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Dive Review of Mad Fish Dive Center/Matava Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Matava, Kadavu Island

Mad Fish Dive Center/Matava Resort, Nov, 2009,

by Debbie Pasich, CA, usa (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5271.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Diving:
Matava’s newest dive boat delivered just the week prior to our arrival, is capable of accommodating approximately 14 divers. We were pretty comfortable with 10 divers plus the dive master, crew and boat captain. Dive sites were anywhere from a 10 minute to 30 minute ride and surface intervals were done either in the calmer waters inside the reef or on shore. (The new boat has overhead canvas bins for dry storage but none of their dive boats have marine heads nor provisions for large camera equipment.) Outside the reef there was always an ocean swell (between 2-3 ft). Inside the reef was calm but because the weather was unseasonably windy we usually had some surface chop. The Astrolabe Reef provides an incredible display of healthy, colorful hard corals and the diving was excellent. During our 1 week visit we dove “Manta Reef” twice and as the name implies – it delivered. We dove with no less than 10 Manta’s total. “Eagle’s Rock” was a great shark dive: 20 to 30+ white tip, black tip and gray reef sharks of various sizes schooling together in the reef inlet. “Japanese Gardens” had a beautiful assortment of soft corals and “Cabbage Patch” should not be missed. During the week in addition to the manta rays and sharks (and probably the largest variety of butterfly fish we’ve ever seen) of note we saw a dolphin, a napoleon wrasse, a sea snake, several lion fish, octopus, turtles, giant clams, eels, clown fish and stunning nudibranchs. The dive staff did a great job of understanding the needs of the guests and DM’s Masau and Ta were informative and fun to dive with. During briefings we were given dive profiles but for the most part we were able to dive our computers. Every day the dive staff took care of setting up our gear as well as rinsing and hanging our suits at the end of the day. In a nutshell, great diving and an excellent dive staff made for some terrific memories.

The resort:
With traditional thatched bure’s tucked into the mountain side of Kadavu Island, the resort is a beautiful place to get away from it all. The newest (honeymoon) bure at the top of the hill (94 stairs of various sizes to climb) has an absolutely spectacular view! It’s an eco-resort and a majority of the power is supplied by solar so leave your hair dryer at home. The hot water is solar but for cloudy days they have back up propane tanks for hot showers. The bure’s are cleaned daily and the sheets and towels are changed every 2-3 days (all laundry is done by hand). To keep the pests at bay they provide mosquito nets over the beds and mosquito coils for the bures. The combination seems to work pretty well. Maggie, the resort host/hostess has a unique style of hospitality that is entertaining and he makes sure that you feel welcome and have need of nothing. The staff is Fijian and they were always ready with a big smile. They have a small area in the main bure for charging batteries from 9am – 5pm daily. My one recommendation would be that you bring your own water bottle (for use in your bure and on the boat).
Kayaks are available for use at no charge and if you’re up to a 50-60 minute (one-way) hike there is a Fijian Village, School and beautiful waterfall that is well worth the effort.

The food:
3 meals per day, breakfast was comprised of fresh fruit, toast and eggs. In addition to these some days they had homemade breakfast rolls, French toast or banana pancakes. All of their homemade breads were terrific. Lunches were varied and dinners ranged from satisfactory to quite good with excellent flavors. Soups were extraordinary! (I believe one of the more disappointing meals was simply the result of a late supply ship to the island.) When you arrive you are asked about dietary restrictions/requirements. This close to New Zealand you will likely be served lamb for at least one dinner – let them know in advance if you would prefer something else. They seemed to accommodate the vegetarian’s quite well. Instant coffee, tea and cocoa are available from 6am – 11pm daily.
Websites Matava Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caymans (all 3), Cozumel, Roatan, Dominica, Belize, Bonaire, San Diego
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 75-77°F / 24-25°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-150 Ft/ 18-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Were desire given depth and time for dives but permitted to dive computer with buddy.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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