If you’ve dived the ocean waters of Costa Rica and Australia, then you may be ready to explore the natural aquariums that are available in Sabah. Sipadan Island, Tunka Abdul Rahman Park and Mabul Island are a few Sabah locales that often make the lists of the world’s best dive sites.
Sipadan Island is five degrees north of the equator. It’s in the Sulawesi Sea and 35km to the south of Semporna, which is a major city positioned along Sabah’s east coast. Like other tropical destinations, Sipadan features thick forests that are surrounded by warm sand. The island’s physical location places it in the heart of one of the world’s lushest marine environments. In this rich ecosystem, researchers have catalogued more than 3,000 fish species and hundreds of coral varieties. Under the sea, you may come across turtles, barracuda fish and scalloped hammerhead sharks along with whale sharks, mantas and eagle rays. While diving, be sure to keep an eye out for macro sea creatures like garden eels, mantis shrimps and fire gobies. You may even see leaf scorpion fish and pipefish. The turtle tomb is a unique place to dive to in the area. It is an underwater limestone cave with a maze of tunnels and channels. Turtle tomb received its name from the turtles that drowned after they became disoriented in the cave’s labyrinth.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
You should also book a hotel near Kota Kinabalu to visit Tunku Abdul Rahman Park easily. The marine park is a 10 to 20 minute speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu, and it is made up of an island cluster that features Gaya Island, Manukan Island, Sapi Island, Sulug Island and Mamutik Island. Upon reaching the dive destination, you’ll have access to spectacular coral gardens, powdery beaches and shallow waters. Your underwater adventures are likely to net you a view of blue-spotted rays, hawksbill turtles and cuttlefish. If you’re fortunate, creatures like mandarin fish and the harlequin ghost pipefish will make an appearance. When you book your trip for the destination’s cooler months, which run from November to February, plankton becomes readily available. This tasty food source tempts whale sharks to the area. These enormous creatures loom out of the depths to dine, so keep your underwater camera handy.
Mabul Island is sure to astonish you since 12 separate diving areas are available. Most people dive in the region to see small exotic marine creatures. Brightly hued cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopi and moray eels frequently swim near the dive site. You may also spot snake eels, scorpion fish and spike-fin gobies. Mabul is positioned along a 200-hectare reef, which is on the tip of the continental shelf. In addition, the adjacent seabed slants out to about 25m to 30m deep. Mabul is a low visibility site, but since the focus is macro life, this isn’t usually a problem. The dive site features amazing conditions year-round. However, the best time to visit is outside the rainy season. The rainy season is from December to March. Mabul is also a good place for novice divers to improve their skills. The island is about 12km north of Sipadan and about 5km to the west of Kapalai.
A New Age of Scuba Diving
Today, scuba diving is a popular recreational sport since people of all ages can enjoy the activity. It also gives you a great excuse to travel to stunning tropical destinations. Along with amazing dive sites, powdery beaches, palm trees and comfortable hotels in Kota Kinabalu await you in Sabah.