There aren’t many scuba diving destinations around the world that can boast that they have green and hawksbill turtles (which mate and nest there), enormous schools of barracuda in tornado-like formations, large schools of big-eye trevally, bumphead parrotfish and pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks.
This area that we are talking about was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop. This place is real and is off the coast of Malaysia. This place is called Sipadan.
Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 600 metres (2,000 ft) from the seabed. It is located in the Celebes Sea off the east coast of Sabah, East Malaysia (which is on the island of Borneo). Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem. Sipadan has been rated by many dive journals as one of the top destinations for diving in the world.
The great marine life and coral reefs in Sipidan are topped off with great visibility. The pristine waters surrounding the island allow for a visibility of at least 20 meters year round. However, visibility can reach up to 50 meters during the dry season.
As you might know, coral reefs are slowly dying all around the world due to the bleaching happening from the ocean warming. This bleaching could now mean a death sentence for many coral reefs. If the present rate of destruction continues, most of the world’s coral reefs could be killed within our lifetime.
Malaysia has taken steps to protect the reef in Sipadan from divers due to its popularity.Visiting Sipadan Island requires a permit issued by Sabah Parks, a Sabah Government agency. There are a limited number of 120 permits available each day. This is a good move by the Malaysian Government in order to minimize the stress on the reefs and marine life in Sipadan. Unfortunately, this also means that not everyone will get to visit Sipadan Island every day.
Visit this incredible place today and enjoy these magnificent reefs while they are in great health. Contact us to plan your trip for you. Click here for a sample of what your Malaysia trip can look like.