Experiencing the beauty of what nature offers in terms of recreational activities can be the most satisfying to any person as it rejuvenates. Every now and then you find yourself being attracted to this magic of nature after the activities of daily living inclusive of work. Most of the recreational activities often include but not limited to; nature trail, bird viewing, site visits, swimming, fishing, boating and diving. Asia is the leading continent in the world as a destination for most tourists because of the wide array of these recreational activities and facilities offered.
For the rest of this discourse, we will explore on the offers of the Mabul Island scenery, found in Asia, specifically in the country of Malaysia. The island has served as a fishing village since the 1970s and around 1990s it became more popular with diving due to its close location, 15 km, to Sipadan Island. In addition, overfishing through the use of cyanide and dynamite by the local people enhanced in a way the popularity of diving. At present Mabul is a macro diver’s paradise with its 2 square kilometers of the reef with over 10 diving sites for exploring.
The Coral Reef Garden, Paradise and the Seaventure Platform consist of the three most frequented diving sites. Other diving sites include; Eel Garden, Lobster Wall, Panglima Reef and Gurnard Point. The major difference between Mabul and Sipadan is that, the first is known for its large pelagic species and huge schools of fish while the latter is known for its unique and seldom seen critters. When you dive in a Mabul island site, you will experience the site-seeing snake eels, flamboyant cuttlefish, bobtail squids and mimic octopi among other numerous cephalopods. In addition to that; nudibranchs, ghost pipefish and Harlequin shrimp can be noticed by a keen eye.
The diving season can be throughout the year though the best conditions for diving occur around outside the rainy season. Between the months of March to around September consists of the dry season when visibility is great. The point is that even though the visibility is great during this period, it doesn’t matter that much as diving in the island is mostly about the macro life. The busiest periods in the destination include during; Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. For this reason bookings should be done earlier to avoid any inconveniences of missing out on this great experience.
Staying in a resort gives you the alternative of exploring other offers from local sites around Mabul apart from diving. The resorts have something for everyone, depending on how deep your pockets are. From inexpensive beach chalets to the expensive and luxurious stilted water bungalows. It is important to note that special local rates often apply for Malaysians, expatriates with work permits and Singaporeans in those resorts.
The Mabul Water bungalows offer a breathtaking view of the clear blue sky apart from the plenty amenities such as air conditioning, internet connection and even SCUBA certification courses. Other resorts include; Borneo Divers Mabul Resort, Seaventures Dive Rig, Sipadan-Mabul Resort and Sipadan Kapalai dive resort among others. The Sipadan Kapalai dive resort apart from many other advantages it presents is close to the pelagic marvels of the Sipadan Island.
Lastly, Mv Celebes Explorer is the only live aboard operating in the area if you prefer. It is more suited to divers but non-divers can be accommodated. In terms of how to get to Mabul Island, the recommended flight from Kota Kinabulu to Tawau leaves at 7:00 am and arrives at around 7:45 am with Malaysia Airlines. It is the flight favored by most Sipadan dive resorts. From here guests are collected and driven to Semporna area, about an hour, from where a boat will safely transfer you to Mabul. You will definitely have a visit never to forget.