Dive with Bull Sharks in Fiji – All There is to Know
Fijian islands are a dream destination of many. The idyllic beaches lined with palm trees, turquoise waters, amazing coral reef and marine life. For those seeking a bit more thrill than simply lying on the sand and enjoying the ‘Fiji time’, Fiji is an ideal destination for scuba diving. Here, you can learn the basics and complete your first dives or add new exciting chapters to your logbooks. But in Fiji, can also take it to the next level and dive with massive bull sharks. We guarantee that it will be unforgettable experience!
Dive with Bull Sharks in Kuata Island – Fiji
There are a few resorts having dives with bull sharks in their offer. We chose Kuata Island and its Barefoot Kuata resort. The team was professional, caring and made sure that we were safe at all times.
↬ Note : There hasn’t been a single noted attack during tourist dives with sharks in Fiji. The truth is the risk of diving with sharks is minimal. But after all its sharks- wild, dangerous creatures. Make sure to listen to the briefing, follow all the instructions and you will be safe.
As we were already PADI certified Open Water divers going to Fiji, we chose the bull sharks dive going down to 21m. We set on 2 boats carrying 5 instructors and 7 divers at 8 in the morning. After roughly 15 min of boat ride, we reach the location of the dive.
We slowly descended first to 12m where we spotted first 2 bull sharks. Those guys were pretty small as for their species and we didn’t hang out with them for too long.
We proceeded deeper and after a few minutes reached a small stone wall. This wall was built to protect the tourist divers from the sharks. We kneeled behind it (it was reaching mid chest) with two instructors on each side and one behind us.
The instructors were carrying metal poles with round finishing. It was used not to push the sharks away, but to keep them at a distance. Sharks can sense the iron pole from afar and would turn around when getting too close.
The other 2 instructors and marine biologists carried a box with tuna heads to feed the sharks. The sharks gathered right in front of us smelling the blood. We were surrounded by 15 3m long scary looking sharks!
This experience was incredible. The sharks were just at arms lenght away from us. They’d swim close enough for us to touch them. Of course we did not (as we were instructed before). The scariest part was when the sharks would swim directly at us, locking their gaze with ours. However, they would ALWAYS turn around just a meter in front. We were warned about this by instructors before the dive. We knew the sharks will approach- they are curious. But we were told they would turn around and they always did. At the beginning, we would duck and lie flat behind the wall. After we realised we were not in danger, we just relaxed enjoying the moment.
It is possible for beginning divers to dive with bull sharks as well. If you have never dived before, you will learn the basics in the shallows first. You then complete a first instructional dive. On the second one, the instructors will take you down to 12m, where fewer, smaller bulls sharks can already be seen.
For many the ethical point of feeding bull sharks for sole purpose of tourist dives is questionable. During our travels we refuse to take part of activities involving animals, unless we know that they are ethical and help the animals.
That’s why before we set for this exciting scuba dive with bull sharks, we did researches making sure that it was not harmful in any way. We learned that Barefoot Kuata doesn’t only lead tourist dives. They host marine biologists, who study the behaviours of the sharks. Before the tours were allowed, many years of research were done. Now we know that the occasional feeding doesn’t interrupt the bulls sharks behaviour in any way. They do not rely on humans for food, nor are used to them. If the feeding was stopped, the sharks would continue hunting just as they do in any other place.
However, the money collected for those dives, allow marine biologists to continue their research and run projects preserving marine life.
You need to have at least PADI Open Water certificate to participate in the Awakening Shark Dive on Kuata island.
However, the certification is not necessary for a shallower dive at 12m.
It’s not necessary to book online in advance. If the weather allows it, the dives happen everyday. You can reserve the dive once you arrive on the island.
The Awakening Bull Shark dive costs 299 FJD (120 EUR). It includes all the equipment and it is definitely worth the experience!