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Dive Review of Kai Viti Divers/Wananavu Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Rakiraki

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Stephanie Knott, CA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 2118
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Fiji (Yasawa, Beqa Lagoon), Australia (Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef),
Hawaii, Cook Islands, Little Cayman, Cozumel, Saba
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
76   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
45   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Guides gave you a max depth (80-100 ft) and all dives were limited to 1
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
This is perhaps the best diving we have done, including five other trips to
Fiji in the last six years.  The condition of the reefs, fish population,
and dive operation combined to give us great dives.  We highly recommend
Kai Viti and the diving in this part of Fiji.  First, Mike Trussel runs a
terrific dive operation.  He has a dive staff of three experienced Fijian
natives who provided excellent dive briefings, led the dives, and located a
variety of hidden treasures.  Second, Mike is extremely organized, easy
going, and safety-conscious.  He has two large boats; both have heads, and
apparently one (not the one we used) also has a shower.  The one we used,
the Adi Nunu, was very comfortable and could handle 16-18 divers, but in
our week of dives, there were only 4-12 divers.  There was ample covered
seating space, lots of places to stow gear, separate fresh water tubs for
masks and cameras, and dry areas for sensitive gear.  Snacks (e.g., fresh
pineapple or chocolate cake) and drinks (water and hot chocolate) were
served in between dives.  Amazingly, there was no hint of diesel fumes even
when the boat went in reverse.  We asked Mike about that and he said it is
just a matter of keeping the boat tuned up.  He is a professional.  Kai
Viti divers picked up our gear from our bure, had it waiting when we
stepped onto the boat, and rinsed and stored it between dive days.  They
returned our clean and dry gear to us in our bure on the day before our
departure.  Mike made minor repairs to our regs and rented us (at a quite
reasonable price) a dive computer when one of ours went out after the
second day.  His dive shop and boats are a three-minute walk from the

For two-tank dive days, the boat left at 8 AM and returned at either 12:30
or 1:30, depending on travel time.  There are two general dive locations
that we experienced, and both were very good.  The choice of location is up
to Mike and depends on tides and sea conditions.  The inner reef is about a
20 minute ride.  The outer reef is about an hour out.  We had great
conditions in both locations, although the outer sites generally had better
visibility.  On one dive on the inner reef (Breathtaker), we had 100-foot
visibility and saw six cruising sharks at once, along with schooling
barracuda and corals (hard and soft) in wonderful condition among many,
many fish.  The outer reef had a bit more current, but nothing extreme, and
more consistently had a wider variety of sea life.  We were fortunate to
have mild seas that varied between lake-like conditions and <1-meter
swells.  We were there during the full moon, when apparently the currents
are stronger, but despite prior reports about current, they were really not
very strong.  The exception was on one dive that was done as a drift dive,
when we were dropped off on the up-current side of a bommie and picked up
on the current-free, down-current side.  

The fish life was very good.  Clouds of anthias at the safety stops almost
obscured the reef.  We saw a few turtles, which we hadnt seen before in
Fiji.  On one dive, we requested ghost pipefish (which wed never seen),
and dive guide Bola found us one!

Wananavu Resort has been renovated and expanded this year, and a few
buildings were still being built, although we did not hear construction
noise.  We stayed in an oceanfront bure that had only recently been built. 
The room was clean, modern, and comfortable, although much smaller than
rooms at three other Fijian resorts we have been to.  It had good air
conditioning and excellent lighting (it seems that tropical resorts usually
have poor reading lights) but not much charm.  The room had a small stocked
refrigerator and the resort provided a bottle of drinking (rain) water,
which we brought to the dining room to be refilled at least twice per day. 
The bathroom, however, was very nice:  large (¼ the size of the
room), double sinks, with a big shower that had a glass wall looking out to
a small garden.  The resorts beach was constructed by removing a stretch
of mangrove swamp, building a retaining wall, and filling in sand.  Beyond
the mud flats, the snorkeling was okay but not great.  The resort has free
open-deck single and double kayaks available and kayaking was enjoyable. 
Slow internet at a single computer is available at the main building gift

The food at the resort was disappointing and relatively expensive, and the
service was patchy.  Breakfasts were very good, with eggs cooked to order
and a buffet of fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, potatoes, etc.  Lunches were
like poor cafeteria food, e.g., pizza made with ketchup instead of tomato
sauce topped with tasteless cheese, or a grilled ham, cheese, and tomato
sandwich that consisted of two dried pieces of bread with one slice of
ham, processed yellow cheese, and no tomato.  The hamburger made one of us
ill.  However, the kokoda (Fijian ceviche made with coconut milk) was very
good, and the salads were fresh (although the dressings werent very good).
 The dinner menus aspired to a bit more sophistication, with sporadic
success.  The meat was consistently overcooked, more than a couple of times
to the point of being inedible.  The Fiji Night in which food was slowly
prepared in a cooking pit, or lovo, was excellent, with a lot of unusual
Fijian and Indian dishes.  

Overall, the dive experience was excellent even if the resort was just OK. 
We highly recommend Kai Viti Divers.  
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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