Mabul Island

Located only about 15 minutes by speedboat from the famous Sipadan Island, Mabul Island has gained its own recognition as one of the best muck-diving sites in the world

Highlights

  • Go muck diving – a treasure hunt for the ocean’s weirdest creatures
  • Dive in Sipadan, one of the worlds best pelagic diving location

Mabul Island is recognized as one of the world’s best “muck-diving”and “Macro Paradise” with superb playground for macro photography with rare critter species.

Mabul is a small island off the south-eastern coast of Sabah, Borneo in Malaysia. The island has been a fishing village since the 1970s, then it became popular to divers due to their proximity to the World Famous Sipadan Island.

The dive sites of Mabul and Kapali, that at first glance do not look very picturesque and inviting, have a shallow reef profile with sandy bottom and patches of sea grass and also one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life in the world. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, gobies and frogfishes are everywhere, as are moray, snake eels and practically the whole scorpion fish family.

The dive resorts in Mabul offer all inclusive dive packages with 3 boat dive a day.
The best dive sites around Mabul and Kapalai are Oil Rig, Eel Garden , Crocodile Avenue , Ray Point , Mandarin Valley and Lobster Wall.

Although all the excitement is underwater, you can always set your scuba gear aside for a day to laze on Mabul’s soft sand to work on your tan.

Non-divers can spend great time too! It’s possible to book an island hopping tour or charter a boat to visit the beautiful islands ofSemporna Tun Sakaran Marine Park. The island hopping tour includes Bohey Dulang Island , popular for hiking and climbing activities, Mantabuan Island and Sibuan Island where it’s possible to do snorkeling.

Are Mabul and Kapalai Safe for Tourists?

Most Foreign offices have warned tourists against all but essential travel to all islands off the coast of eastern Sabah, following a number of attacks involving people travelling in the area.

Today, in the interests of tourist safety, there is a significant police and army presence in Sabah East Coast (from the town of Kudat in northern Sabah to Tawau), and several road checkpoints.
The Malaysian government also enhanced efforts to patrol its maritime border with the Philippines. The border between the Philippines and Semporna is about 3 hours by boat.

Dusk to dawn curfew (between 7pm to 5am) are strictly enforced on the sea to ensure the safety of tourists and divers. There are also fully-armed Malaysian security forces stationed on the islands with resorts.

These terrorism preventive measures are welcomed by all Malaysian people, to ensure safety and security for all Malaysians and visitors.

HOW TO GET THERE

Mabul Island is accessible through Semporna, Sabah Malaysia. The journey to from Tawau airport to Semporna by road takes approximately one hour. Then from Semporna to Mabul island by speedboat takes approximately 45 minutes.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

It’s possible to dive in Mabul year round. Like any other Muck diving site, visibility is generally poor even at the best of times, which is the dry season from March to September and ranges from 5 to 8 meters.
Peak season is July and August. The rainy season which occurs between December and March is not too bad and diving conditions are often very good at this time too.

ACCOMMODATION

Mabul Water Bungalow Resort

Mabul Water Bungalow is a delightful floating Resort surrounded by corals and located only 15 minutes by speedboat from the popular Sipadan Island.

Attractive wooden chalet are on stilt over the azure blue waters of Mabul Island. Each bungalow exquisitely furnished with contemporary decor, equipped with remote control air-conditioner, ceiling fan, private bathroom-hot/cold shower and toilet, spacious private balcony offer panoramic vistas of blue sea, colour TV with satellite channels, mini bar and in-room safety box.

Resort facilities comprises a large and airy restaurant for dining, a souvenirs shop selling variety of t-shirts, accessories and gifts, a business centre with internet service, a dive centre and Spa.

Sipadan Water Village

Sipadan Water Village is a resort beautifully constructed with Bajau architectural design and built over water on stilts.The floor of the water cottages is less than 1 meter above the high water mark. The rooms are spacious with wide sliding doors that open onto the room’s private deck. Facilities includes a lovely restaurant over the water, a gift shop, open-air reception, Internet access and diving centre.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

Borneo Divers, founded in 1984, was the first full service professional dive operation in Borneo. Borneo Divers Mabul Resort occupies a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach. Easy access to the water provides for effortless shore and boat diving. Originally designed to be a second base of operations in the region to complement the Sipadan Resort, with the conservation project in progress, Borneo Divers has been promoted to our flagship operation and base for diving both Sipadan and Mabul. Borneo Divers Resort was built with divers needs in mind.Accommodations are provided in attractive and comfortable chalets, all with a view of the beach and the Borneo Mainland in the distance.

DIVING FACTS

What to expect: Macro Life

Average Visibility: poor visibility 5-8 metres at the muck sites like Froggy Lair, Paradise Reef, and Seaventure Platform, reaching around 15 metres at the seaward site Lobster Wall.

Average water temperature: 27 – 29 °C

Depth: 5 – 20 metres

Diving Season: Mabul Island is open to diving all year round. However, for the best visibility visit during the dry season from March through October.

Must dive: Sea Ventures, Crocodile Avenue Dive Site and Froggy Lair

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