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Dive Review of Tiliva Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

Tiliva Resort, Jun, 2006,

by Mike Binnard, CA, USA . Report 2522.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Bermuda, Maldives, Palau, Kona
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Divemaster set max time before starting ascent.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Rinse bucket on boat. No camera table.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Flying on Sun Air was somewhat of an adventure, but they got us where we needed to be.

Landing on Kadavu and then walking down the beach to the waiting boat is fun. It's amazing how isolated the villages and resorts are on Kadavu. The whole island is really unspoiled. Tiliva resort is a beautiful place. The resort is so well landscaped and arranged that you can never see all the buildings from one place. Our kids had a blast running around on all the little paths between bures and "the big house" where we ate. It was really nice being in a place where the kids could run around and play at the beach unsupervised. It's not like home where we have to worry about cars or kidnappers...

Kemu and Barbara were clearly unused to hosting small children (our kids are 4 and 2.5), but they tried very hard to accomodate our requirements. They are both friendly, and try very hard to make everyone happy. The food was good and plentiful, although every breakfast is the same, and most of the other meals included beef and potatoes. Fish dinner one night was excellent.

We dove three days at Tiliva. The divemaster, Siwa, doesn't use a computer, doesn't talk very much, and doesn't point stuff out underwater. He set a max depth and bottom time for each dive. Most of the time he stayed deeper than we were, and spent more time at depth than our computers would have allowed. We mostly set our own profiles. Siwa told us when to start ascending. Many dives we finished with 800 psi. Most of the rental equipment was OK, although one of us had a BCD with a sticky power inflator. Most dives had no current, although one drift dive with Siwa + 8 divers got pretty disorganized.

The first day we went diving the boat handling was poor. We surfaced after both dives several hundred yards from the boat. Siwa had a safety sausage, but no whistle. I used my Dive Alert air horn to signal the boat. After the second dive, the boat driver drove right through the group of divers, hitting one woman on the head. They were quite careless about having the propeller in gear with divers in the water. After that day, several divers complained to Barbara. On all the following days they had the right person driving the boat, and everything was much safer and better organized. The boat is covered, has a big cabin forward, and one rinse bucket for cameras. They carry a second outboard motor as backup.

Diving inside the reef is OK, but "not like Fiji should be". 90% of the coral is dead. Some fish, and usually something interesting to see, but pretty disappointing compared to our expectations. On the outside of the reef, it's completely different. Tons of hard coral, and it's all alive. Fun and interesting coral formations in many places. Some soft coral, but not very much. Some dives had lots of medium-sized fish. Some dives had very few fish. It seemed like there aren't known and charted dive sites; it's just a matter of driving the boat out to the reef and picking a spot. Compared to the wall dives in Palau (in 2001), this was way better hard coral, fewer and smaller fish, less soft coral, essentially no current, and much less "Ohmigod" excitement.

Whether or not the dive boat can go outside the reef depends on weather and tides. You want to be there when high tide is between noon and 4PM, and when the winds are calm. We had only 1 bummer day inside the reef. The other 4 guests at the resort had about 5 disappointing days. But we were all happy with the outside-the-reef dives.

The local hike to the waterfall was fun. The highlight were the two 8 year old local boys who took charge of our kids. One of the 8 year olds carried Wyatt (age 2.5) down all the steep and slippery stuff. It was fun to watch, but it makes Mom nervous...

In all, Tiliva was a great place. They could benefit from a better dive staff, but that's very difficult for them because their only source of labor is the neighboring village. We had a good time diving, but you need to be prepared (with locating equipment, your own computer, and the right attitude) to take care of yourself.

On our departure day, the day-room at Tokatoka was completely perfect. I wouldn't want to spend my whole Fiji vacation at that place, and their food was lousy. For an afternoon before the big plane trip, though, it had everything we needed: showers, a great pool, froofy drinks with umbrellas, a massage spa, and a bed to take a nap. We had a good dinner at Ed's bar with lots of interesting locals to watch.
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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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