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Dive Review of Ra Divers/Volivoli Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Vitu-I-Ra Passage/Rakiraki

April, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Cindy Edgerton, WA, US
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 6346
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Bonaire, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Back on the boat with 500 PSI/50 Bar.   
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
no 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Other than a bucket of fresh water on the boat, there were no special
accommodations for photographers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
The resort offers unlimited shore diving with their packages but the water
was very murky near shore due to runoff from rain. Dive sites near the
resort had comparatively fewer fish due to overfishing. Out in the
Vatu-I-Ra passage, there was prolific fish life, lots of sharks and larger
fish as well as small critters - but also lots of strong current. It
wouldn't be bad if you were a very strong swimmer or if they did mostly
drift dives, but the dives were often anchored. Unfortunately I had
recently had knee surgery and this made diving VERY challenging, especially
on one dive when we went down the anchor line and then over the top of a
bommie INTO a strong current. Strong currents also made photography
challenging at times as it was hard to stay still to capture the shot.

The dive sites in the Vatu-I-Ra passage are many of the same sites that the
liveaboards visit and we saw a variety of large fish, large schools of
fish, sharks, etc. The corals and soft corals were very nice. It was
definitely worth the longer trips out to the passage to get good diving.

If you are staying at Volivoli, the accommodations are very nice and the
grounds are lushly landscaped. The Studio Vales are independent buildings
and are the same price as the Vale Balavu rooms which are like a motel. The
Studio Vales are closer to the dive shop. 

Breakfast was challenging as the staff doesn't arrive via bus until 7:30
and we were supposed to be at the dive shop by 8 - but everything ran on
island time so it was OK we were a little late. When we were there (April
2011) Ra Divers were still serving as the dive operation for Wananavu so we
had to stop by there every day before heading to the reef. 

The meals at Volivoli were mostly hamburgers, stir frys, and other high-fat
and/or fried foods. Even the beef and beet salad had French fries in it.
The menu offerings became very tiresome during our 12 day stay - the resort
was started as a backpacker resort where people usually stay only a few
days so this type of menu probably wasn't a problem. But we missed the
traditional Fijian menu items like Kokoda, Lovo feasts, fresh fish, and
Fijian curries. 

This was our 8th dive trip to Fiji and we did enjoy the diving. There
wasn't much of a Fijian experience here, compared to other Fijian resorts -
no Meke dances, or other Fijian experiences.

Ra Divers were very knowledgeable and accommodating. One of the instructors
(Pola) had a brisk business certifying new divers. He seemed to have a
great dispostion for it and did a good job. Dives were generally 75-90 feet
deep often with strong currents so this isn't a great destination for
divers who aren't AOW certified. Personally, I think the diving at Taveuni,
Kadavu, and Naigani islands is better than Rakiraki area diving (mostly due
to the overfishing issue), but it was nice not to have to take an
inter-island flight and we would consider returning here someday. 
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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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