Swimming with sharks
Ricardo ( Fiji )
Swimming with sharks in Beqa lagoon- Ricardo’s goosebump moment
“Hello! I am Ricardo and I come from Fiji and my goosebump moment is swimming with sharks in Beqa lagoon. Let me give you a little bit of context. This was my first time diving. It was with my dad and my sister. We put our gear on and we jumped into the water. The first step out of the boat felt amazing. It felt like I was free-falling, and I felt really relaxed. It was really amazing. But that is not it! We were swimming for around 10 or 20 minutes. Our oxygen was almost gone and a shiver of sharks appeared. Tiger sharks! They were huge! Their sharp teeth were very scary. My heart felt like it was going to explode! But I did not move. I knew that if I moved, I was at risk. Imagine yourself in a big space. All blue. Everything was really blue. And watching and seeing an animal you have never seen before that can kill you very, very fast, felt really impressive. It felt really scary. It is difficult to explain with words what I felt. But man, it really felt like an out-of-this-world experience. It was really, really amazing!”
Shark diving experience
Shark diving in Beqa Lagoon is one of Fiji’s most famous marine experiences. On these well-managed shark diving experiences, you can expect to see large bull and tiger sharks, as well as silvertips, reef sharks and even lemon and lion sharks.
The sites within the Beqa lagoon are well established and well organized. Typically, a low coral wall separates observers from the feeding area, and dive guests are led along mooring lines and positioned behind the wall before feeding begins.
On some dives, the sharks are hand-fed, and on others, pieces of fish are placed around the feeding site for the sharks to discover. Either way, guests enjoy a view of the sharks as they roam the site looking for their lunch.
Beqa lagoon, the best diving destination
Considered locally as the ‘best shark dive in the world’, this part of Beqa Lagoon, off the southern coast of Viti Levu in Fiji has been the site of shark diving for almost a decade.
On an average day, about 50 sharks show up. Bull sharks are the main attraction, but you will also see nurse, lemon, white tip, black tip, black tip, silver tip, gray and maybe even tiger sharks.
For conservation reasons, shark dives don’t happen every day, but that’s not a problem, as there are dozens of other adventure dive sites in the 144-kilometer coral reefs surrounding Beqa Lagoon, including a fascinating swim through John’s Tunnel and The Wreck of the Chinese Trawler.
Shark dives are open to guests of the many resorts in Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island.
A great underwater garden
Fiji has more than 10,000 km2 of coral reefs. Many are almost touching the coast; others are sunken platforms and barriers at 15 to 20 m depth. With an average of 26 degrees Celsius, the water temperature fluctuates very little. The biodiversity is extraordinary: 467 species of mollusks, 298 species of coral and about 1200 species of reef fish.
The first contact with the marine depths of Fiji could be to dive in the Shark Reef National Marine Park, which protects a strip of almost 50 km in front of Pacific Harbour. It is one of the largest shark sanctuaries on the planet, where a single dive allows you to come face to face with eight species of sharks: gray, reef shark, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, bull, nurse, silvertip and the great tiger shark. All this surrounded by fish of hundreds of species, such as lions, moray eels, snook, snappers, jacks, groupers…). Many dives are made from the island of Beqa, where the Sawau tribe still maintains the tradition of walking on burning stones.
More about Beqa lagoon:
- Shark diving in Fiji’s Beqa Lagoon
- The Fiji shark dive: everything you need to know
- These are some of the world’s best scuba diving destinations