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Best Diving Destinations in Sabah
The Most Beautiful Dive Sites in Sabahall 33 dive sites
Sabah is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo and known as the second largest state in the country after Sarawak. From muck diving and macro life to hammerheads and whale sharks, Sabah is a scuba diver's dream. There are lots of interesting diving spots around Sabah. Southwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah there is a Pualau Tiga island. Reefs around Pulau Tiga are shallow allowing for long dives with an average of 20m/65ft visibility. Nudibranches, bamboo sharks, and banded sea snakes are common in these turquoise waters. Mantanani Islands are a group of three isolated islands located northwest of Sabah. Pulau Mantanani Besa is full with age-old shipwrecks and sea creatures inhabiting them. The island promises the most diverse marine life with water visibility of up to 40m/131ft. Malawali island and Pulau Banggi are located north of Sabah and famous for the large concentration of corals. The islands contain an important mix of habitats including mangroves and seagrasses. Lankayan, Turtle and Gulisan islands are located off the north-east coast of Sabah and the last two provide a refuge for the highly endangered green and hawksbill turtles. Lankayan Island offers macro diving, wrecks and coral reefs. It is also known for its large stretches of unspoiled lettuce, staghorn and other hard corals as well as soft corals and sponges populated with colorful snappers, parrotfish, wrasses and angelfish.The Semporna Marine Park is located off the east coast of Sabah and consists of dozens of reefs and islands separating the Celebes Sea from the Sulu Sea to the north. Near Semporna there are islands of Sipadan, Mabul, Si Amil, Kapalai, Mataking, Boheyan and Mantabuan that offer good diving and are worth visiting. Further off the east coast of Sabah there is Sibuan island which is an ideal location for snorkelers and beginning divers. Pom Pom island is located nearby and features an amazing wall with a huge diversity of fish and coral species. It is also an important nesting and feeding site for Green and Hawksbill turtles. The islands of Boheyan and Timba Timba offer white sandy beaches and crystal clear water and a glimpse on a rare marine life. Mantabuan island is a paradise for divers who want to see magnificent corals and dive in turquoise waters of unsurpassed visibility. Sipadan is known worldwide for its spectacular marine life. Over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds species of coral are found along its 600m/2000ft steep wall. Mabul is one of the single destinations in the world featuring the widest variety of exotic small marine life. Kapalai Island is one of the premier macro dive spots in the world, and its dive site Jetty is registered as the 5th best dive site in the world. In the area worth visiting dive sites include Hanging Gardens, The Jetty, Mandarin Valley, and many other.
When to go to Sabah
Scuba diving is possible all year round, despite the rainy season which occurs between December and March.
The average temperature throughout the year ranges between 23-31C/73-87F.
Water temperature ranges between 27-30C/82-86F.
What to see
Sipadan is also renowned as the island that attracts large pelagic species and is sometimes referred to as the big fish capital of the world. Many rare and newly identified gobies can be found living in the corals, mud, sand and mangroves of Sabah along with little understood and rarely seen mimic octopus, psychedelic mandarin fish and orangutan crab. Divers also get a chance to observe frogfish, ghost pipefish, seahorses and rare giant jawfish.