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Dive Review of Beqa Lagoon Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Beqa Island

Beqa Lagoon Resort: "Great Bucket List Dive Trip - Long Hard Travel", Nov, 2019,

by Randolph G. Smith, TX, US ( 1 report). Report 11215.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

11 ft. Tiger Bull Shark 15 ft.Tiger
Shepherd's Hook
School Kids

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Beqa Island is about 14 miles from the main island of Fiji. The island contains 9 small villages with a local population of around 3000. The island is a verdant tropical paradise. The all inclusive resort accommodates about 36-40 guests and primarily caters to divers although there were other activities for non-divers including hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, boat and island tours. There were day time activities of arts and crafts and education presentations such as the various uses of coconuts and coconut trees. There was nightly entertainment of fire walkers, fire dancers and musical entertainment. We were treated with choir presentations with singers ranging in age from young children to old men and women singing traditional Fijian music. Such great harmonies and such inspiration to see the young and old harmonizing together. We also went to the local school (grades 1st through 8th) and brought some school supplies for the children. We were entertained by the children singing Fijian music as well as some English renditions of songs such as "Old McDonald". It seemed everyone on the island had good voices and many played a musical instrument. I suspect that there was a local law requiring anyone living on the island to be a singer - or get kicked off the island. We stayed in a water front bure ( pronounced bur-ray). It was a good size with a king and queen bed as well a large couch and easy chair. There was a moderate sized bathroom with a shower and hot water. Each bure had it own circulating plunge pool and was quite private as the bures were separated from each other by which vegetation. Don't report me, but I found the plunge pool to be too convenient to rinse my wet suite, dive skin and dive gear.
We were told that the resort employs 106 people including cooks, waiters, gardeners, mechanical - repair folks, receptionists, accountants and most importantly dive staff. All of the staff were very friendly and went out of their way to make our visit enjoyable. The common greeting was "bulla" which means hello, welcome or hell yes. So every time we passed by staff we were greeted with "bulla bulla". It reminded me of the Texas A&M campus greeting "howdy howdy".
The food was good. The breakfast usually was eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, beans, rice thing, various pastries, cereal and occasional pancakes. Coffee and juice were served at breakfast. The lunches were very good - better than breakfast (I don't have a very high opinion of eggs as a food item). The dinners were very good with a selection of either beef, chicken or vegetarian. The highlight of the kitchen was the chef who prepared gourmet desserts - most excellent.
Anyone (especially a diver) looking for an all inclusive Fijian vacation I could highly recommend Beqa Lagoon Resort. (Beqa pronounced Benga)
Other than diving Hawaii this has been the only diving I've done in the Pacific, so I have no direct comparison to other Pacific locations such as Indonesia. I must say the diving was fantastic. Although I was warned that the water might be quite cold I found that was not the case. The water temp ranged between 78-81 F. - a little colder than the Caribbean but I found a 3mm long john was adequate. Daily land temperatures were in the low to mid 70's which was somewhat cooler than I would prefer.It usually rained some during the night and early morning and was somewhat overcast during the morning with the sun coming out in the afternoon. We were told that the weather pattern was somewhat unusual for July and that our week had more rain and overcast days than usual. The corals were so much more abundant and fish so much more numerous than the Carribean diving I've done. For the most part the corals were healthy. Every dive there were so many new fish and other creatures that I had never before seen. So many colorful fish and corals. There was a moderate current at most of the dive sites (10 - 40 min boat rides) but the visibility was generally good. The more shallow the dive sites seemed to have less visibility due to the water being stirred up. The routine was 1 morning boat ride to 2 sites (2 tank morning dive). There was shore diving available from the resort (shallow, less visibility). Night dives were also offered. The boats generally had 16-20 divers which were divided in 2 groups with one dive master for each group. This was more crowded than I prefer but I can't complain about the dive sites. The dive staff was generally good about getting divers off and on the boats. They generally didn't herd over the divers with the exception of a diver or two that seemed to be having some difficulty. My one complaint is that the dive gear stayed in individual boxes on the boat and never got rinsed except at the end of the trip when the divers were in charge of cleaning their gear.
