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Dive Review of Reef Safaris/Wananavu in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Reef Safaris/Wananavu, Jul, 2011,

by Wayne Joseph, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 6294.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Just returned from a 10 night stay at Wananavu Resort in Fiji. We were there 3 yrs ago & there have been a few changes. Ben & Rachel are now the resort managers. There’s a new chef. And a new dive operation that started on June 1.
Ben & Rachel have made some good improvements, not the least is the chef. The food is much improved. We were on the meal plan. For breakfast you could have a buffet continental breakfast AND order a hot dish (eggs, pancakes, or French toast). There is a daily food menu for lunch & dinner that is the same every day, except the curry dish changes daily. There is a specials menu that differs for lunch & dinner. This menu always had a choice of a meat, fresh fish, or vegetarian dish; soup, & desserts. They had a special lovo night, an Indian night, & a “Mongolian” barbeque night which allowed us to pick our choices of meat (lamb, pork, beef, chicken), calamari, veggies, and spices; give it to the chef and he would grill it in front of you. It was like a stir fry on a grill. The recipes were great; just the right amount of spices.
The resort has been “spruced up” with new paint & the grounds are always immaculate.
There were quite a few families there with young children and the resort has more activities than 3 yrs ago.
Wananavu has entered a contract with Reef Safaris to provide the dive services. I think they are going to call it Dive Wananavu. This company has 11 other locations in Fiji. Jeremy & Kristen, the managers, had to start from the ground up. A new dive center was built closer to the boats & it’s very organized. There are benches with charging stations & areas to hang up equipment.
They hired Jioji (who used to work for Kai Viti Divers) to help manage and train the crew. He was great whenever he led the dives as he could find a lot of interesting critters. Jim & Ken were also great at finding things. They will take your gear, rinse it, & hang it to dry after every dive. We saw a leopard shark and other reef sharks, turtles, dolphins, squid, and various nudibranchs. We did see 2 lionfish (fewer than our last visit). They must have all moved to the Caribbean.
They had only 2 small boats (that could take 6 divers each) to use as this is what remained after the last dive company left. I was skeptical at first, but the dive personnel were trained well to provide a safe & professional dive trip. There was a first aid kit, oxygen, & life jackets on board and snacks & water were also provided. The boats & crew did surprisingly well considering how choppy the water was at times. They couldn’t do enough for us. A diver accidently dropped her small video camera overboard during our surface interval. One of the guides put on his gear, jumped overboard, & found the camera after about 15 min. looking in water with about 10ft. visibility. I have no idea how he found it.
At first I was disappointed because they weren’t able to take us to the Bligh Water as the boats were too small & the water was too rough. But that was OK because they took us to dive sites with great soft corals; Dream Maker, Golden Dreams, Golden Crown, that we didn’t do the last time we stayed here. I advise anyone who goes diving in Fiji to bring an UW light to be able to see the wonderful colors of these corals.
At the end of our stay, they obtained a larger boat that could take 9 divers out to the passage. The other divers who went told us it was a great trip & the boat did well. Two larger boats that can take 12-16 divers are in the process of being readied.
It seems to me that a good foundation is being set to provide a more stable & responsible dive service for the guests at Wananavu. We can’t wait to return in 2 yrs

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 76-°F / 24-°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Because the boats were small, there wasn't a lot of room for cameras, but they did their best to accommodate us. They tried to keep the cameras separated from the divers. I would think this will improve with larger boats.
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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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