Diving in Pulau Sipadan – Facts Sheet
Destination : Pulau Sipadan
Country : Malaysia
Temperature : 28 – 34°C
Typical Visibility : 30 – 40 m (100 – 130ft)
Season : All year
How to go : Flight from KL to Tawau followed by one hour drive to Semporna
The crown jewel of Malaysian diving, Pulau Sipadan simply cannot be missed.
Pulau Sipadan is a small offshore island just off mainland Sabah in the Indo-Pacific basin and its waters are home to some of the richest varieties of marine life that can be found anywhere in the world. Rich, warm currents bring food into the area, which in turn tempts fish, which then tempt even bigger fish, then sharks, turtles and dolphins, all of which can be enjoyed by scuba divers.
There are literally dozens of dive sites dotted around the island, all of them within a short speedboat trip from the numerous nearby resorts.
Although each site is quite different and offers lots of variety, they all have one thing in common – There is a lot to see!
The list of things to see at Pulau Sipadan is as huge as it is exceptional, involving plenty of encounters with big fish.
Take Barracuda Point as an example; there divers often find themselves simply overwhelmed by a huge, swirling vortex of barracudas, sometimes so big that the sunlight is blotted out. Then there are large schools of carangidae fish and hundreds of the reef sharks that feast of them waiting to be spotted at South Point, not to mention the herds of gigantic humphead parrotfish marauding in the area.
Pulau Sipadan is one of the worlds best sites for big fish.
For anyone who wants to see turtles, Pulau Sipadan’s famous ‘Turtle Patch’ is the place to come. Giant turtles come here in abundance in order to feed on the plentiful sponges in the area or to simply rest on the sandy sea bottom. The turtles here have become so used to curious divers that they will allow you to get extraordinarily close to them, and they won’t be unsettled or try to swim away, a truly unique experience that nowhere else can offer.
The diving resorts on the island have all closed down now, in order to try and conserve the islands fragile environment. However, there are plenty of diving resorts nearby, on the islands of Kapalai and Mabul where Pulau Sipadan can easily be reached.
Diving on Pulau Sipadan is possible all year round, though by far the best time to come is from April through to December, and especially during the months of July and August when the ocean is at its calmest and most clear. The weather is somewhat unsettled during January to March, but though visibility is reduced the diving still offers a great experience.