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Dive Review of Mona Cousens/Matava in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

Mona Cousens/Matava, Jul, 2009,

by Mona Cousens, CA, United States (Contributor Contributor 12 reports). Report 5155.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Matava Resort, Kadavu, Fiji

We arrived at the airport in Kadavu about 26 hours after we left our home in Santa Barbara. It was still awhile to reach the resort as we had to transfer to the boat which is an uncovered ponga style and take an hour ride on the water.

We were greeted by a smiling Fijian named Magi who has a wicked sense of humor. He very seriously told us it was an hour hike to our bure. As I walked the steps I realized that he is a jokester.... the walk was about two minutes.... thank goodness.

The bure has a lovely patio and nice comfy king size bed with mosquito netting. The room is extremely basic however as there is no power in the bure nor in the hotel for that matter. The one light is a solar power small light over the bed and at night it is very dark in there. The shower has gas powered hot water but dont stay in too long as it will run out quickly.

The main dining room has two or three tables depending on the number of guests expected. There is a tiny bar with four seats.
The dive shop is located about 30 steps away from the main room. There is a small place to hang your wetsuit and store your gear.

In the morning, the first dive is at around 8:15. The tide is so far out that you have to grab your weight belt, fins, etc and walk thru the water about 50 yards to get on. In the afternoon on your return, the tide is back in so you can disembark at the dock. They generally do two dive in the morning back to back with a surface interval on the beach, weather and tide permitting, or on the boat. We were usually back at the resort by noon to one and after a quick shower in our bure to warm up, down to lunch.

The boat is very basic. It holds maybe four divers comfortably. You gear up and do a backroll in. When done there is a good ladder to get back on.

The diving ranges from marginal to actually quite good. One of my favorite sites was the green wall. It is a series of rock ledges covered in green coral that looks like moss or grass.... it is really spectacular as it emulates the island scenery. The “grass” was full of nudibranchs.

Another favorite spot was eagle rock. Also rocky ledges with coral covered over them. On jumping in saw a small school of barracuda, maybe 20 fish. Also we saw a small school of grey reef sharks, about 8.

The golden chimney is another good dive with a wall covered with yellow soft coral reaching up from the depths all the way to the surface.

They have a season for mantas here but we must have just missed them. The weather had turned very cold for Fiji... in the low 70’s topside and 72-76 underwater. The surface interval was cold as we had no sun and it was windy. The owner of the resort, Richard said that the air was coming down from New Zealand who was having unheard of snow in the city. this caused us to have the coldest temperatures he has seen in the seven years he has owned the resort. Any of the staff who were lucky enough to have them were wearing gortex. I had light sweaters and was wearing everything I had to
stay warm.

In the afternoon, you could take a third dive if wanted (not included in your package), take a walk to a local village and waterfall, do a walk with a local medicine man, kayak, snorkel in the lagoon, or just lay in the hammock and do nothing.

The evening meal is at 7:30 with cocktail hour starting from six onward.

The food is basic but usually quite good. There is nothing other than tea and coffee between meals so if you are a snack lover, bring your own. they do have cookies on the dive boat, however, for the surface interval.

All in all, as the week wore on and the sun came out and the weather warmed up, I grew to like this island.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Solomon, Komodo, Sulawesi, Thailand, Borneo, etc, etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 72-78°F / 22-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We went with a guide. Fairly relaxed profile policy.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 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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