Bula! Fijian greetings meaning hello and/or welcome. From the airport crew to passengers in the bus, to the resort staff, to divemasters, you’ll feel the Fijians’ warm welcome.
From Nadi, I took the bus to Pacific Harbour, leaves like every hour from the departure side of the airport. Cost me like FJD12 and you can only pay via e-transport card you can purchase at any Vodafone shop (there’s one at the airport arrival section). The trip is 3.5 hours long. I chose to stay in Pacific Harbour mainly because of the shark dive; didn’t really plan for my itinerary while on land.
I checked-in at Uprising Beach Resort and got myself a bunk bed in the dorm where I met likeminded people. The dorm is relatively clean, people are respectful (luckily) though snoring cannot be ignored. Shared toilets and showers are ok – they’re not the best but I guess for FJD35 per night, I couldn’t complaint much. Food at the resort is pretty good, Kokoda – tuna cooked in citrus juice and then added with coconut milk, tomatoes and onions – is a local dish that is a must-try. They had a cultural show on Thursday night. The ambience of the resort is pretty chill but friends can surely have fun as the bar serves alcohol till late. I highly recommend this resort as they staff are all friendly and are pretty attentive to the guests’ needs regardless whether you stay in a luxury room or just in a bunk bed of the dorm. They remember your name as if you’re a VIP to be well taken care of.
I booked 6 dives with Beqa Adventure Divers, also located at the Pacific Harbour. The dive masters are very knowledgeable of routines during the shark dive are and seems very passionate of taking care of the marine reserve for the sharks. The only negative I can think of here is they allow Open Water divers to go to shark dive which is at 25m to 27m. Other than that, I think the way they take care of the guests plus amazing marine reserve, my dive in Fiji is pretty top notch. Only limited dive operators can go to the shark reef marine reserve, and Beqa Adventure Divers is one of them. They feed the bull sharks as they study them and send the data to James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
The dive has made me fall in love more with sharks and awakens scuba divers, and hopefully even the non-scuba divers, that sharks are not mindless killing machines. They are the apex predeators of the sea and their existence is important to long term sustainability of the ecosystem. Being surrounded by roughly around 20 bull sharks without fear is surreal.
The video below is just an excerpt from a 20-minute movie that Beqa Adventure Divers created.