Kota Kinabalu, being an island, automatically follows that water sports would be the most anticipated and renowned activities here. Scuba diving is being a major attraction, has gained momentum over the years, refining its quality of services and guide it has to offer to the tourists and residents alike. Every scuba diver, whether beginner, intermediate, or expert wishes to visit Kota Kinabalu to be able to experience scuba diving from one of the most divine diving spots in the world.
The reason behind Kota Kinabalu being such an exotic and popular scuba diving point is because of the clear waters and the breathtaking view underwater, with a unique and classic range of marine life, at its most diverse, with Sipadan Island topping the list. Exquisite scuba diving landscapes are to be spotted for you to have a thorough and mind-boggling experience such as muck diving, coral reefs and wreck diving. The rich experience of Kota Kinabalu diving, makes it a recommended things to do in Kota Kinabalu for tourists.
Scuba diving can be both relaxing and fascinating or exhilarating with a unique tinge of the adrenaline rush through your nerves. Rest assured to encounter one of the most amazing top diving sites of the world in the biodiversity of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Taking up a diving course would certainly be worthwhile to explore the underwater world.
Top Kota Kinabalu Diving Sites
One of the most beautiful scuba diving sites, which are sure to attract your attention and give you a lifetime experience are found in Kota Kinabalu. The scintillating islands, coral reefs and atolls make it one of the most desirable spots for diving in Sabah. Following are some of the most visited and renowned Kota Kinabalu diving sites, not only in KK but in the whole of Sabah, Borneo.
Precisely located in Semporna, the Sipadan Island is strategically located amongst thick, dense, lush, green foliage and typical sandy beaches. It has the honour of being an internationally no. 1 renowned and highly favourable spot for diving and exploring underwater life. The enriched biodiversity at Sipadan Island gives it a unique selling point. Its strategic geographical location has made it lie at the heart of one of the most priceless and demanding diving spots in the world. Innumerable coral reefs and around up to 3000 species of fish are to be found at this diving spot-being one of its kind.
In the shape of an oval, the Mabul Island has the added advantage of being within the vicinity of Sipadan Island, just 20 minutes away. It Is specifically known for ‘muck diving’, which was practically discovered here due to the muddy sea beds and restricted visibility due to cloudiness. The variety available at this destination has been absurd yet unique in its own way, such as blue-ringed octopuses, dwarf stonefish, nudibranchs, harlequin ghost pipefish and many more. Abundant turtles can be found spotting the landscape. It can justifiably be called a mesmerizing site with great macro content.
Located between the famous Sipadan and Mabul island, Kalpai Island is not exactly an island in its truest sense, hence giving it a distinguished position. If you happen to take a speedboat from Sipadan Island, then it is a short 15 minute ride, whereas it takes 45 minutes from Semporna. Once you start exploring the beautiful underwater life, you are sure to be left spellbound by the beauty submerged underneath. It has a similar nature of muck driving as seen on Mabul Island and the species found are the uncommon type, but similar to the ones found on Mabul Island. Another unique service offered is that of the jetty dive which is inclusive of ammonium shrimps, crocodile fish, lion fish, scorpion fish and pinkeye gobies.
This island is at quite a distance from Semporna, about 80 minutes away. It is a feasible spot for both the keen divers and the non-professional divers and an even major attraction for photographers, due its macro and pelagic variety. Mataking’s reef is occasionally spotted with Orang Utan crabs. And the photographers are enchanted and delighted by the aura and charisma created by innumerable queer tiny creatures lighting up the entire reef at night. The unparalleled beauty of the colourful coral decorations is undoubtedly a picturesque sight for an enthusiastic photographer, wanting to cover the beauty immersed underneath.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP Park)
Starting from the city of KK, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is 10-20 minutes away via speedboat. It is a mixture of different islands constituting the marine park. Splendid and plush gardens, accompanied by not so deep waters and shiny opulent white sandy beaches are the main features of this marine park.
The islands which are a part of this park are the Pulau Gaya, Sapi, Mamutik, Manukan & Sulug Islands. Pulau Gaya being the largest one and Pulau Manukan being the most developed are the most visited tourist spots in the TARP park. The Mamutik Island is the nearest one from the KK city while the Sapi Island features one of the best Kota Kinabalu diving site. The Pulau Sulug is less developed but still divers visit the island as it is less crowded.
The snorkeling and scuba diving experiences in these islands attract people from around the globe. People, who take up diving just for the thrill and excitement associated with it, will find it very convenient to start their journey here because of the shallow waters and exotic beauty underneath. The diversity may also attract professional divers and enthusiast photographers. The marine park features some of the best Kota Kinabalu diving sites & a must-visit place for scuba diving enthusiasts.
Be prepared for another captivating and enthralling underwater experience in Kota Kinabalu, as you set out to explore Mantanani Island at its best. The unique blend of colours just gives the underwater life a unique tinge of liveliness be neon coloured fishes, attractive clownfish spotting the landscape and coral reefs setting an exemplary example of beauty and variety at its best. Be sure to be surprised at every visit, as the attractions of Mantanani island never seem to end. The crimson sky will alleviate your physical exhaustion after diving and take you into a relaxed state of mind. You surely do not want to miss out on the soothing sunset.
These are some of the best Kota Kinabalu diving spots which you should not miss. If you want to recommend a scuba diving spot or share your experience, please do so by adding comments below.