Scuba Junkie Organizes Daily Dive Trips To More Than 25 Islands In The Celebes Sea

The triangle between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines is one of the most bio-diverse marine habitats in the world. Strong ocean currents, deep sea trenches and sea mounts, combined with active volcanic islands have created a complex oceanographic environment that is paradise for divers. The beauty of this region lies in it’s diversity. The dive spots and marine life vary from island to island and we recommend every visitor dive at least a few of them in order to fully appreciate what this area has to offer, from swirling barracuda to juvenile frogfish. With a 5 Star PADI dive center and Dive Lodge on the mainland in Semporna and also another 5 Star PADI IDC Dive Center and Award Winning Eco Resort on Mabul Island, Scuba Junkie is the only dive operation to visit more than 25 Islands here on a daily basis.

The Diving

Most people come for the world-famous Sipadan Island—home to thousands of turtles, schooling sharks, swirling barracuda, and awe-inspiring coral walls dropping more than 2,000 meters straight down to the sea floor. Sipadan is frequently voted as the worlds number 1 dive destination, but the diving doesn’t stop there. The Sipadan Barrier Reef is the largest Barrier Reef in S.E ASIA and also has the Worlds highest marine biodiversity! Diversity is the beauty of this amazing reef: It offers wall dives with vertical drops to over 500M, Cleaning stations that attract Manta Rays, Devil Rays and all kinds of sharks! 1000’s of schooling fish and hidden away in the coral shallows are some of the world’s best macro life such as Pygmy Seahorses, Flamboyant Cuttle Fish, Mandarin Fish and other marine life that is still to be identified. This is truly one of the last unexplored frontiers on Planet Earth and its a must you dive here when you come to visit.

Mabul, just a twenty minute boat ride from Sipadan, is one of the best macro-dive sites in the world. In fact, the term “muck-diving” was invented at Mabul, where you’ll encounter untold numbers of weird and amazing critters including blue-ringed octopus, harlequin ghost pipefish, dwarf stonefish, seahorses, nudibranchs, and many more. Mabul is also home to 100s of resident Turtles, Giant Groupers, Moray Eels and Eagle Rays are also often encountered on the sandy plateaus. For the lucky guests you may encounter a Whale Shark or even a Whale swimming past our Mabul Beach Resort-truly an experience of a life time.

Or perhaps you’d like to visit Sibuan, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in Sabah with empty white sand beaches, coconut palm trees, and azure blue waters. Frogfish are virtually guaranteed here, as are pygmy seahorses, mandarin fish, scorpion fish, crocodile fish, or encounters with eagle rays out in the blue. In short, there's something here to meet every diver's taste.

Daily Schedule

If You are based in Mabul:

To Dive at Sipadan Island you need to be staying at our Mabul Beach Resort. The boat for Sipadan departs Mabul at 0630 and by 7 am you’re suiting up and performing buddy checks for the first dive of the day. All of our dives are guided by experienced professionals who will ensure your dive is safe and that you see as many of the exciting species in the area as possible. After the first dive we will have a light breakfast followed by another 2 dives before lunch. A buffet lunch will be served on Sipadan Island and after that you will have time to relax on the beach and digest your lunch before the 4th dive that will start around 2pm. For all other dive trips from our Mabul Beach Resort - Mabul, Kapalai, Sipadan Barrier Reef, Si Amil, Manta Point, Ligitan, Roach Reef, and Boheyan our boats depart from our Mabul Jetty at 9am. For these trips we do 3 day dives a day. There is an optional night dive at Mabul which we highly recommend as its one of the best night dives in the world! After your final dive of the day your guides will do log books with you and explain to you all the amazing marine life you have seen.

Transfers from Semporna to Mabul Beach Resort (RM50 per person) leave Semporna at 8am and 2.30pm. If you would like to use our 2.30pm transfer to Mabul you will need to arrange a flight landing in Tawau no later than 12.30 or you can catch the public aircon coach that departs Sandakan daily at 8am.

Transfers from Mabul Beach Resort to Semporna (RM50 per person) leave Mabul at 10.30am and 4pm. The 10.30am transfer is suitable for catching flights leaving at 3.30pm or later and buses leaving at 2pm or later.

Transfers to/from Mabul on our 8am/4pm boats are free if diving/snorkelling same day or if you sign up for a Sipadan Package (applies for 2 or 3 boat dive days, snorkeling trips & diving courses).

If you are based in Semporna:

Our 400 horsepower speedboats leave daily at 8 am and by 9 am you’re suiting up and performing buddy checks for the first dive of the day. All of our dives are guided by experienced professionals who will ensure your dive is safe and that you see as many of the exciting species in the area as possible. Two morning dives are followed by a relaxing lunch on the beach while enjoying the tropical paradise. The third and final dive of the day takes place after everyone has had enough time to digest lunch, usually around 2PM . After the final dive, our speedboats shuttle you back to Semporna while you snooze in the late afternoon sun, and are dropped back at the dive shop by 4:30PM for hot showers, cold beer, and tasty pizza.

