Kapalai

Macro Diving At It's Best

Kapalai is the third point of the famous Golden Triangle, with Sipadan and Mabul being the other two. Kapalai is not a true island but rather a sandbar that resorts have built upon to form a true water resort. While the resort was originally built for it's proximity to world-famous Sipadan, curious divers quickly discovered the paradise that awaited just beneath. Kapalai is undoubtedly one of the premiere macro dive sites in the world. It's true that many divers come to Kapalai and never even go to Sipadan!

Kapalai consists of a small sloping reef approximately 15m deep which contains many strange and beautifully ugly critters. Blue ring octopus, mimic octopus, ghost pipefish, wasp fish, and stonefish are just some of the common sights. Everyday at dusk, in the coral rubble adjacent to the Kapalai jetty, mandarin fish perform their nightly mating ritual. Leaf scorpion fish and frogfish of various colors inhabit the sloping reefs on all sides of the islands. Below the shallow sloping reef is a sandy plateau, which is home to five small wreck and a resort chalet. At the base of these wrecks you can find giant stingray, as well as large schools of jack fish and barracuda, along with solitary potato groupers reaching over two meters in length. Also within the wrecks lie many unusual marine invertebrates including orangutan crabs, spider crabs, hyper-colored nudibranchs , and many different species of shrimps. Indeed, Kapalai is an underwater photographers' paradise.

Dive Sites

The Jetty

Named the 5th best dive site in the world last year. This is Kapalai house reef and is where the 5 wrecks are located. This dive site offers a good mix of both large pelagic and small critters!

Mid Reef

Go down the ball line to around 25m here the current can be very strong so this is a dive site for the more experienced diver. This dive site is famous for its pigmy seahorses.

Mandarin Alley

This dive site lies to the left of the jetty. It consists of a shallow sloping reef (max depth 18m) It’s a very slow dive where one must search amongst the ruble and coral for small critters such as Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, Frog Fish, Stone Fish Octopus and the famous but very rare Mandarin Fish.

Gurnard Point

This dive site lies beside the Police Jetty. At the bottom of the reef lies a small wreck where lives a Giant Frog Fish, and lots of Moray eel! After the wreck dive down the sandy plateau and watch out for many swimming sting Rays as they dart away from the dive group. As the divers go back to the sloping reef you will see the very unusual Flying Gurnard (which looks like a peacock underwater!) A truly unique dive site!!


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Map of Kapalai

Other Islands

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