Sipadan in a Nutshell - For those people lucky enough to visit Sipadan island, a plethora of amazing marine life such as turtles, barracuda, sharks and bumphead parrotfish await you in large numbers. Nearby Mabul offers world-class critter diving.
Marine Life - Sipadan is a mushroom-shaped island with the bottom of Drop Off wall reaching 2000ft. The other side of the island has a wider mushrooming head below the water line with 40-60 foot reefs before sloping down to the steep walls. These are great areas to find sleeping turtles, lounging white tips reef sharks, and resting crocodile fish.
Every dive site at Sipadan is amazing, and each one is loaded with your usual schools of anthias, jacks, trigger fish, angel fish, anemone fish, nudibranchs, lionfish, eels, octopus, and more. You’ll see plenty of turtles at Turtle Patch as well as on every dive at Sipadan.
Water Temperatures: 26 - 30°C (79 - 86°F)
Visibility: 60 - 100 ft (18 - 30m)
Currents: There can be strong currents on certain dive sites such as Barracuda Point, South Point, and Hanging Gardens.
Dive Sites - The top dive sites are Barracuda Point, Hanging Gardens and Southpoint. You’ll see gigantic staghorn corals at Staghorn Crest, plenty of white tip sharks at White Tip Avenue, and gorgeous soft hanging corals at Hanging Gardens.
Diving Barracuda Point, Sipadan - One of the most popular dive sites there would have to be Barracuda Point. Each morning you can see the chevron barracuda forming their massive spiraling schools off the reef. I’ve swam among them many times, and am always amazed at how close they let you get to them. You’ll also see schooling big-eye trevally pouring over the reef in the shallows and in the deep. The occasional tuna will swim by and you can see zebra sharks, manta rays, and even a hammerhead swim by off the walls at both Barracuda Point and South Point.
All over the island, you’ll see large numbers of turtles. There is a turtle ranger on the island, who gathers the turtle eggs and protects them from predators until they hatch. When they hatch, the ranger releases the turtles at the shore. Once they do this, the turtles always return to the same beach when they are ready to lay their own eggs. There is only a 10% survival rate once they hit the water, but that’s obviously been enough and the rangers protecting the eggs from lizards and other predators is a great help.
Topside & Non-Diving Activities - When visiting Sipadan, make sure you do some land touring as well. Visit the jungles of Borneo, see the Orangutans next door at the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. They have a wonderful orangutan rescue/release program there. Also visit the Labuk Bay Probosicus Monkey Sanctuary to see some great wildlife.
If you are going to spend a few days in Kota Kinabalu, visit the Filipino market for great souvenirs. You can also take a city tour and learn more about the people of Malaysia.
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Electricity: 240V, 50Hz
Main Airport Code: TWU
Vaccines: Please check the CDC website for updated information on vaccines, health concerns, etc. It is recommended that you are up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and Polio for any trip to the tropics.
Visa: You do not need a visa if you are coming for business or tourism for 90 days or less. Your passport must be valid for at least six months.
Language: Malay and English
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