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Dive Review of Matava Eco Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

Matava Eco Resort: "Matava Eco Resort, Kadavu, Fiji", Jan, 2015,

by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8108.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments It took 30 hours from the time we left our house until we arrived at Matava Eco Resort. Was it worth it? My initial impressions of the resort were not that favorable, but it grew on me. The flight from Nadi to Kadavu was in a twin Otter DeHaviland and was very cool. Two female pilots; a first. Afterwards, however, the boat ride to the resort was horrible: one hour over rough seas in a panga with an outboard motor and no shade. I was badly sunburned and I got abrasions on my butt from bouncing on the hard wooden bench from which I was sore for the remainder of the trip. Bring sunscreen in your carry on; mine was packed away. Other guests were ferried on the dive boats in relative comfort, however, as we were on the ride back. There are no roads, both a blessing and an inconvenience.

Our bure (bungalow) was high on the hill (an energetic climb) from which we had a commanding view of the ocean. This is an "eco resort," run on solar power, which translates as few amenities. There is no fan above the bed, so it can be uncomfortably hot in the afternoon. We were told they were debating buying a generator and putting in ceiling fans, which would make a huge difference. Mosquito nets over the beds were helpful and necessary, but they further decreased the air flow. The lights are a joke: one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom, very dim and with the switches only by the front door so that you cannot turn off the light from the bed. Luckily, we brought headlamps. Shampoo was not supplied, although luckily we were able to buy the last available bottle in the small, woefully supplied “boutique.” We had a good amount of hot water, but other guests did not and one couple had no water at all and had to be relocated. The food is basic but good, and plentiful, but there is no choice of menu; you get what you get.

The diving is conducted from two aluminum boats, the larger of which has double outboards and is faster and more comfortable. Although the crew tries to be helpful and accommodating, we quickly learned that we had to be super-vigilant about every aspect of the operation. They put our regulators on the tanks upside down and took the top weights out of my integrated BCD but didn't replace them, something I failed to discover until it was too late, so I had to scrub that dive. There is also this inexplicable hurry to get everyone suited up and off the boat, usually due to surface current, but it makes for unnecessary stress and could easily lead to mishaps with less experienced divers.

Notwithstanding the above, the dive guides for the most part were attentive and the dives were all good, and a couple were exceptional. Kandavu is one of the big four dive sites in Fiji and the last of the four that we have visited (the others are Beqa, Taveuni, and Wananavu in RakiRaki), so we have a good basis for comparison. Kadavu is the most remote of the four, situated inside the Astrolabe reef, the longest in Fiji, and the coral is in very good shape, pristine in places, but so is the coral at the other sites (although a friend we met last year and dove with again this year informed us that there was a storm since we last visited Beqa and the coral there is currently damaged). The fish action was somewhat disappointing, however, and most of the coral we saw was hard coral, not the soft coral for which Fiji is so famous.

That being said, In places the hard coral was staggering in abundance and variety. The fish were there, but not in the same numbers we saw last year in Wananavu. Kadavu has the added attraction of having manta rays and we were able to see them after a long boat ride. The visibility was poor because they come to feed as well as be cleaned, so they are only present when the water is cloudy with the krill and plankton on which they feed. Still, it was worth the effort and a few of our divers had not seen mantas before so for them it was a great treat. While I say that the fish action was not as good as we’ve seen in other places on Fiji, compared to many sites throughout the world, it is impressive. We saw a sea krait, two turtles, one quite large, white tip reef sharks which came in quite close on a night dive, a hammerhead nudibranch (which I had never seen before), an interesting razorfish, lots of titan triggerfish and a Picasso triggerfish, an eagle ray (while snorkeling on the house reef), as well as tons of the usual suspects: anthias blue and orange, damselfish, butterfly fish of every imaginable variety, grouper, lionfish, anemone fish, angelfish, moray eels, etc.

Would I go back to Matava? Yes, I would. It’s isolation, while a hassle, is also a blessing. No cars, tranquility and great diving among super friendly people.
Websites Matava Eco Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Galapagos, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Islas Revillagigedo, Hawaii, Cozumel, Roatan, BVI
Closest Airport Kadavu Getting There connect through Nadi International Airport

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dives limited to 50 minutes, usually in the 60-80 feet range
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A 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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