Diving in Pulau Mabul – Facts Sheet
Destination : Pulau Mabul
Country : Malaysia
Temperature : 27 – 29°C
Season : April to October
How to go : Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, followed by 1 hour drive to Semporna and 30 minutes boat ride to the island
Situated about 30 minutes sailing north of Pulau Sipadan, Pulau Mabul offers a unique and exciting diving experience that contrasts with almost any other diving location in the hemisphere.
Pulau Mabul is a macro diving heaven where it’s possible to see creatures that you’ll almost certainly not be able to find anywhere else.
Pulau Mabul is rightly proud of its reputation that marks it out as one of the best macro diving sites in the world. The island offers a whole range of diving options, for everyone from beginners to professionals; including the latest new rage, muck diving.
This new fad involves diving in and around shallow sites that usually have a sandy bottom, meaning visibility can be low. The focus for these dives is on the strange little critters known by the name macro-life. A muck dive is a completely different experience from exploring coral reefs and steep walls with their excellent visibility and fascinating aqua life.
Instead of this, muck diving offers the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most bizarre sea life that can be found in the ocean
Photographers will have brilliant opportunities if they go muck diving, as they will have the once in a lifetime chance to capture some of the world’s rarest ecological species that have made the underwater world around Pulau Mabul their own.
Species to look out for include ghost pipefish, devil scorpionfish, mandarin fish, stonefish, mantis shrimps, snake eels and ribbon eels, frogfish, crocodile fish and even seahorses!
Muck diving isn’t the only offering that Pulau Mabul showcases though, as it really is one of the world’s most diverse diving sites. One of its best attractions is the Lobster Wall, actually consisting of 3 different walls around 35-38m in depth.
The walls are shrouded in blue, yellow and orange sponges and corals, and these provide the food for a whole ecosystem that includes nudibranches, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, turtles, yellow snapper fish and a whole lot more besides.
Some of the other great dive sites on Pulau Mabul that are well worth checking out include Ray Point, so-called because of the abundance of spotted rays in the area, and the Eel Garden, which is at a depth of about 25m and is home to fields of garden eels.
Garden eels are fun; if you disturb just one of them it will immediately retreat into its burrow and you’ll create a wave effect that will see hundreds of them in all directions simultaneously hiding too!
Pulau Mabul itself is a pleasant little island, encircled with golden sandy beaches and populated with several dive resorts and a quaint little fishing village full of friendly local people, making it a very charming place to stay during your dive trip.