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“The shark dive is a must... but what dive shop should you choose?”

Beqa Adventure Divers
Reviewed September 2, 2013

As a diving professional I always do thorough research (reviews, magazines, talk to other professionals and youtube) before jumping in the next dive shop or dive site. The shark dive in Fiji, was certainly easy to research. Yes, it’s an awesome shark dive and it’s definitely worth the trip, but what I couldn’t figure out was which dive shop to go with. In Pacific Harbor, there are two dive shops Beqa Adventure Divers and Aquatrek.
So if you are convinced of going shark diving in Fiji, and if you are reading this – you are probably already convinced - I will try and explain the staggering differences between the two dive shops that offer the ultimate shark dive.

Here is the largest difference by FAR between both dive shops. Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) is a dive shop run that runs like swiss clockwork. Clean, friendly, helpful, efficient… this is what a dive shop should aspire too. Aquatrek on the other hand had some major flaws. Crowded boats, uninterested staff members, overall dirty boats (imagine the smell of chum all over the boat), little regard to safety or diving procedures.... sorry guys you really have to clean your act. You guys canceled a soft coral dive for no reason at all and I couldn’t dive that day – not fair!

The quality of the shark encounters are very different and it really comes down to what you want to see, how close you want to see it and how often you see it in the dive. BAD you are pretty much guaranteed to see bull sharks, reef sharks, black tips and white tips. In all cases you will see them UP CLOSE (got my dome scratched by the tail of a bull shark). And you see the sharks over and over again, meaning if you want to get the “shot” you will definitely get plenty of chances. With Aquatrek you will see certainly see bull sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, grey reef shark and large cods. So if you are looking to check out species of sharks and fish from a plastic guide, I’d say Aquatrek is a “better” bet. However you will sacrifice having the animals up close and the reoccurrence of the sharks coming your way. So if you are a serious photo or video person, you will definitely suffer and you will definitely be haunted by the MILLIONS OF REMORAS swimming all over the place. To illustrate my words, see the photo comparison of a very typical scene from one shark dive to the other.

Price can always be a determining factor, especially if you plan to do several days of diving. Yes, Aquatrek in general cheaper, but there was something very unusual about the booking procedures with Aquatrek. When we booked online they charged the amount due in FULL, something I had never seen before… carefull with this. If you pay in full it will be extremely hard to cancel afterwards, if they implemented that policy for a very specific reason. Think about it. BAD, yes a bit more expensive at the end of the day.

If you want to check shark species from a list, don’t mind a sloppy dive shop and want to save some extra bucks, probably Aquatrek is your best bet. If you want the full shark diving experience, the UP and CLOSE story to bring back home whilst diving amongst true professionals for some extra bucks.. BAD is the dive shop for you… My take away: don’t be stupid if you are doing the long trip to Fiji pay the extra bucks and get the most out of the experience, the experience difference is abysmal. You will see the same differences once you are out there ;)

8  Thank Jeroprieto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

I think I'm right in saying that it was 15 years ago that a couple of local guys started feeding the sharks in Beqa Lagoon in order to help protect them and other marine fish. Some of the Fijian villages actually believe that a God resides in sharks (if only this belief was shared across the planet). With the help of Mike Neumann they have created BAD. Where else in the world can you dive with 40-50 individual Bull sharks, some adults pushing 3m in length. And then, at shallower depths, grey reefs, and then dozens of black and white tips on possibly the best 3m safety stop you will ever do. The local crew, feeders and guides are well organised and are passionate about sharks. They have an extraordinary understanding of the sharks behaviour and how to approach the whole feeding / viewing event. And the same sharks do not visit on every dive, showing that the feed is just a part of their behaviour feeding cycle. Its full on adrenaline diving, though you feel completely safe throughout, and a real privilege to get so so close to such magnificent predators. Thanks to all at BAD.

2  Thank gazwar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Our main reason for coming to Fiji was to do the bull shark dives, and we chose Beqa Adventure Divers to dive with because we found their email responses to be informative and professional but also personal to our needs.
We originally booked 3 days shark diving, because we thought if we had come all this way then we may as well really splash out. We ended up doing a further 2 days shark diving because it was even better than we could have hoped for.
The shark team are extremely well organised, and safety was the number 1 concern. They are also well-educated on and passionate about marine conservation, shark conservation above all. We really felt that the local guys believed so much in the importance of the oceans, it is a huge part of their life and they understand the need to protect it from overfishing/shark finning/pollution etc.
We were well briefed before each dive and the dives always went exactly to plan. (Myself and my partner are both diving instructors so we have seen many dive setups, good and bad.) It felt completely safe, which is kind of strange when you switch your brain back on and think that you are in the water with 30-40 bull sharks only metres away. The crew give an air of confidence which puts you at ease even before you get in the water, and when you are down there their signals are clear and loud when it is time to leave. So once you are at 30m with 30-40 bull sharks being fed right in front of you, you only need to think about enjoying the incredible experience.
The sharks are beautiful, powerful predators, and are just addictive to watch, hence our 5 times diving with B.A.D. After diving for 18 years I had never see a bull shark and although this shark feed is not a natural situation, it's sad to say that the way the fishing industry is going this is really the only way to see them. Especially in this great a number.
Beqa adventure divers fund a big marine conservation project, and have helped establish a marine park 30 miles long. Money made from the dive shop funds the upkeep of this park.
If we had had more time on Fiji we would have done even more shark dives with B.A.D, so for our bank balance it was time to leave, but we will return soon for sure.

1  Thank snowybennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The shark dive is something to add to everyone's bucket list! On Thursday we did the morning Shark Dive with Beqa Adventure Divers and did a Soft Coral Dive on Friday. The shark dive was truly amazing and highly recommended. We saw about 35 2.5-3 meter bull sharks being fed at 25 meters. There were two feeders and about 4 dive masters tasked with keeping stray sharks away from us. They also fed fish and smaller reef sharks at 10 meters but we cut that short due to the surge.
On Friday we went out on a soft coral dive and the different types of coral were amazing. So many types of fish living in the corals. Swimming over the top it was like being over the top of a city and looking down at the bustle between the skyscrapers. The dive staff were great and chatted with us. Would definitely go again.

Thank RachelU178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 9, 2013 via mobile

OMG - this is just an amazing dive that I feel is a must to all divers. The dive does go down to 30m which is deeper than I have done before (& technically speaking can only go to 18 metres in Aus) but the dive team were great & the instructor stayed with me in case I needed extra help. You submerge to a rock platform where you sit & watch the crew feed the sharks. We saw at least 25 huge bull sharks - just amazing & yes a little scary but well worth it. The 2nd dive is only to 15 metres but the bull sharks even bigger! Unfortunately the resident tiger shark didn't show up but the size & no of bull sharks made up for it!!

3  Thank Kate221177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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