Best Travel Deals

Where’s The World’s Greatest Shark Dive?

Fiji: home of the world’s greatest shark dive?

When you see the phrase “world’s greatest shark dive”, you have to ask yourself what does it really mean?

Does Fiji have great whites like the frothy waters around the seal colony off South Africa or the clear waters off Guadalupe Island, Mexico? No, because 15ft/5m long great white sharks are rarely seen in tropical waters. They need a steady large biomass of food to keep their endothermic metabolism running at full blast. It’s why you don’t see lions in the dessert either. You may see a female great white off of Hawaii for a couple of months while pregnant, but that’s about it for their tropical endeavors.

In Fiji, do divers get to watch as trained professionals feed tiger sharks on a regular basis?

Sometimes, but 14ft/4.5m long tiger sharks aren’t guaranteed to show up at every feeding in Fiji or anywhere else. In Fiji, if tiger sharks show up for the feeding at all, it is usually during the second dive as tiger sharks prefer to stay further off shore until currents have had a chance to drift the scent of fish heads out their way. Perhaps they hear or feel the vibrations of the shark feed first, but no matter the reason, a tiger shark only shows up when it feels like it, and with a slow Fiji time sauntering entrance that exudes an air of confidence while allowing all lesser sized sharks enough time to swim to the fringes and out of the way.

Does Fiji have the best shark diving because of the bull sharks?

It is true that you will probably see more bull sharks on this special shark feeding dive than just about anywhere else in the world, but even here, bull sharks share the stage with other large sharks, and they tend to leave between November and early January when they are off site for mating season.

What really sets this shark feeding dive apart from all other shark dives, is that this well choreographed show has a cast of unforgettable characters such as tawny nurse sharks, lemon sharks, silver tips, grays, black tips, and white tips. You add the bull sharks and a tiger shark to the mix and you have 8 different shark species around you on one dive. You also have a background cast of trevallies, remoras, small fish, and occasionally a guest appearance of a humphead wrasse or queensland grouper. It’s this open water menagerie of top predators that cumulatively makes the Beqa Lagoon shark dive of Fiji the world’s greatest shark dive.

Now we know that you might be thinking that we are out of our minds for diving with bull sharks, especially after seeing the professor on one of those shark programs let bull sharks rub against his leg while he talked about how harmless they were . . . until one bit his leg. It’s for this and other reasons that the Fijian’s have structured this dive to be safe as humanly possible.

If shark feeding was compared to a show, then the Beqa Lagoon shark feeding attraction is on par with shows of Las Vegas, but to watch this show, you have to go through a very thorough briefing about what you can and cannot do. You have to wear black gloves, black wetsuits, wear nothing shiny and when you get to the bottom at around 84ft/25m you deflate you BC and wait behind a small coral wall for the show to begin 15ft/5m in front of you. At no time can you touch, hug, kiss, or interact with the sharks or stage crew during the short 15 minutes of feeding at depth. Divemasters, keep the sharks away from you as much as possible and you from the sharks. Feeders wearing stainless steel mesh gloves feed the sharks fish heads; even the feeders themselves, are flanked by guard divers to keep the sharks at bay. Divemasters use long metal sheepherder hooked poles to move the sharks in the correct direction. Lids on garbage size plastic containers keep the feeding process controlled and not turning into a feeding frenzy. They have been doing this dive each week for the past 14 years with a very good safety record.

After 15 minutes of watching the show, taking pictures, filming, looking right into the eye of a bull shark, or having a lemon shark gently guided away from your general area, the dive group moves up the reef to 60ft/20m, and while you and the group hold on to a thick rope line, smaller 6ft/2m reef sharks are fed by experienced Fijian divers. After some 15-20 minutes, it’s time for a deco stop at 15ft/5m. After about an hour on the surface, it’s time to go back down to and see if a tiger shark is ready to head the show below…if you will.

Now there are many that have speculated on whether shark feeding is a good thing for both fish and dive buddy, but while many reefs have become shark less, Beqa Lagoon sharks are thriving. That’s because this fringing reef area off Viti Levu has been deemed a Shark Reef Marine Reserve. Locals are given a percentage of the local dive fee proceeds as well as jobs either as guides, farmers who grow local fruits and vegetables for the tourists, or family members working for local resorts such as Beqa Lagoon Resort, which has its own dive center. By protecting sharks and preserving the reef, local Fijians prosper too.

Of course Fijian warriors are also known for walking on fire with a 300year old safety record and you can see this weekly at the Beqa Lagoon Resort a mere 10 minutes from the shark dive site. You will not be asked at the resort to walk on hot coals, but you will have to endure luxury accommodations, delicious food, spa treatments, memorable diving and Fijian hospitality.

You can pass by villages of friendly Fijians and a waterfall on your way up to the top of the mountain at 1,516ft/462m to look over all 14sq mi/35km sq of Beqa Island and 190 miles of coral in Beqa Lagoon. Over a dozen movies have been filmed in Fiji, but even before the movies and way before diving became popular at Beqa Lagoon, local Fijians were some of the friendliest people on the planet and you can witness this for yourself when you visit Beqa Lagoon Resort.

