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Mabul is a small, oval shaped island which, like Kapalai, is renowned for its macro diving and has gained a reputation as one of the best ’muck diving’ sites in the world.

A 15 minute boat ride from Sipadan, it is surrounded by sandy beaches and perched on the north-west corner of a larger 200-hectare reef. The reef is on the edge of the continental shelf and the surrounding seabed slopes out to depths of 25-30 metres.

Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus and bobtail squid are just a few of the numerous types of cephalopoda to be found on Mabul’s reef. Many types of gobies can be found including the spike fin, black sail-fin, and metallic shrimp goby. Frogfish are everywhere and giant, painted, and clown frogfish are all regularly seen. Moray eels and snake eels of many types can be found, along with almost the whole scorpion fish family. It would be quicker to list the species not found at Mabul; crazy critters are in abundance at this magical macro site!

Please note the UK foreign office advice currently relating to this region. Please speak to our dive team for further advice and information.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: giant frogfish, green turtle, ornate ghost pipefish, flamboyant cuttlefish

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itineraries:

Sipadan & Layang Layang

Mabul offers excellent ‘muck diving’, with an incredible variety of crazy critters. Combine this with Layang Layang’s pristine conditions and famed pelagics, and you have the perfect dive holiday.

  • When to go: Mar-Aug
  • Duration inc. flights: 18 days
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Sipadan & Mataking Discoverer

An excellent twin-centre holiday combining Mataking and Sipadan, two of Borneo’s finest diving locations. Expect to see a variety of pelagics and critters, including manta and eagle rays, giant frogfish and rare pygmy seahorses.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Sipadan & Orangutans

A classic combination, with a week exploring the astonishing island of Sipadan and its unrivalled diving opportunities, before heading inland for two days of face-to-face encounters with Borneo’s orangutan.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Mabul Water Bungalows

Offering easy access to the astonishing dive sites of Sipadan Island, this resort features 15 luxurious over the water bungalows each with spacious private balcony affording panoramic vistas of the surrounding seas.

Seaventures Dive Resort

With easy access to the prime dive sites of Mabul and Sipadan, Seaventures is a unique dive resort - a converted abandoned oil rig offering 25 rooms and two suites, plus 360° panoramic views of the surrounding islands.

Sipadan Mabul Resort

This resort, also known as SMART, is located on the southeast side of Mabul Island, overlooking Sipadan. Accommodation is in wooden duplex chalets dotted along the white sandy beach and its palm trees.

Sipadan Water Village

This beautiful resort is built on stilts over the water, and is ideally situated for diving around Sipadan, Mabul & Kapalai. Based on Bajau architechtural design, each of the 45 cottages has a private sundeck and modern amenities.

Our suggested liveaboard is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Celebes Explorer

The only liveaboard operating in the Sipadan region, this custom built boat visits world-class dive sites and is the best way to explore the exotic islands of Semporna Marine Park and the Celebes Sea.