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Dive Review of Ra Divers/Wananavu Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Viti Levu

Ra Divers/Wananavu Beach Resort, May, 2009,

by Gene Huff, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 5117.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Fiji, Christmas Island, Indonesia, Socorros, Hawaii, numerous Caribbean, California, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 79 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco. Other than that once the DMs saw that you knew what you were doing they let you do your own dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Dedicated tub on boat. No dedicated area on shore so camera work was done in the room.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments As reported, Ra Divers is the dive operation for Wananavu. Kai Viti (Crystal Divers) went out of business the week we were there in May. We had booked with Kai Viti and were skeptical of Ra, but they did a good job for our group of 10.

Wananavu is a beautiful resort with three levels of accomodations. Our group stayed in ocean view bures and they seemed to be the best value. The bures are lovely, well-kept and spacious with a small table and chairs, large bathroom and mini frig. The deck also had a small table and two chairs. There was enough room for 10 to easily gather for cocktails before dinner. The dining area has both indoor and outdoor seating, with small tables that they moved to accomodate groups. Breakfast was continental buffet with the option to order hot food off the menu. Lunch and dinner were off a changing menu except for a couple of nights served buffet style. All the meals were above average with some dishes being oustanding. A local band sang and performed nightly. There is a small bar and beers were around $5 and wine $25 and up. A mixed drink special is offered every night. The resort has a very nice pool, swimming beach, kayaks, tennis court and spa. Ben and Rachel, the managers, and all the staff were very nice and quickly learned everyone's names and tastes.

There were a mix of divers and non-divers at the resort. Wananavu bills itself as a resort catering to vacationers looking to get away from it all in style and it certainly delivered in that regard. It is not a hard-core divers resort though so it would be great for those traveling with non-divers or casual divers. They offer lots of activities with at least one excursion every day. Evaloni, the man in charge of the activity center, can clue you in on all there is too do. When we were there they had a trip to the local pearl oyster farm where people snapped up raw pearls and jewelry at bargain prices.

Ra divers was getting a new boat the week we left, so those going now will get a luxury we didn't have. The boats we used were OK, but looking well past their prime. Our captain and DM Bob and guides Jimmy, Nitesh and Solo all did a great job, managing the group in currents and letting us do our own thing on bommie dives. There was a mix of skill levels in our group and they managed to keep everyone happy and safe, with only one "eventful" dive when the currents were ripping a lot faster than anyone expected.

The dives out in the pass were outstanding, with great visibility, lots of colorful soft corals, sharks and other big current critters, and large schools fish, much like Somosomo. We only got out about half the time though due to wind chop. Inside the visibility was not so good when we were there and a lot of the color was lost. I'd compare it to Beqa. Still some nice dives, but not quite the visibility we had hoped for. The corals are in great shape though and no one got bored on any dive.

Shore diving is available at no charge, and several times either Ra or the resort motored us out a ways and let us do a one-way back in. The reef near the resort is somewhat silted so visiblity was poor, 10 feet or so at the very worst and mostly 20 to 30. It does offer lots of small stuff though and I did seven shore dives the week we were there, including three night shore dives. I'd strongly recommend a night shore dive as we spotted lots of lobsters, rays, crabs, a seasnake, and an assortment of juvenile fishes including about a dozen many-spotted sweetlips.

If you are looking for a beautiful, classy Fijian resort to use as a base for diving the Bligh waters, Wananavu would be hard to beat, especially if you have non-divers or folks interested in a mix of diving and other activites. It may not be the best value for the eat-sleep-dive crowd. I'd go back over Beqa but probably not over Taveuni.
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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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