The fame of Sipadan is well deserved. Diving here offers something that is rarely seen elsewhere, an exceptionally healthy reef and an untouched ecosystem as well as the opportunity to see some unique oddballs up close like the bumphead parrotfish.
Swimming in the middle of huge trevallis fish schools was an unbelievable experience. It felt like being in another world. Sipadan is one of the rare islands surrounded by deep sea which means also the big fishes e.g hammerheads are coming.
But Sipadan is also home to a big population of turtles. We have never been so close to turtles before. They just lying on the riff and taking a nap.
Diving in Sipadan – What is important?
However, diving Sipadan is not a straightforward matter and there are several aspects that need to be considered.
There are no dive resorts on Sipadan itself. In 2004, the Malay government forced all of them to move to Mabul island which lies 30min away by speedboat. At the same time, a limit of 120 divers per day was set to protect the biodiversity of Sipadan, which is amazing. This reality has several implications for potential divers.
Book your Sipadan Dive in Advance
- Given the limited number of slots available. It is advisable to book Sipidan dives well in advance.
- Late cancellations do occur but are very rare. Generally, people who are sick will not cancel their Sipadan dive in the hope of getting well.
- If you are a late booker, the chance of getting a Sipadan dive permit is higher with the less famous dive shops, i.e. not Scuba Junkie.
- It is not possible to book only Sipadan dives with Scuba junkie, which typically requires you to book a couple of days of diving around Mabul in return for ONE guaranteed day of Sipadan diving. It is possible to book a Sipadan dive day with lesser known dive shops.
- Consider how many dives you will get on your Sipadan dive day before you book. Some dive resorts offer four dives that day whereas some others only offer three.
After booking your dive in Sipadan you can enjoy a beautiful underwater world.