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Dive Review of Tiliva Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Jan Arabas, MA, USA
Report Number 1172
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Diving:Hawaii (Kuaii and the big island), Bonaire, Roatan, British Virgin
Snorkling: Curacao, Eluethra, St. Lucia, St. John, USVI
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
74   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Our dive master tailored our dives according to our wishes and what was
safe given tides and currents.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Diving on Kandavu is an amazing experience-the island is a short flight
from Viti Levu but a world away. Emerald green mountains rise up out of the
sea--there are no roads and at night no artificial lights on neighboring
hills. Everyone gets around by boat and lives in sync with the rhythym of
sunrise and sunset and the tides.

We stayed at Tiliva Resort on the far eastern tip of Kadavu- a 15 minute
boat ride from the Astrolabe Reef. The Astrolabe is incredible- luxurious,
healthy coral encrusting every surface as far as the eye can see. A
beautiful mix of soft and hard corals, sea squirts, crinoids, anemones and
sponges and tons of fish made for a dizzing experience on every dive- I
didn't know where to look. Some highlights included White tip, and Grey
Reef sharks on every dive, turtles almost every time, a curious 3 foot long
Remora that followed us for an entire dive and the largest Moray Eel we
have ever seen- it's head was a big as mine and it must have been at least
6 feet long. This was our first trip to Fiji, so we loved meeting Blue
Ribbon Eels, Lionfish, enormous groupers- one at least 5 feet tail to tip,
schools of barracuda and trevally, and pretty blue and gold Fusilers, Giant
Clams everywhere, lots of unusual, brightly colored Nudibranchs, and clouds
of purple and gold Anthias. Some other unusual fish ( for us) included
Blackfin Dartfish, the many lovely butterfly and banner fish ( I loved the
Pennant and Regal varieties), Bumphead Parrotfish, and Tobies- a variety of
pufferfish. I couldn't get enough of the many different anemone fish, which
cuddled coyly amungst the anemone tentacles or charged bravely out to
confront us if we hovered close by. There were also many wrasses, damsels,
angels, surgeons, trout, snappers, parrotfish, filefish, groupers and
hinds, cleaning stations, picasso and triggerfish, six kinds of star fish,
brittle stars, cowries, scallops, oysters- I could go on and on.

The dive sites are so pristine that many don't have names. Our favorite
places were the north and south side of Naigoro Pass and Alacrity Rocks.
The pass is a drift dive and exactly where we began and ended depended on
the current. Alacrity Rocks offers many beautiful swim throughs encrusted
with delicate lace corals in soft, glowing blues, purples, yellows and

Tiliva's dive master, Filipe O'Connor, is the best dive master we have ever
had. He tailored each dive to meet our wishes, and at the same time gave us
a very safe and enjoyable experience. For our first three days we were the
only divers and enjoyed complete freedom to dive when and where we wished
(given tides and currents). Most of the time we just followed Filipe
because he knows how to find the good stuff- like a hole in the rock with
two fairy and three bumblebee shrimp or a coral head with eight different
colors of soft coral. At the end of our week two other divers joined us on
the well- equipted boat (oxygen, first aid kit, radio phones, etc.). We
never saw another dive boat the entire week- we had the entire reef to
ourselves.  Surface intervals were on a lovely, pristine beach with fresh
tropical fruit. I found two large and undamaged Chambered Nautilus shells
washed up on the beach our first day. While the boat we used was
comfortable and safe- entry by back roll- the resort is about to take
delivery of a brand new, custom designed boat with platforms.

Tiliva Resort is a wonder. The owners, Kemu and Barbara, will do anything
to make you happy and comfortable. The 5 bures are airy and comfortable,
with queen beds, giant showers, lovely tile floors and breezy covered
porches offering comfortable chairs perched in the tree tops. Meals are
taken in the main house on a lovely porch for breakfast and lunch and
inside for dinner. Plentiful food ranged from very good to outstanding.
Breakfast always included fresh fruit and juice, cereal, a hot entree
(eggs, sausages, crepes, Johnie Cakes) coffee, tea and toast. Lunch
featured a lovely fresh mixed salad and hot dish. Dinner included steak,
seafood and one night a whole roast pig and stuffed roasted chickens. My
favorites included a kind of Fijian cerviche- out of this world- fresh red
snapper, a fantastic stir fry and amazing chocolate cake.  

Besides diving you can relax on the beautiful beach with a view to magestic
Ono Island, paddle the kayaks to visit deserted neighboring beaches, hire a
boatman to take you out snorkeling, take a guided walk to a waterfall or to
see the irridescent red, green and blue Kadavu Monk Parrot or have a guided
tour of medicinal plants with the local medicine man. In the evenings,
there are games in the main house or Kemu will mix you a drink or serve you
a cold Fiji bitter and talk about life. We made fast friends with the New
Zealanders who were also staying at the resort and enjoyed long talks about
life, many hands of cards and lots of joke trading sessions.

A highlight of our trip was a visit to the neighboring village. First
Filipe escorted us to the school where the young students shared stories
and songs with us.  Later Kemu, who was born in the village, accompanied us
to a traditional Kava ceremony with wonderful singing. We felt like family
rather than tourists.

There are some things to know before you go- there are no TV's, telephones
in the rooms, shopping centers or nightclubs. If you need crowds, noise,
high- tech amusements, etc. you probubly won't be happy at Tiliva. I would
go back in an instant. There is so much reef to see and many more wonderful
conversations to have with Filipe, Barbara and Kemu.
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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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