Arriving to Fiji in the middle of the night we had prearranged a taxi to take us to Fiona and Api’s house in Viseisei. Couchsurfing again in the small village of Viseisei near Nadi, our host Fiona is a travel agent and her husband Api is a drummer with a band at one of the nearby four star resorts. They were kind enough to give up their bed to us. The next day, Fi helped us to organize our short trip and they also let us store some of our luggage under the bed in their spare room, making our trip that much easier.
The bus ride from Viseisei to our first stop was Nadi was another learning experience. In Fiji when the bus stops it is then and only then that a passenger who wishes to get off will get up and begin to make their way to the door, every country is truly different. We stopped in Nadi for a brief look around and to purchase some snorkels before boarding a minibus to Pacific Harbor and the Uprising Resort.
Uprising is a hostel and resort all in one better known as a flashpacker. It has upscale bungalows and beautifully manicured gardens a private beach and a good restaurant, as well as a well appointed and large dormitory with separate male and female facilities. Pacific Harbor is located on the southern coast of Vitu Levu, the main island of the Fiji islands. The main draw for us was the opportunity to participate, as observers, in a shark feed. We were lucky enough to find a place at the last minute (there was actually only one place but the captain gave us both permission to come).
– Fiji Shark Dive!!! –
Beqa Adventure Divers operates up a small river from the town of Pacific Harbor and from here you are ferried to Shark Reef for two separate dives. The first dive takes you to 30m where you will see the expert shark feeders feeding giant trevally, surgeon fish, snapper, grouper, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, lemon sharks and bull sharks. There is a slew of activity as the fish and sharks swarm around the feeder but all the divers are lined up behind an artificial wall and protected by handlers with long poles. The safety stop for this dive is along the edge of a shallow 4 meter reef. Looking out over the reef holding on to the edge there are maybe a hundred smaller black tip, silver tip and white tip reef sharks. Amy was positioned next to the feeder and at one point a small black tip made it way between them weaving its way like a cat. It was quickly replaced by a handler who moved Amy a little further from the action. The second dive was to 17m and this is where the show truly began. Here there were more bull sharks; some seemed absolutely enormous that was until she came. A female Tiger Shark of more than four meters, pregnant, beautiful and amazing, the adjectives keep on coming. She came early on in the second dive and stayed until we had to go to our safety stop before finishing the dive.
This experience is well worth the expense and the company was extremely professional, employing all Fijian divers, handlers, feeders and office staff. The fish they use to feed the sharks are remnants from the tuna processing plants in nearby Suva. If you have a fear of sharks this is a way to overcome it because you see the magnificence and beauty of these creatures up close. We cannot recommend the experience more highly.