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Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Hertfordshire. UK
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Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

I am currently planning a stopover of 4-5 days in Fiji and we are keen scuba divers who have dived a few excellent dive locations around the world (Egypt, Mozambique, Thailand, Mexico, Belize)

During my research I have realised we probably don't have the time to do more than one location and we don't have the budget for liveaboard. The two locations that so far really appeal are Bega Lagoon (for the shark dive) and Kadavu Island (for the Astrolabe reef).

The things that we are really interested in diving with are the sharks and mantas. We love the sharks! Actually any big marine life. We also love the coral reefs and diversity of marine life.

We are stopping in Fiji in early Jan (3rd-8th) so my question is, with all above taken into account, what would be the best place to base ourselves at this time of the year? I know that Nov-Dec the Bull Sharks have nearly all vanished due to mating season, but are they back by early January? Are the Manta numbers in Kadavu ok in early January? I know it's not a zoo down there but statistically speaking.

Obviously I don't want to end up going to Bega for example and not seeing the Sharks and knowing that we could have had better odds at Kadavu of seeing Mantas.

Actually, is there some better location in Fiji I haven't looked into?

Your help and experiences will be most appreciated.

10 replies to this topic
Hatteras Island...
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1. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

from what I understand-- the shark dive at Beqa is a must do and that you are guaranteed to see them.I beleive they use Aqua Trek as the operator. I am actually planning a group trip there the last week of Jan into the 1st week of Feburary. good luck!

And keep us posted on what you decided and how it was:)

Hertfordshire. UK
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2. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Thanks. Did the Beqa shark dive today (you can use aquatrek or bad, we chose aquatrek) - the most amazing dive ever without doubt and all felt very safe considering there were 12 bullsharks up to 5 metres long just yards from us!! Also staying at uprising which we can highly recommend if you want something more reflective of Fiji and not a bog standard resort apartment.

Will send a full review when back but for now off to have a beer and bask in the afterglow of some truly phenomenal diving!!!

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3. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Thank you Mark_Alex! We are planning to visit next week to Beqa and plan to do the shark dive as well. Hope to see as many sharks as you did--that sounds just amazing!! Do you suggest pre-booking the dive with aqatrek now or doing it when we arrive? Looking forward to hearing your review. THANKS again!

Hertfordshire. UK
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4. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Hi. Our understanding ( please of course check with operators ) is that both operators offer shark dives on different days with Friday crossover. Both dive different locations and offer different experiences. Aquatrek chum and so go for multiple tigers where possible, a visual display we understand Beqa adventure divers go for the same tiger each time don't chum and hand feed one shark at a time. This in our minds was a choice of consistency over taking a risk for the wow factor. Do book in advance. In saying this we booked a couple of days in advance which was cool but many people turned away trying to book one day in advance.

I don't think u can be disappointed either way. We have dived with sharks including bulls before but nothing like this!!!'

Hertfordshire. UK
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5. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Ps as you get closer toward end of jan number of sharks reported to increase significantly which may also increase booking popularity and availability.

Hatteras Island...
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6. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Mark_Alex..Which day did you dive? I think our group is scheduled for Friday..someone did this day and said they saw all different species and a huge green moray as well..assuming that it was more of the 'frenzy' feed

Hertfordshire. UK
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7. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Hi we dived Wednesday and today (Friday). A couple of big moray today, no tiger but got to stroke a nurse shark and there were about 25 active bulls on the second dive. Not to forget the amazing fish that fill the sea!!!! So different to weds but exactly the same dives. Awesome.

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8. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Mark_Alex, I was told that we cannot prebook our dive unless we have a group of at least 6 or more...so we will have to wait to get to BLR to set up our shark dives. I'm hoping that will not be a problem for us to do at the resort--I've heard from another person on TA that she couldn't book her second dive because she was told it was already filled up with people so I'm a little concerned. Did you have any problems with this? We have 10 dives booked already with BLR and will lose a day of diving since we plan to do the shark dive...but I'm contemplating to do book two shark dives, just in case we don't see as many sharks the first time around. What are your thoughts on this?? THANKS again for posting!!

Edited: 08 January 2011, 01:28
Hertfordshire. UK
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9. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

I spoke to Valerie at aquatrek before we left telling her about this post. She let us pre book with credit card in fact encourages this.

Suggest you contact her directly? Very quick to answer emails!!!!

Hatteras Island...
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10. Re: Scuba Diving - Bega Island v Kadavu Island in early January?

Our group was scheduled for Wednesday.. Beqa operates their boat and crew. Aquatrek boat and crew met us at the site and hosted the event.

No tiger sharks this day..large bulls, silver tips and wondering how many nurse sharks can put their heads into one trash can. My husband was the first invited into "The Bistro" . We only saw his fins as he was surrounded by sharks and fish..The rest of the group were invited in one by one and we were able to touch the sharks..with Joelli rolling the video camera..I must say I was a bit nervous, but once the divemaster gave his speach and sat at the edges of the feeding ring.. I was truly in awe...First dive was at 90' , 2nd was at 60'.

I cannot say any more of how great our crew was on the C Harley. Various crews various days. Captains Seta and Gee, Livai, Tusi, Joeli and mainly Koli, Delena and Dix. Very professional and attentive.

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