Shark encounter – check

While in Fiji on a High Achievers reward trip, I was lucky enough to be taken on a trip to swim with reef sharks: something that I have always wanted to do and another amazing experience ticked off my bucket list.  

Swimming with sharks is yet another awesome item off my bucket list and encountering these epic creatures in Fiji is something you should definitely think about ticking off yours. Talk to Michelle at Bucket List Travel in Red Beach about getting you to Fiji.

Fijian shark encounter

On this full-day tour, Ultimate Encounters Snorkel with Sharks, you’ll snorkel with these ocean predators in their home environment. Just crystal-clear water between you and them: an adrenaline rush experience.

Sharks are spectacular, majestic creatures, so before you decide that no cage, no aquarium swimming with sharks may not be the trip for you, your guides – South Sea Cruises – promise that these stunningly graceful creatures and will change your perception about sharks forever.

Reef sharks

There are two main species of sharks you will encounter on this trip: White Tip Reef Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks. Both these sharks are common in the tropical warm waters of the South Pacific and can grow to a length of just over 1.5 metres. White Tips are the dominant species with an inquisitive nature; they are not shy to check you out. Their Black Tip relatives are by contrast timid and will shy away if they feel threatened.

Get cruising

Leaving Denarau at around 8.30 am aboard the ‘Yasawa Flyer’, a high-speed catamaran, the two-hour cruise took us through the Mamanuca Islands and then onto the stunning Yasawas to Kuata Island – a small, beautiful, reef fringed gem.

After arriving on the island and our comprehensive safety briefing, we then jumped on another boat with our guides to travel for approximately 10-15 minutes to Moyia Reef, our swimming with sharks reef site. The reef is truly spectacular with its abundance of colourful fish and beautiful corals. Water depth varies between 4 – 6 metres depending on the tide.


Swimming with sharks

The wonderful staff advised us what to do before we jumped in to spend half an hour snorkelling with about eight sharks and also looking at all the other fish on the reef.

Barefoot Kuata Resort

We then climbed back on board and headed back to Kuata Island, where we had a delicious two-course lunch at Barefoot Kuata Resort. Nestled along a white sandy beach, all the facilities of Barefoot Kuata are available – pool, hammocks, a restaurant, bar, kayaks and walking tracks as well as massage services available at an additional cost – and there is good snorkelling close to the beachfront. The boat picked us up for a return to Nadi at approximately 3:45 pm. We arrived back at Denarau around 5.30 pm.

This trip is a must-do for any nature lovers it gives you huge respect for the sharks and I highly recommend anyone do this.

Is it safe?

Yes. You’ll be provided with safety instruction from their experienced guides who’ve spent hundreds of hours getting to know the resident school of sharks. Guides will be in the water with you the entire time and will closely monitor the sharks’ behaviour to ensure your safety.

What if I’m not a good swimmer?

Buoyancy aids are available for less confident swimmers and because these sharks prefer shallow waters there’s no necessity to dive under the water to secure a thrilling view. Non-snorkellers can join the day but sit out the snorkelling experience.

Shark guarantee?

As Sharks are wild animals, there is no guarantee of sightings. However, South Sea Cruises has a 95% +success rate of sighting sharks. In the event you don’t see any sharks, they offer a complimentary “Ultimate Encounter – Snorkel with Sharks” within 3 days of your original cruise. If poor weather and sea conditions result in the cancellation of the ‘Snorkelling with Sharks experience,’ a substitute snorkelling safari will be provided.

Daily departures




Port Denarau




Day Experience – Prices are in Fijian Dollars



Day Experience – Snorkel with Sharks



Day Experience – No Snorkelling with Sharks



What's included

Coach transfers from your Nadi/Denarau accommodation

All snorkelling equipment buoyancy aids if required

Return scenic cruise to Kuata Island including access to the Captains Lounge (excluding “No Snorkelling with Sharks” day cruise option)

Guided Ultimate Encounters snorkelling with sharks experience

Two course lunch

Full use of Barefoot Kuata Island facilities