Ever since diving celebrity like Jacques Cousteau raved about the diversity of its marine life here, this dive mecca has been indisputably the most famous scuba destination in Malaysia. The island is located off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia’s eastern most state, and lies on the north-eastern corner of Borneo, the world’s third largest island.
The Sipadan diving legend has passed through the world’s dive community to the extent that all divers with an interest in visiting the best sites in the world, have this small island at the top of their wish list.
Sipadan Island was at the top of Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for ‘The Top Dive Destination in the World’. In fact the island shared its top spot with two other destinations known for the amazing diversity of their marine life – the Galapagos Islands and Truk in Micronesia. For environmental reasons this tiny island has now closed its resorts. This means the best way to dive here is by staying in on one of the nearby resorts at Mabul or Kapalai.
There are no quality liveaboards currently in operation around this area so the best way to dive here is on daily boat trips from Mabul or Kapalai. The nearby resorts also boast some excellent macro-diving which is a great complement to the breathtaking big fish action of Sipadan Island.
You can dive here all year round. Overall, the best conditions exist from April to December, especially July and August. January to March can see some unsettled weather and a decrease in visibility but the resorts still see plenty of guests at this time as the diving can still be fine.Liveaboard season runs from January to September.
Tips & Recommendations for Divers
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Sipadan Islands|
|EXPERIENCE LEVEL||Intermediate – Advanced|
|DEPTH||5m to >40m|
|VISIBILITY||10m to 30m|
|CURRENTS||Can be strong|
|SURFACE CONDITIONS||Can be choppy|
|WATER TEMPERATURE||26ºC to 30ºC|