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

Ra Divers/Volivoli Beach Resort, Apr, 2011,

by Cindy Edgerton, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 6346.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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