousins, grand-parents, great grand-parents ...etc. Children are cherished as the pearls of the future and all family members are bonded by values that are deeply anchored in the society and regarded as sacred. At the heart of those values is the connection to nature, the welcome and hospitality towards strangers, the strong desire to share the Tahitian way of life, expressing natural joy thru dance, chanting, music, art and community celebrations.
The Tepeva family who founded & operates Raanui Tours on the island of Bora Bora is the epitome to all of the above. They are the descendants of Teriimaevarua a Mai, the Queen of Bora Bora, whose family owned the Motu Tapu. The word Tapu in Tahitian means "private” and access to the Motu was strictly prohibited to anyone without royal permission. The Queen herself used to go there to rest and today, unless special access is granted by the Bora Bora county authorities, only the Tepeva family and the Hilton hotel are allowed on the Motu Tapu.
Raanui Tours is a small family operation that began in 1995 and is run by Natua Tepeva, the father, his wife Arieta Tepeva, their son Leo and his wife Mirna, Leo's younger brother Raanui (the name means 'God of the Sea'), Leo's girlfriend Manuura, and Kahalani who is in charge of boat cleaning and bbq at the Motu Tapu. They carry with them the royal heritage and ancestral knowledge of the land, the sea, the spirits - they are the warm and friendly faces who will take you on a tour to share in the most professional and captivating way their profound knowledge of the lagoon fauna.
The Motu Tapu Shark & Ray feeding tour is the ultimate marine life experience, upclose and personal. Get ready for a journey thru senses as you will see, touch, smell, feel, hear and even feed everything around you - With the generous gift of Natua or Leo playing & singing on the ukulele, this lagoon safari is a pure lifetime experience guaranteed!
This beautiful and happy family is a reminder that in spite of modern trends people in French Polynesia preserve their way of life, one that is in harmony with nature and deeply connected to the Mana, the vital energy or spiritual force that surrounds it's people and unifies all the islands. Tahitian Mana is felt from the moment you set foot on the tarmac, and the legendary welcome you are guaranteed to receive throughout your stay will feel like your time in this enchanting place was just simply too short.