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Dive Review of Tiliva Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

December, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Cres Van Keulen, CA, USA
Report Number 1524
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Costa Rica, Thailand, Hawaii, Catalina, Belize, Honduras
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Surfaced after 45 minutes because of consistent short-tanking.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Nothing provided for cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
2 stars    
We greatly looked forward to diving the Great Astrolabe Reef but our
excitement quickly dissipated into disappointment after a few dives. The
sun was shining, the water was warm, but where were the fish? And where was
the coral? Everything was gray and lifeless. After several days of diving -
it got to the point where we'd get excited at seeing a big sea cucumber -
Felipe the dive master finally admitted that a big cyclone knocked the
socks off the area about two years ago. Finally - an explanation for all
the dead coral and silt!  To be fair, we did see a couple of green turtles
when we were told we were unlikely to see any because they are a local food
source; 2 small white tip sharks; good-sized Napolean wrasse; a lionfish
that gave us an extended hover display; and a Giant green moray eel - just
huge! But the bum must have eaten all the fish because there were so few of
the usual trumpetfish, triggerfish, spotted drum, etc... Although I had
researched diving in Fiji, I then realized the Lonely Planet book
"Diving & Snorkeling Fiji" is seriously out-of-date. Lesson
#1, check recent weather history. Lesson #2, are the resort owners
themselves divers? Kemu & Barbara Yabaki are not. Pleasant as Barbara
was to deal with via email (we only met briefly as they were on their way
to England for Christmas on the same plane we came in on) - and I am sure
they are honest people - no way should Tiliva Resort be promoted as a dive
resort. The diving just isn't there! I suspect they have been relying on
Felipe, who reputedly has over 6,000 dives, mostly with Dive Kadavu. After
8 dives with Felipe, our feeling was that he is burnt out and just going
through the motions. Several times we were shocked when he carelessly
kicked live coral or otherwise violated what we thought to be common dive
protocols. The first dive he changed the dive departure time but failed to
tell us, leaving us waiting for him on the beach. After about 45 minutes we
tracked him down for a lame excuse. He short-tanked us the first three days
until we complained. The excuse was the compressor gauge did not work
properly but somehow the tanks were full the last day. Even then he tried
to surface after 45 minutes but I pointed to my gauge reading of 1000 PSI
or more, and continued on. Believe it or not, the new "dive" boat
has no tank holders and such a tiny platform I often chose to backroll.
Tanks are just laid flat on the floor to roll around so we had to take
extra care of our computers. There are no camera facilities - nor much to
shoot anyway. The bures are pretty new, and very nice. The
"girls," as they call the cook and staff, could not be nicer and
did everything they could to make your stay pleasant. The village visit
with kava ceremony was a great experience, not at all commercial as they
get very few visitors. Our gifts for the children - yo-yo's, pens &
candy canes - were very well-received. We attended church on Sunday morning
and it was a wonderful experience, highly recommended. It is interesting to
see how people live such a simple life without electricity or TV. One man I
spoke with had never heard of 9-11. Tiliva breakfast was great, lunch was
very good, but dinner reflected Kemu's 40 years in the British Army - very
meal & potates. But the great thing about food in Fiji is the
availability of fresh fruit & vegetables everywhere; unlike my
experience in Roatan, in Fiji hardly anything came from a can. On our way
back to the airport - about 90 minutes by boat - we stopped at Dive Kadavu
Resort and spoke with the owner. Dive Kadavu is  very near the airport.
They dive the Northeast side of the island, and have a boat on the
Southeast side as well, where they only dive the very southern tip of
Astrolabe. He claimed much better diving conditions on his end of the
island with plenty of coral and critters, so maybe this was just a case of
Right Island, Wrong Side but in any case we will not be returning to Tiliva
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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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