We do have to inform you that right off Beqa Lagoon Resort you can shore dive a coral reef. Night dives are also available at the resort. From the dive boats you have access to 100 other dive sites including: Carpet Cove and an 80ft trawler. John’s Tunnel is a 30ft long swim though filled with soft corals. Blue Wall goes down 150ft and is a great hang out for eagle rays and manta rays. Many other dive sites contain giant coral heads, coral heads in rows, and soft coral havens with some 460 species of fish. Even on the way out to these dive sites you may see a whale or pod of dolphins, and if all this doesn’t make Beqa Lagoon the home of the “World’s Greatest Shark Dive”, then at least it’s one of the top places in the world you just have to dive.

Come experience Fijian hospitality by visiting our link…

For more information on how you can experience this destination click on Fiji or Beqa Lagoon Resort.



Best Travel Deals

Lightweight Travel Gear

Lightweight Travel Gear


If you believe that baggage fees belong on the “No Fly List” then it might be time to invest in some new dive gear or try a few new packing strategies.

Starting off with the newest piece of dive gear to deny boarding to baggage fees, we have the Aeris Jetpack. This revolutionary designed system is not a backpack, but is part Buoyancy Compensator (BC) and part semi-dry day bag (SDB). While traveling to the airport, you can hold around 30lbs or a weeks worth of gear and essentials in this combined (SDB-BC) or Jetpack . . .for short.  Once you arrive at your destination, just unzip the two compartments and within minutes you can assemble the one-size fits all BC section while the other section now functions as your boat and beach dive bag for fins, mask, snorkel, towel, and other items that may be placed in two small side pockets. The 6.25lb BC has 30lbs of lift and can carry 14lbs of dumpable weight and 10lbs of non-dumpable weight. We guess they assumed that if a BC shoulder strap system could be used to carry a scuba tank to the beach, then why not dive gear to the plane? The best part of this system is that it fits in the overhead compartment of most commercial airplanes so you know where your dive gear is at all times, and with most major airlines, this means the Aeris Jetpack is baggage fee free and dive wallet friendly. See the video under:


Another approach to overhead space is the Aqua Lung Travel system. Inside the Aqualung roller bag, you can place the 4.4lb Zuma BC, a micron regulator, a low volume micromask, snorkel, aqualung hot shot fins, and a mesh bag for right around 20lbs. The hot shot fins are shorter than most other fins, but if you are in to 15 to 50 dives a year, this light weight system may be just perfect for you. The strategy is simple, small lightweight dive gear items means easy storage in overhead bins, and long term savings on baggage fees. See an Aqua Lung 20lb video on Youtube under:


Another revolutionary approach that works just as well with big and heavy revolutionary dive gear bought before 1776 as it does with newer lighter dive gear is the DiveCaddy Gen2. This system uses your gear to form the padding, rigidity, and essentially the structure of your complete dive bag. You simply have to release 3 compression straps and you can quickly fold out the travel bag to insert gear, take out gear,  or more importantly impress the staff at TSA. The Gen2 comes with a Spider bag for cold water gear storage, and a FinCaddy for quick storage or access to fins and a mesh bag for mask, snorkel, gloves, etc. The Gen2 also comes with a destination bag that you can use as a boat bag, or to cover/conceal your DiveCaddy Gen2 when on little planes that don’t have overhead space and instead load onboard luggage tagged bags right next to the plane in a special gateway deliverable compartment as apposed to the baggage claim destination compartments. On a side note, we think the DiveCaddy Gen2 was built to last 365 dives a year, or 365 years; we’ll have to get further clarification, but we definitely know that it’s built to last. See the Quick Start or Airport video at:

As a reminder, fins that are wide, long, or the length of a thresher shark’s tail may just have to travel as checked in luggage. They could also put you over the 50lb limit set by many airlines for the maximum weight of a bag, so you may find it cost effective to purchase a smaller travel size fin. Tusa, Mares, Scubapro, and other manufacturers make travel fins that are on average less than 24inches, but offer impressive performance without leg strain.


You might also consider placing all your light dive gear in a 747model Travelpro roller bag or a Rick Steves Europe soft travel backpack to place your gear on board in the overhead bin. Photography savvy divers sometimes use large vests with lots of pockets to store lights and camera gear and remove the vest once onboard the plane. If it’s worn aboard, it’s not considered a carry on item by major airlines.

As for dive knives, there will always be a need for checked luggage no matter how lightweight they make these sharp edge devices. Some airlines though let you check your first bag for free.  Some airlines let you check a bag in for free if you are part of their mileage plus program.  It’s something else to consider when you book your flight. We don’t recommend putting anything you can’t live without in your checked luggage though as strange things occasionally happen to checked bags, and HNL and HKG look really similar on a baggage tag to a tired eye. Not everybody knows that (HKG) Hong Kong is where factories make certain wetsuit items, and (HNL) Honolulu is where tourists wear certain items. Dive gear in the overhead, under the seat or in a vest will give you peace of mind every time you fly.

With so many ways to carry dive gear, and so many lightweight dive gear products developed over the last few years in response to airline baggage fees, finding the right lightweight dive gear system for you should not only be fun to try on or pack for your next flight, but even more fun to use on your next dive.

Maduro Memberships and Accreditations