Holidays to Sabah Islands, Borneo

Head away from the town of Semporna in Borneo on a boat for around an hour and you’ll reach a collection of islands. It’s all about the diving in this region, and the Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai Islands attract divers from around the world.

Sipadan Island itself is closed to visitors to protect turtle breeding. But the dive sites around the island are accessible for divers to marvel at the coral reefs, copious fish, and the underwater cave known as Turtle Cavern. Hidden in the coral shallows you can expect to see pygmy seahorses, flamboyant cuttle fish and mandarin fish.

Kapalai Island is larger and has wide stretches of white sand, good facilities, and a dive centre. So it’s a sensible place to base yourself for diving in the area, plus the odd afternoon when a break from diving and a spot of relaxing on the beach is in order. Plus you’ll get to appreciate that gorgeous blue sea from a different angle.

Mabul Island is known for muck diving where divers explore the silt and mudflat habitats. Blue-ringed octopus, scorpion fish and nudibranchs have also been spotted around Mabul. You may even be lucky enough to spot a whale shark. But while the diving is what attracts most people to this set of islands, non-divers can still enjoy snorkelling and sea kayaking. And all visitors should make the time to visit Mabul’s Bajau Laut Village. The Sea Gypsies live in houseboats or stilt houses over the sea and they welcome visitors to witness their way of life.

Highlights

  • World-class diving

  • Sea Gypsy communities

Map of Sabah Islands

When to go to the Sabah Islands

The climate of the Sabah Island is hot and sunny most of the year, with cool ocean breezes and great diving conditions in the dry season.