Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu – Heaven for Snorkelers in Sabah

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Photo Credit: Adib Wahab

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu or Pulau Sapi is the smallest of the five islands that form Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The Sapi Island is 25 acres in size which is equivalent to 20 football fields. Pulau Sapi along with Gaya Island became part of the marine park in 1974.

About Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu is only 7 km away from the main city of KK in Sabah and a 15 to 20 mins boat ride will take you to the island. The island is a famous tourist spot in Kota Kinabalu as it features crystal clear water, sandy beaches, rich marine life, coral reef, water based sport & activities. Pulau Sapi is also a preferred destination if you opt for Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping activity.

Fun things to do on Pulau Sapi

There are various fun activities tourists can do at Sapi island Kota Kinabalu. We will look at some of the fun activities below:


What will be the first thing you will do on the island that features crystal clear water? Snorkeling offcourse. The snorkeling at Pulau Sapi is fun since the water is clear and you can see different kind of fishes near the beach. If you don’t know how to swim then you can make use of life boat or a friend to see rich marine life right at the shore of Sapi Island.

Scuba Diving

There is no better place for scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah than Sapi Island. You can go deep under the water under the supervision of highly trained staff. The equipment used for scuba diving at Pulau Sapi is also a state of the art.

Related Article: Scuba Diving in Kota Kinabalu

sapi island kota kinabalu
Photo Credit: Alexander Synaptic


For adventure seekers, the camping facility is also available in the Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu. You need to seek permission, though upon arriving on the island from the reception desk. There are minimal charges and the camps are also available on the Sapi Island for rent.

Coral Flyer

Another fun way to reach Sapi Island is to experience 40 second thrilled Coral Flyer ride from Gaya Island. The 235 meters long (771 Feet) thrill ride will take you to Sapi Island form Gaya Island at the speed of 55 Kilometer Per Hour. It is 45 meters above the sea, which is about 148 feet. To fuel up your adrenaline rush, the ride is available for RM 65 (About USD 20) per person.

Water Sports

To facilitate tourists, there are a number of water sport activities available in Pulau Sapi. Some of the activities popular among tourists include Stand up Paddle boarding, Sea Walking, & Parasailing. You can book one of these activities directly at Sapi Island as well.

Related Article: Things to do in Kota Kinabalu

How to get to Sapi Island

The most popular boarding terminal to get to Sapi Island in Kota Kinbalu is Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. You will find the cheapest fare for a round trip to Sapi Island here. The return speedboat fare to Pulau Sapi is RM 23 (US $6) per adult & RM 18 (US $5) per child (below 11 years old).

Tourists often go for island hopping activity since it allows you to visit two, three or more islands in a day. For two islands, the return speedboat fare is about RM 33 (US $9) per adult & RM 28 (US $8) per children. For three islands, the return speedboat fare is about RM 43 (US $12) per adult & RM 38 (US $11) per children.

The boarding usually starts in the morning at 8 am and as early as 7:30 am on weekends & public holidays. The last speedboat return time is around 4 pm.

There are a RM 10 entry fees to the island for every adult. For children the entry fee is RM 6 per child (below 18 years old).

Facilities on Pulau Sapi

To facilitate tourists, there are a number of facilities available at the Sapi Island. Some of the facilities include grocery shops, snorkeling gears renting, camping equipment renting facility, changing rooms for male & female, café, BBQ pit & toilets.

sapi island kota kinabalu
Photo Credit: C K Leung

Safety Tips & Advice

To make your trip to Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu safe and fun, below are recommended safety tips and advice.

  1. Always accompany children during swimming as there are sudden 2 to 3 meters incline even near the beach at some places.
  2. Don’t engage with “Monitor Lizard” which you might see on the Sapi Island. They usually roam around the forest site of the Sapi Island.
  3. The beach of Pulau Sapi is not as big as other island. To avoid crowds, you should visit Sapi Island during weekdays and avoid weekends & public holidays.
  4. You should not miss the last return boat from Sapi Island which is usually around 4 pm. If you do then you need to stay on the island overnight. You can seek help from the reception and opt for camping if that happens.

Other Islands in Kota Kinabalu

The other islands famous among tourists and part of Island Hopping Kota Kinabalu tour are listed below:

Sapi Island in Kota Kinbalu or Pulau Sapi is no doubt a fun place in Sabah if you love beaches, sun, clear water and rich marine life. Let us know your Sapi experience by adding comments below.

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