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SCUBA Diving Sites To Remember


Mabul & Kapalai Islands


Mabul is situated closer to the peninsula of Semporna. Mabul does not offer steep walls like Sipadan. Instead, the corals here are less developed at shallow depths of 2 to 20 meters. The sandbanks of Kapalai, which emerges only during the low tides, offer similar characteristics of Mabul.

Dive Sites
a) ‘Mandarin Valley’;
b) ‘Spotted Ray Channel’;
c) ‘Eel Garden’;
d) ‘Ray Point’;
e) ‘Crocodile Avenue’;
f) ‘Froggy Lair’.

Map of Mabul and Kapalai

kapalai mabul

a) ‘Mandarin Valley’
In Kapalai, this site varies from just 8 metres to 20 metres. Divers begin on a gentle coral slope, which passes coral formations, and then to a wide sandy gully and a broad rocky area.

This is a haven for photographers and those interested in small species.

Marine life here includes the large stonefish, frogfish, candelabra sponges, giant parrotfish, cuttlefish, ghost pipefish, mandarin fish, crayfish, nudibranchs, scorpionfish, cardinal fish, lizardfish, and blue ribbon eels.

b) ‘Spotted Ray Channel’
Exactly opposite of Mandarin Valley, this dive site is located at the southern tip of Kapalai. The dive begins on a gently descending coral slope, which then continues by crossing a wide sandy gully to finally reach a series of rocky outcrops entirely covered with corals, at a depth of about 15 metres.

Marine life here includes the scorpionfish, stonefish, turkeyfish, ribbon eels, frogfish, sponges, shrimps, spotted rays, nudibranchs, flatworms, clownfish, crabs, blennies, gobies, and octopuses.

c) ‘Eel Garden’
Located on the eastern side of Mabul, Eel Garden is where divers can reach the greatest depth at 25 metres. Divers at this site will immediately come to a sandy flat area at the deepest, which comes out from the base of the reef into the open sea.

Marine life here includes the shrimp, lemon-coloured moray, frogfish, blue ribbon eel, gigantic mantis shrimp, damselfish, batfish, nudibranchs, crocodile fish, turkeyfish, anemone fish, and barred fin moray eels.

d) ‘Ray Point’
Here, the reef slopes down toward the sandy seabed to a depth of about 30 metres, through terraces of corals. Ray Point is located on the Southern tip of Mabul, and is affected by weak current, thus, making visibility clear.

Marine life here includes the butterfly fish, angel fish, emperors, damsel fish, parrotfish, Neptune seagrass, ghost pipefish, false stonefish, scorpionfish, crocodile fish, stingrays, pipefish, nudibranchs, and cloth and ghost crabs.

e) ‘Crocodile Avenue’
Located at the northern part of Mabul, this site varies from a depth of 2 metres up to 15 metres. Visibility here is low as a result of the sandy and muddy seabed. This is a classical muck dive of about 80 minutes long.

Marine life here includes the green algae, sea horse, soles, flaunders, scorpionfish, mandarin fish, poisonous catfish, turkeyfish, ghost pipefish, blennies, gobies, and squids.

f) ‘Froggy Lair’
Divers enter at the tip of the wooden wharf and resurface about 100 metres away at the resort of Water Village. Another much dive, this dive takes place along the straight stretch at depths of about 10 metres, along the reef with muddy and sandy seabed.

Visibility here is also low due to this. Marine life here includes the frogfish, cowries, jewelbox sea urchins, peacock mantis shrimp, crocodile fish, flatworms, devil scorpionfish, nudibranchs, lizardfish, sea whips, transparent shrimp, and pipefish.


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