Billabong Scuba - OUR DIVING
Since our budget accommodation and diveshop is located on the island Mabul, all dive sites are easy accessible, giving us a very flexible dive schedule to suit your needs. Diving from Mabul, unlike day-tripping from the mainland, lets us dive the sites when they are at their best, like dawn dives to look for Hammerhead Sharks, catching the tides when marinelife is most active and dusk- and nightdives for a spectacular experience with mating Mandarinfish and other nocturnal species. Let our experienced divemasters show you our underwater world.
Click HERE for Sipadan Divereport with dive and surface conditions!
:: PULAU SIPADAN
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 2,000 feet or 600m from the seabed. It is located east of Tawau (Borneo), in the Celebes sea. It was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop.
Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem. Rare diving scenes such as schools of greenback turtles and hawksbill turtles nesting and mating, schools of Barracuda & Big-eye trevally in tornado-like formations, pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks can be seen here.
The mysterious turtle tomb lies underneath the column of the island, formed by an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletons of turtles. The skeletons of a dolphin and a marlin has also, by mysterious ways, found the entrance to this gloomy and spectacular graveyard.
Pulau 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. The list of attractions is quite staggering and all the more exceptional as it involves big fish encounters, something very rare in Asia these days - at Barracuda Point you can find yourself surrounded by a spiralling vortex of barracuda, so large that the sunlight is often clouded out. At South Point there are scores of reef sharks, large schools of passing trevally and herds of massive marauding bumphead parrotfish. When diving in Sipadan everywhere you turn you'll see turtles, munching on the sponges and algae, or lazing on the wall ledges. If you take the time to look closely at the walls you'll see a wealth of macro life and fish species to rival most destinations, although this is often overlooked due to the other major attractions crying for your attention!
Signature sites: Barracuda Point, South Point, Drop Off
:: PULAU MABUL
Mabul is arguably one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life anywhere in the world. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus and bobtail squids are just a few of the numerous types of cephalopods to be found on Mabul's reef. The sight of harlequin shrimp feeding on sea stars and boxer crabs waving their tin anemone pompoms are just a small example of the endless species of crustaceans. Many types of gobies can be found including the spike-fin goby, black sail-fin goby and metallic shrimp goby. Frogfish are everywhere -giant, painted and clown frogfish are regularly seen along with the almost the whole scorpionfish family. It would be quicker to list the species not found at Mabul - crazy critters are in abundance at this magical macro site!
Signature sites: Paradise 1+2, Seaventures
:: PULAU KAPALAI
Kapalai is a smaller sandbank, housing a posh resort just 10minutes off Mabul island. Diving on this small sandbank, and its surrounding reef, will treat you with an enormous range of rare macro life. The sandbank that makes out this little island, slopes down to around 20 meters, where 5 wooden Malay fishing boats have found rest on the bottom. The wrecks are assessable for all levels, and are housing several big schools of fish, amongst are snappers, sweetlips and bluefin trevallys. On the wrecks, you'll find frogfish the size of footballs hanging out side by side with the beautiful twinspot lionfish and the odd crocodile flathead. Returning to the reef for the safety-stop, a stretch of sand will be passed which calls for a look-out for the extremely photogenic and rare blue-ringed octopus. The reef itself houses numerous rare critters that will be cherished by the macro loving diver, such as ghostpipefish, pharaoh cuttlefish and a wide range of nudibranch ready to pose for passing divers and their cameras.
Signature sites: Kapalai housereef
Greetings from Billabong Scuba