Sipadan is truly an underwater wonder world with plentiful fish, turtles, sharks, striking coral and impressive macros. This natural wonder is worth visiting and preserving too which is why the Government only allocate a certain amount of tourist/visitor permits per day.
Not all dive resorts on Mabul & Kapali guarantee your Sipadan permit hence why we chose to stay with Borneo Divers who guarantee a permit with any 4 night minimum stay.
What to expect when diving Sipadan with Borneo Divers:
Depart BDM Jetty at either 5:30 for the early morning risers or 8:30 am which is dependent on your guide. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes before you reach the white strip of sandy beach surrounded by breathtakingly clear, turquoise waters. Upon arrival to Sipadan each visitor must register their name and Country of Origin for their permit.
Following this it’s time to return to the boat to Gear up and get into it. We dove at the following dive sites; Barracuda Point, Turtle Patch, White Tip Avenue to Coral Garden, Big Reef and Hanging Garden over two very fortunate blissful days. After each dive you return to the white sandy shores for refreshments, lunch and some down time before the next aquatic adventure.
See below for a brief outline of what we saw at each dive site and what you could expect to see on your visit.
Once you experience this for yourself you will soon realise why this has been voted the best dive spot in the world for 2016. This place is the epitome of aquarium diving with visibility up 20 metres plus minimum allowing you to see the perfection that Mother Nature has created from both near and far. This is a reef dive which descends to a sandy bottom.
We saw green sea turtles, black tip, white tip and grey Reef sharks. White ear damsels and large schools of jacks stole the show, which made a wall of glittering silver with the occasional parrot fish and wrasse joining the mix for a spritz of colour. There were barracudas floating around both solo and in schools, huge angel and batfish, variety of clown fish, trigger fish etc. anything you would go to an aquarium for could be found here.
This dive gives you somewhat of an ideal of how deep this place may be with its hectic wall drop leaving your imagination run wild. Here we saw turtles galore of varied size and breed some swimming, rest or having a good ol fashioned scratch on the coral ledges. We got to see a school of large humphead wrasse who were not afraid of a photo shoot.
White Tip Avenue to Coral Garden
This dive takes you out into the blue where you can embrace the warm currents and pretty sites with the sharks. Here visibility was at 30 m + a truly breathtaking dive. The high visibility allowed you to see sharks own the seas from above, below and a swim by your side. Neon fish, moray eels, more turtles, leopard fish and many more inhabit these beautiful coral gardens.
This is another vertical Reef dive with greater access to a sandy/coral bottom where you can cruise along with reef sharks getting up close and personal with them. Giant blue clam can be seen here which are too big to even close themselves. You can be blessed with similar marine life of other dive sites and if you’re lucky you may spot the hammerhead shark known to cruise this region.
You can see why this got its name as its endless coral wall gardens give you a brilliant reef Wall dive. Take the opportunity here to see the endless stunning macro marine life such as nudi branches and the like.
What to bring:
Don’t weigh your day pack down unnecessarily.
The staff provide you with food, drinks and a towel to enjoy your time. However, the absolute most important thing is to take an underwater camera because this is truly an adventure you’ll want to capture and never want to forget.
Time of Travel: Late December (Christmas) 2016