Few diving or snorkelling experiences can top the thrill of swimming with sharks and Fiji has some of the best places for shark encounters! Here are seven must-visit places in Fiji for an unforgettable shark experience:
1. Beqa Lagoon
Known as the “Shark Capital of the World,” Beqa Lagoon is home to eight shark species. It is not uncommon for intrepid adventurers to see up to seven different species like Reef, Silver Tip, and Lemon sharks in a single dive. The Cathedral Shark Dive is world-famous for delivering thrilling encounters with Tiger and Bull sharks.
Dive into the Shark Reef Marine Reserve and witness the spectacular shark feedings guided by experienced professionals.
2. Shark Reef Marine Reserve
Just off Pacific Harbour, this marine reserve is a haven for diverse shark species. In fact, the Shark Reef Marine Reserve was the first National Marine Protected Area (declared in 2014). When you visit the reserve, you’ll be supporting both eco-conservation and the local community as a portion of you fee is distributed to nearby villages. From bull sharks to tiger sharks, you can see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat with reputable dive operators.
Pacific Harbour is on the southern coast of Viti Levu (the main island of Fiji) and you can get to it in a hour from Suva by road.
Head to Kadavu for encounters with hammerhead sharks. The famous Astrolabe Reef offers a unique opportunity to dive with these extraordinary creatures in a pristine underwater environment. Astrolabe is the fourth-biggest barrier reef in the world and is home to a dizzying array of marine life including Manta Rays and all manner of corals.
If you are lucky and visit between July and September, you might even witness the majesty of a passing Whale Shark on your dive to see the Hammerheads.
4. Nananu-i-Ra Island
For nurse shark encounters, Nananu-i-Ra Island is a fantastic choice. The calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for snorkeling with these gentle sharks. If you get to scuba dive at Nananu-i-Ra, you’ll probably see SIlky and Reef sharks as well as sea snakes and eels.
5. Viti Levu’s Coral Coast
Explore the Coral Coast for a chance to spot reef sharks and white-tip sharks. Numerous dive sites along the coast provide varying depths and experiences. Perhaps the most well-known dive operator in Fiji is Coral Coast Divers who offer a range of Fiji Shark Diving Experiences and the world-famous “Fiji Shark Dive”. Check them out at: https://coralcoastdivers.com/shark-dives/
6. Bligh Waters
Venture into the Bligh Waters for encounters with silky sharks. Known for their elegance, silky sharks frequent these waters, creating a thrilling experience for divers. Silky sharks are not typically considered a threat to humans unless provoked and are known for their curiosity and may investigate objects (and you) in their environment!
7. Waya Island
Visit Waya Island to witness the famous “manta ray cleaning stations.” While not sharks, these graceful rays share the spotlight in this unique underwater spectacle.
Safety Tips for Shark Encounters
- Choose Reputable Operators: Opt for well-established dive operators with experienced guides for a safe and educational experience.
- Follow Guidelines: Adhere to established safety guidelines during shark dives to ensure both your safety and the well-being of the sharks.
- Respect the Environment: Maintain a respectful distance from the sharks and avoid any disruptive behavior that could distress them.
- Undergo Briefings: Listen attentively to pre-dive briefings provided by professionals. Understanding the environment and shark behavior enhances the experience.
- Stay Calm: While sharks are generally non-aggressive, staying calm and composed contributes to a safer and more enjoyable encounter.
Get ready for a thrilling adventure as you dive into the world of sharks in Fiji, where the beauty of these creatures and the importance of ocean conservation come together in harmony!