Scuba Travel Ventures, Inc. - Fiji
Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island and home to the international gateway of Nadi and the frenetic capital city, Suva, is also where you’ll find the shark-laden, world famous Beqa (BENG-gah) Lagoon, in the Coral Coast region. Sharks are central to the spiritual traditions of the island’s native people – in ancient times, a shark god was highly esteemed – and today, many varieties can be seen. In the waters off Kadavu, another island south of Viti Levu, schooling hammerheads and gray reef sharks are common sights in the Great Astrolabe Reef. That area constitutes the one of the world’s largest barrier reefs. But Fiji’s marine biodiversity also includes other animals of all shapes, hues and sizes, from huge humpback whales and majestic manta rays to turtles and ghost pipefish.
Bligh Water, the oceanic region between Viti Levu and its northern sister island, Vanua Levu, is also rich with wildlife. So is the Namena Barrier Reef, off of Vanua Levu’s southwestern shores. Between these areas and others, near the islands of Ovalau, Taveuni and Gau, if you’re not getting mesmerized by the dazzling rainbow spectrum of unspoiled soft corals, you’re diving with your eyes closed. Whether you’re plunging in from a land-based resort or a live-aboard boat, Fijian diving is some of the world’s best.
Out of the water, tropical treasures await. Venturing on a guided tour to a village to partake in a kava drinking ceremony or watch a performance of the traditional meke or firewalking dances is like time-traveling to centuries past and is not to be missed. Elsewhere, bili-bili rafting down a jungle river on a bamboo craft fills the senses as much as the sights and sounds of the colorful outdoor marketplaces as those found in Fiji’s larger towns.