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Mabul Island
Malaysia - Sabah

Mabul Island

Mabul Island

Mabul Island



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Mabul Island is a small island off the south-eastern coast of Sabah in Malaysia. The island has been a fishing village since the 1970s. Then in the 1990s, it first became popular to divers due to its proximity to Sipadan island.

Located 15 km from Sipadan, this 20-hectare piece of land surfaces 2–3 meters above sea level, consists mostly flat grounds and aerial view is oval-shaped. Surrounding it are sandy beaches, perched on the northwest corner of a larger two square kilometre reef.

Mabul island is administered by Semporna, Tawau district.The reef is on the edge of the continental shelf and the seabed surrounding the reef slopes out to 25 to 30 m deep. There are several dive resorts operating on Mabul island.

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.

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 almost the whole scorpion fish family.

There are six resorts here, which provides accommodation for scuba divers - most located on the island or on stilts over the water, while one is on a converted oil platform about 500 meters from the beach. There are also several homestay & backpacker accommodations which also arrange diving. All of the resorts/homestays can arrange a day trip to the nearby island of Pulau Sipadan. Be warned that there is a permit system for Sipadan and all permits may be booked months in advance. Diving is good around Mabul itself there is a good wall at Panglima and the best muck diving sites are called Paradise. There is good diving at Kapalai especially the house reef.

Getting there
By Air Flights to Tawau Airport, the nearest airport to Mabul, from Kota Kinabalu take 55 minutes. From Kuala Lumpur it takes 2 and a half hours to get to Tawau, you then need to take a bus, taxi or minivan from Tawau airport to Semporna and from the jetty take a boat organised by your dive operators or resort to the Island.

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Mabul Island (Pulau Mabul)
Pulau Mabul, Semporna, 91300, Semporna, Sabah

4.358069, 118.588486
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