This has got to be the coolest and most unique dive experience. Apparently the Beqa divers have been doing this dive for years. I must say the head shark wrangler (Aaron, an Australian and the only non-Fijian shark wrangler) gave us a very thorough dive briefing including no flash photography as it might "piss off the sharks" and when we signal it's time to go means "get the !#!# out - doesn't mean stay and take more photos". The guest divers are set in a kneeling position at about 70 feet behind 2-3 ft. tall wall constructed of coral & stone which runs a length to accommodate up tp 20 divers. There is a drop of about 5-6 feet in front of the wall onto a relatively flat plain (known by the dive staff as "the arena") which extends forward about 60 ft. until there is a drop off into the abyss - about a 1000 ft. deep. About 4 ft. in front of the coral wall is a mini dumpster about 6 ft. long and 3 ft. wide in which the shark wranglers have placed multiple fish heads which are offered to the tiger sharks. The shark dive starts with the shark wranglers bringing down fish chum in several nets and a 55 gallon garbage can into "the arena" about 15 feet in front of the mini dumpster. This immediately attracts hoards of reef fish so thick you can barely see through them as well as a 400 lb. monster grouper. Next come 6 to 9 ft.bull sharks, lemon sharks and big nurse sharks. The next are the celebrities, the tiger sharks. On the 4 sharks dives I did there were 2 tigers (11 ft. and 15 ft.) on each dive. The tigers are the only sharks that are hand fed fish heads from the mini dumpster. The other sharks will stay clear of the tigers. Aaron said they have had as may as 13 tiger sharks on one dive. They consider aborting the dive if there are 10 or more tigers. In addition to Aaron, who hand fed the fish heads to the tigers , there were about 8 Fijian shark wranglers.. There would be about 3 0r 4 shark wranglers in "the arena". The rest of the shark wranglers were set up behind the guest divers on the coral wall with 5 ft. metal shepherd's hook poles (which all the wranglers had) to push away any sharks that came too close to the guest divers. There were times I had a shark wrangler behind me with a shepherd's hook on both my sides. We guest divers were glad to have them behind us and crawl over our backs to push a tiger or bull away. God bless em'. they made us feel safe. Must admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about this shark diving thing but when I got down there and became entrance in the action the fear somehow subsided. Of course, it's not the action you're watching that will get you - it's what you don't see. As an additional note my last 2 shark dives were Aaron's last dives as a shark wrangler. Aaron had been a shark wrangler for over 10 years. He is returning to his wife in Australia to work in a low stress job (fire fighter).
Websites Beqa Lagoon Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Guanaja, Utila Honduras - Grand, Brac, Little Cayman - Cozumel, Akumal, Cancun, Costa Maya, Banco Chinchorro Mexico - Ambergris Caye, Turneffe Island, Glovers Atoll, Placentia Belize -
Dominica - Abaco Bahamas - Bonaire - Manatee dive Florida
Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island Hawaii -

Closest Airport Nadi Getting There Austin to Sacramento to LAX to Nadi (pronounced Nandi - 11 hr. flight) then 2 hr. bus ride to marina (included 30 min shopping stop) Then 1 hr. boat ride to Beqa Lagoon Resort. From the time we left our home in Austin till we arrived at the resort was about 40 hrs and 40 hrs. on the return trip. This included quite a bit of time waiting in airports and the marina.
Although it was worth it in the end I have to admit the travel was a bitch.

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 70-90 Ft/ 21-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions When signaled to leave shark dive don't hang around for more photos
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments All the camera setups were crammed into a moderate size water filled container on the boat. Very inadequate for the number of cameras. Rinse tank for cameras at dive shop was somewhat larger and most photographers gave one quick rinse so was not as precarious as on the boat.
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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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