Two years ago, I flew to an amazing experience far away from home.
If it takes more than 20 hours to reach Papetee from Europe, we need another hour to reach Fakarava and be dazzled by the blue sky, the sun flooding the landscapes and the turquoise water view.
Arriving in Fakarava (the plane landed in the North) we still have 2 hours of navigation to reach the South Pass and discover this unique place in the world.
The choice of accommodation is guided by the diving experiences that we wish to achieve.
A first option is to stay in Fakarava North and go south for one day and two dives. In this case, you must contact a club. All make the trip to the South subject to a sufficient number of divers.
A second solution is to stay at the South Pass and feel this absolutely wonderful impression of being at the end of the world.
Here, not many choices :
Tetamanu Diving Center of Tetamanu Village, which offers small bungalows on the edge of the lagoon with a breathtaking view
Top Dive which offers a small annex lost in the middle of nowhere with a fabulous welcome but no accommodation. The team works with the pension Raimiti : an unusual vacation spot for divers in search of the most total isolation.
The Fakarava Atoll is part of a biosphere reserve classified by UNESCO because of the richness of it’s ecosystem . Diving is usually done at the time of the fall of the current and preferably in the rising tide for safety reasons.
As soon as we are underwater, the show begins: sharks turn in the middle of barracudas, eagle rays and other Napoleon fish in levitation over the immense emptiness of the ocean as far as the eye can see along the reef wall . We take a few moments before being carried by the current entering the pass and being taken by the water to a place that Nikita, our guide names “the ski slope”. It must be said that the white sandy bottom differs strongly from the corals at the bottom of the pass.
Of course we want to stop and make pictures of one or the other sharks but the light current invites us to continue our discovery.
Suddenly, the big show on a big screen starts: all around us, hundreds of sharks: above, below, right, left … no way to know where to look. So we cling gently to a rock and stay there, forgetting the rest with this feeling of being with the sharks … to be part of the group … until we forget that we are not sharks.
The shark wall of Fakarava South is more than 300 sharks. Rendez-vous guarantees in crystal clear water with black tip sharks, white tip sharks, sharks (carcharhinus limbatus), white lagoon sharks (triaenodon obesus), and especially gray sharks (carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) which are among the largest gray sharks in the world ; just that !
Lost in this ocean of fins, the Napoleons, barracudas, tropical grouper, jacks, parrot fish, yellow goat fish and other red soldier fish.
By ending the dive towards the beach of Tetamanu, we cross the road of a lemon shark, incredible!
It seems that we can regularly see whales here, but that was not our case.
I will be back !
Want to share your experiences, comments and questions about this destination ?
Post a comment below … it will make me really happy to discover all what diving brings you
Good bubbles and do not forget to be happy 🙂