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Dive Review of Viti Levu Divers and Dive Academy Fiji in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Rainbow Reef, Makogai Psg, etc

Viti Levu Divers and Dive Academy Fiji: "Coral Gardens and Zero (well, one) Sharks", Aug, 2022,

by Medea Isphording Bern, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 12058.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments [None]We had a bifurcated trip, one week aboard Captain Cook's Reef Endeavor and one week staying at The Remote Resort on Vanua Levu and diving with Dive Academy Fiji, which is linked with Vianni Bay Resort. The cruise ship has its own dive concession, Viti Levu Divers, run by Joe. We'd taken this trip three years ago, also in August, and on the same itinerary. It was so magnificent, with the technicolor Rainbow Reef and the other-worldly White Wall that we wanted to take our kids--hence this trip.
As a general comment, the reefs are in good shape, with glorious hard and soft corals, almost as prolific as I remember from my childhood growing up in Florida pre-condo. Pretty spectacular. There were not many divers on this cruise--we were a party of five and two to six others joined each dive--one tank per day due to this being primarily a cruise and not a live aboard though the ship does have a dedicated dive area below that is well-managed. There is a single dive panga, and Viti Levu didn't have the space to take multiple tanks out for a two-tank dive, which was a little disappointing (could we have just returned to the ship between dives for our intervals and to restock the tanks? That option was not offered.) The main event for our family, Rainbow Reef, almost didn't happen but Joe managed to contract with a dive shop on Taveuni to take 11 of us to two different sites on the Reef. My kids thought it was very nice, but the visibility suffered due to high winds and current, and there wasn't enough time to reach the White Wall, so they will have to go back. The most glaring thing we saw--or didn't see--was the absolute absence of any fish larger than a parrot. We saw a single five-foot spanish mackrel. I saw one white-tip reef shark as the first into the water. Covid and the lack of tourism proved a boon for the corals and a horrible overfishing event for the larger fish. Heartbreaking.
After a week on the cruise, my husband and I went to Remote Resort and had arranged with Marina at Dive Academy Fiji/Vianni Bay to dive two days, two tanks per day. A panga fetched us from the resort for a 30-35 minute ride to the dive facility on Vianni Bay, which sits about 10 minutes by panga from Rainbow Reef. Jona served as our dive master. The first day we dove with a couple from SF, newer divers, who had some equipment issues and were directed to just snorkel--we were able to stay below for over 40 minutes. The second day we did the White Wall with a very experienced Italian diver, so were able to really descend to the most exciting parts of the Wall. We did the Cabbage Patch twice (which we agreed to) and are still blown away by those corals.
The thing to always bear in mind in Fiji is that logistics can be difficult, fuel is expensive, and the concept of time doesn't always mesh with what you might be used to in the US--and to be ok with that and just be grateful that this beautiful reef remains healthy and accessible. And the Fijians are the best!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Hawaii, Society Islands, Australia, Florida, Galapagos
Closest Airport Nadi Getting There Direct flights on Fiji Airways from San Francisco and LAX

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 77-79°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]All dives were accompanied by dive masters.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
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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