Turtles, sharks, nudibranchs, and lionfish. All things you'll see diving here.

Daily Diving & Snorkeling Prices

Activity Price
Price includes all equipment rental and lunch.
Min required certification level Open Water & min age 12 years for Dive packages
All prices quoted are in Malaysian Ringits and are subject to change
(*) Pls note the Sipadan Barrier Reef does not Include diving at Sipadan Island, only on the barrier reef.
3D2N Sipadan Packages starting from RM 1640.00
3 Dives Sipadan Barrier Reef (*) RM 350.00
3 Fun Dives At Other Islands RM 300.00
2 Fun Dives At Other Islands RM 250.00
Snorkeling Sipadan Barrier Reef RM 150.00
Snorkeling At Other Islands RM 110.00
Night Dive RM 100.00
Camera Rental RM 100.00
Mabul Transfer (if not diving that day) RM 50.00

Make a reservation now!

Diving more than 1 day? Check out our multi-day discount packages!

Multi-day discounts

3 dives with rental equipment 3 dives with own equipment
1 DAY RM 300 RM 250
2 DAYS RM 270 RM 225
3 or 4 DAYS RM 255 RM 212
5+ DAYS RM 240 RM 200
These rates apply to 3 dive day trips to all islands except Sipadan and the Sipadan Barrier Reef.
Night dives are not included but can be booked for an additional RM 100 per dive.

Make a reservation now!

Sipadan & Mabul Beach Resort Package Rates (per Person)

Stay # of dives Mabul Beach Resort Room Options Departure times  
Days/ Nights Non-Sipadan Sipadan Dormitory Ensuite Fan Deluxe AC VIP AC from Semporna from Mabul Islands Visited
3D/2N 6 4 RM 1,640 RM 1,690 RM 1,790 RM 1,860 8:00AM 4:30PM (*)
4D/3N 6 4 RM 1,740 RM 1,815 RM 1,965 RM 2,070 8:00AM 11:30AM (*)
4D/3N 9 4 RM 2,140 RM 2,115 RM 2,265 RM 2,370 8:00AM 4:30PM (**)
5D/4N 9 4 RM 2,140 RM 2,240 RM 2,440 RM 2,580 8:00AM 11:30AM (**)
5D/4N 12 4 RM 2,340 RM 2,540 RM 2,740 RM 2,880 8:00AM 4:30PM (**)
6D/5N 9 4 RM 2,240 RM 2,365 RM 2,615 RM 2,790 2:30PM 11:30PM (**)
6D/5N 12 8 RM 3,280 RM 3,405 RM 3,655 RM 3,830 8:00AM 4:30PM (**)
7D/6N 12 8 RM 3,380 RM 3,530 RM 3,830 RM 4,040 8:00AM 11:30PM (**)
(*): INCLUDES MABUL, KAPALAI & SIPADAN
(**): INCLUDES MABUL, KAPALAI, SIPADAN BARRIER REEF & SIPADAN
Single supplement is RM65 per night for ensuite fan room, RM90 per night for Deluxe AC room and RM105 per night for VIP AC room. There is a high season supplement of RM25 per night on all packages starting between 1st July & 31st Aug
Included Excluded
3 dives / day on non-Sipadan days
4 dives / day on Sipadan days
Full equipment rental (excluding dive computer)
Transfer to/from Mabul at specified times
3 main Meals, afternoon snacks, tea, coffee & water
Accommodation in Mabul Beach Resort
Sipadan permit fee RM40
Semporna Jetty Fee RM10
Alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks from the bar
Night Dives
Airport Transfers

Reservations

We recommend that everyone coming to Semporna/Mabul book ahead in order to guarantee space on the boat at Sipadan and other islands. Because Sipadan is a protected marine reserve, permits are required in order to visit the island. We usually need at least a few days to secure a permit for you. It’s worth stating here: you must book Sipadan a few weeks ahead in order to guarantee a spot upon arrival. The other islands do not require permits but we are busy year-round so it’s worth booking ahead if you’re on a schedule. If you plan on diving for a few days, we strongly recommend doing a couple of days at the other islands in addition to Sipadan. This is especially true if you haven’t dived in a while as currents can be strong at Sipadan and it’s good to be tuned-up before your first dive there.

We realize that Semporna is becoming well known on the backpacker circuit, and we pride ourselves in catering to travelers arriving on short notice from Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, and elsewhere. If you show up unannounced, we can most likely get you on the boat if you’re willing to wait a few days.That being said, the only way we can guarantee you a space on the boats is by letting us know you’re coming


Scuba Junkie in Kota Kinabalu

As you may already know, in 2005 Sabah National Parks instituted a permit system on Sipadan in order curb environmental impact from tourism. Currently, 120 people are allowed on the island each day. As such, space is limited at and it is highly recommended that you book ahead of time in order to guarantee you'll be able to dive when you first arrive. While permits are not required to dive at any of the other islands, it still suggested that you make reservations as we are busy year round.

For more info on diving at Sipadan Island check out our friends below to read what other divers have to say.
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Best in Protection of Natural Areas and/or Wildlife Conservation 2012

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