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Dive Review of Reef Safaris/Wananavu in
Fiji and Tuvalu

July, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Wayne Joseph, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6294
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
[Unspecified]
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
76   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Comments
Because the boats were small, there wasn't a lot of room for cameras, but
they did their best to accommodate us.  They tried to keep the cameras
separated from the divers.  I would think this will improve with larger
boats.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  
Snorkeling
2 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Just returned from a  10 night stay at Wananavu Resort in Fiji.  We were
there 3 yrs ago & there have been a few changes.  Ben & Rachel are
now the resort managers.  Theres a new chef.  And a new dive operation
that started on June 1.
Ben & Rachel have made some good improvements, not the least is the
chef.  The food is much improved.  We were on the meal plan.  For breakfast
you could have a buffet continental breakfast AND order a hot dish (eggs,
pancakes, or French toast).  There is a daily food menu for lunch &
dinner that is the same every day, except  the curry dish changes daily. 
There is a specials menu that differs for lunch & dinner.  This menu
always had a choice of a meat, fresh fish, or vegetarian dish; soup, &
desserts.  They had a special lovo night, an Indian night, & a
Mongolian barbeque night which allowed us to pick our choices of meat
(lamb, pork, beef, chicken), calamari,  veggies, and spices; give it to the
chef and he would grill it in front of you.  It was like a stir fry on a
grill.  The recipes were great; just the right amount of spices.
The resort has been spruced up with new paint & the grounds are
always immaculate.
There were quite a few families there with young children and the resort
has more activities than 3 yrs ago.
Wananavu has entered a contract with Reef Safaris to provide the dive
services.  I think they are going to call it Dive Wananavu.  This company
has 11 other locations in Fiji.  Jeremy & Kristen, the managers, had to
start from the ground up.  A new dive center was built closer to the boats
& its very organized. There are benches with charging stations &
areas to hang up equipment. 
They hired Jioji (who used to work for Kai Viti Divers) to help manage and
train the crew.  He was great whenever he led the dives as he could find a
lot of interesting critters.  Jim & Ken were also great at finding 
things. They will take your gear, rinse it, & hang it to dry after
every dive. We saw a leopard shark and other reef sharks, turtles,
dolphins, squid, and various nudibranchs.  We did see 2 lionfish (fewer
than our last visit).  They must have all moved to the Caribbean.
They had only 2 small boats (that could take 6 divers each) to use as this
is what remained after the last dive company left.  I was skeptical at
first, but the dive personnel were trained well to  provide a safe &
professional dive trip.  There was a first aid kit, oxygen, & life
jackets on board and snacks & water were also provided.  The boats
& crew did surprisingly well considering how choppy the water was at
times.  They  couldnt do enough for us. A diver accidently dropped her
small video camera overboard during our surface interval.  One of the
guides put on his gear, jumped overboard, & found the camera after
about 15 min. looking in water with about 10ft. visibility.  I have no idea
how he found it. 
At first I was disappointed because they werent able to take us to the
Bligh Water as the boats were too small & the water was too rough.  But
that was OK because they took us to dive sites with great soft corals;
Dream Maker, Golden Dreams, Golden Crown,  that we didnt do the last time
we stayed here. I advise anyone who goes diving in Fiji to bring an UW
light to be able to see the wonderful colors of these corals.
At the end of our stay, they obtained a larger boat that could take 9
divers out to the passage.  The other divers who went told us it was a
great trip & the boat did well.  Two larger boats that can take 12-16
divers are in the process of being readied.  
It seems to me that a good foundation is being set to provide a more stable
& responsible dive service for the guests at Wananavu.  We cant wait
to return in 2 yrs
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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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