Diving on Mabul & Kapalai Island – Malaysia

28.07.2019 by Editor Team

Reading Time: 5min. / Max. Diving Depth: 40m 😉

“What would you like to see today?” – This is how the Dive Guide welcomes its divers every morning. The bold wish for a pygmy seahorse or the equally rare harlequin shrimp is countered with “Give me ten minutes”. 🙂

One to zero for the dive guides on Mabul. Who live up to their name. They don’t see themselves as watchdogs, but as guides. Through a diving world where they know their way around much better than all the guests put together.

Want to dive on Mabul or Kapalai Island?

We will select the right diving schools for you according to your specifications.
They will then send you free and non-binding offers within a few days.
Simply compare and book. 🙂

We only forward your request to selected dive centres.

Your details will not be stored and you will not receive any advertising. Promise! 🙂

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Diving on Mabul Island Diving on Mabul Island

On the island Mabul in the Celebes Sea everything revolves around fish. There are hardly any fish in this concentration in the rest of the world. Frogfish are available in all colours and sizes. Leaf fish sit right next to the ghost shred fish. They wait headfirst for photographers in front of a wall of glass fish. In the macro dive area one sensation follows the next. 

For friends of Muck diving there is also a lot to discover on Mabul. The island location at the edge of the continental plate gives hints on the structure of the dive sites. The shallow water area extends to the mainland with maximum depths of around 30 metres. Towards the open sea in the direction of Sipadan, the seabed drops deeper on steep slopes.

Door to door with sea gypsies

Also on Mabul there is a water village with about 2.000 Bajau. A tribe of former sea gypsies. Today they work in the resorts. They take care of the coconut palms of the island and the fishing. A harmonious coexistence between the population and the guests is very important here. Because the Bajau are a part of the island and also provide the best dive guides. In order to find the pygmy seahorse mentioned at the beginning, the guide did not even need ten minutes. 🙂

Diving around Kapalai Island

Diving on Kapalai Island

A small hotel on stilts. Built in the shallow waters of the Legitan Reef sandbank. This is Kapalai. The mainland is several nautical miles away. The next opportunity for walks on the beach is on the neighbouring island of Mabul. The comparison to a scenery from the film “Waterworld” is obvious. The iron-wood construction of the hotel is typical. The numerous villages of the natives. The ones around the harbour town Semporna on the island Borneo are to be found.

Kapalai is actually just a small sandbank. The reef roof of the island is the ideal living space for sea dwellers. Especially at dusk young batfish, turtles and sharks come out to hunt. Directly in front of the diving school is the house reef. This is not so much characterised by its coral growth as by the rare animals. Mandarin and toad fish. Ghost moray eels, ghost shred fish and even the rare clown frogfish can be found here. Other dive sites of the reef are densely overgrown with corals. If you have a weakness for nudibranchs, you will get your money’s worth. Marine biologists have found more specimens around Kapalai and Mabul than elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. With maximum diving depths of 25 meters and water temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius, there are hardly any limits to diving fun.
For variety is provided. So you can drive daily from Kapalai to Sipadan. Where a lot of big fish is waiting for you.

The best dive sites on Mabul and Kapalai Island Diving in Malaysia

Diving at Lobster Wall on Mabul: Fantastically overgrown steep face on your doorstep. The scenery shines with fan corals. In addition there are pygmy seahorses, crayfish and countless nudibranchs.

Diving at Froggi Lair on Mabul: Artificial reef and small wreck in shallow water. Glass fish, ghost shred fish, toad fish and leaf fish are all around. 

Diving at Stingray City on Kapalai: Beautiful coral gardens with sandy areas. In between anemone fish, ghost moray eels and scorpion fish. Stingrays and turtles are constantly roaming the ground.

Diving at Flambo Reef on Kapalai: Named after the Flamboyant Cuttlefish, which is often seen here. Flat coral gardens with rare crabs and shrimps. Also stonefish, leaffish and octopus.

Want to dive on Mabul or Kapalai Island?

We will select the right diving schools for you according to your specifications.
They will then send you free and non-binding offers within a few days.
Simply compare and book. 🙂

We only forward your request to selected dive centres.

Your details will not be stored and you will not receive any advertising. Promise! 🙂

  • Please select all that apply
  • Please select all that apply
  •