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Useful Links
Danum Valley
- Official site of Danum Valley  
- Info about Danum Valley  
- Birds Photo gallery of Danum Valley field centre  
- Uncle Tan's Wilderness Camp and Danum Valley Field 
- Danum Valley's Info - KLIA Site
- Gallery :: Sabah, Borneo
- Steve's Web Site -- Site Map
Maliau Basin
- Official site of Maliau Basin 
- How was the Maliau Basin formed?
- Murray Kaufman Photography
BIRDS in MALIAU BASIN – 8
Tabin wildlife Reserve
- Official website of Tabin wildlife reserve
- Tabin wildlife 's Info - KLIA Site
- Caving expedition - Tabin
Sukau Wildlife
- Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Malaysian Borneo
Tawau Hill Parks
- Tawau Hill Parks by Cikgu Lee
Sipadan Island
- Sipadan dive resort  
- Sipadan-Mabul resort  
- Article about Sipadan island - by David Lim
- Info about Sipadan Island
- Sipadan-kapalai resort
- Sipadan Water Village Resort
- Terrestial Life Forms of Sipadan Island
Mataking Island
- The Reef Dive Resort
Sipilok Oran Utan Sactuary
- Sepilok Nature Resort, Borneo, Malaysia, near the Orangutan Wildlife ...
Sepilok Jungle Resort Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
How to Explore Sabah Borneo

 

About Sipadan Island

Lying just off the northeast coast of Borneo is Sipadan, Malaysia's only oceanic island. Shaped by volcanic activity aeons ago, this 35 acre island rises about 700 metres from the sea floor, attracting diverse marine life from the blackness of the open sea.

The spectacular diving, unrivalled anywhere else in the country has made Malaysia one of the top diving destinations. Encounters with turtles, resident schools of jacks and barracudas are almost assured around the tiny coral island. A popular feature of this island the precipitous reef all: Just a mere 8 metres from the dive station of the 'Sipadan Dive Lodge' the wall plunges to about 680 metres. Many divers have remarked that staying and diving on the island is similar to doing so from a live-aboard ship. You enjoy the ease of multiple shore and boat dives, with up to 5 dives per day.

Sipadan Island, formerly declared a bird sanctuary, is also home to monitor lizards, fruit bats, the unique coconut crabs, and a luxuriant rainforest. About 47 known species of birds frolic and feed about the natural vegetation, providing yet another attraction for the visitor.

Barracuda Point
The dive usually begins with the reef on your right, white tip sharks resting at the sandy bottom, barracudas, jacks, turtles, hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus anblyrhynchos) and or even the leopard shark (Stegostoma fafctatum) as you descend to the reef top at about 6 to 8 metres, you will be greeted by schools of fusiliers and bumphead wrasses congregating at the reef top. Growth of coral life extends to depths between 30 to 40 metres with huge bar rel sponges, black coral trees, sea whips and soft corals. Huge black marble stingrays, schools of surgeonfish, large tunas, mania rays and clouds of pyra mid butterflyfish greet the divers along the wall. Cur rents that sweep the valley section of the site at tracts school of batf at the valley pass. As you ascend from the 18 metres-depth of the valley to the gentle slopes at the side you can observe garden eels, triggerfish and even exceptional macro marine ani mals like the leaf-fish, frogfish, blennies, mantis shrimps and numerous nudi branchs.

Hanging Gardens
As the name suggests, this pretty dive site has a pro fusion of colourful soft corals; some shaped like cauliflower plants and even grape4ike shapes growing from underhangs along the wall. The reef top begins at about 6 metres and plunges steeply to the depths. Here, you will en counter colourful crowd of reef fish such as butterfly fish, angelfish, squirrelfish, boxfish and lots of nudibranchs. Friendly sweetlips and groupers will curiously check out divers, great for underwater photography. Small ledges en countered usually have small shrimps wedged between bubble coral, fire tail gobis darting about their burrows and the occasional lobster peering out between crevices. As the site is located on the western part of the island, dives should be in the afternoon, with better sun light penetration. The soft corals come alive and ex tend their body size by almost three times when currents sweep the reef. Providing a breathtaking you.

South Point
The furthest dive site from the island jetty is a 10 minutes ride in a dive boat. South Point as the name suggests, is located at the southern tip of the island and similar to Barracuda Point as currents sweeps across the reef. Depending on the currents, it is best to start your dive with the reef on your left. The reef topography follows a gentle slope from about 7 to 55 metres at the sandy bottom shell
Here, chances are usually good to sight big animals like manta rays, leopard sharks, Napoleon wrasses, groupers and a kaleidoscope of smaller reef fish. Assuming you are diving with the wall on your left, you will come accross sea fans and r whip corals at 25 metres depth. You might also encounter a school of jacks prior to a cloud of dark mass approaching - this is the largest school of barracudas to be seen anywhere. The school usually swims against the current, and if approached cautiously, will permit divers to swim alongside. Further along the sloping wall at about 5 metres is a ledge with coral rubble, where white tip sharks and leopard sharks rest on the bottom. If you dive this spot often and at the rtght time, you may chance upon observing the mating ritual of white tip sharks.

Turtle Grave
Much has been written about the turtle cavern, referring it to as a Turtle Grave yard. In reality the turtles enter the cavern accidentally to rest but get lost in the labyrinth of the tunnels, thin become disorientated and drown.

The cavern is situated at the northern end of the island right below several huts. Divers are often warned the Turtle Cavern providing further warning so a curious diver won't end his stay in the cavern. However, visits into the cavern can be ar ranged with a qualified dive master leading 3 divers at a time. A cave diving certification is offered for the adventurous who wish during their first orientation dive that they are not allowed to enter the cavern for their own safety. A signboard is also erected at the entrance of to explore the labyrinths. The dive begins along the wall of the drop-off and de scends to about 20 metres. Depth in the cavern is about 21 metres, and you find the various connecting caverns rise to less than 4 metres from the surface. You will notice skeletal re mains of perished turtles scat tered randomly on the silty cavern floor. There is even the remains of what was once an egg-carrying fe male turtle. No coral growth is observed in the cav ern. The only life forms are schools of silver sweepers, soldier fish and the flashlight fish.

Getting There
Pulau Sipadan is reached by flight from Kota Kinabalu,  connecting flight to Tawau, or Kuala Lumpur - Tawau direct flight, followed by a 1 hour drive to Semporna and finally a 1 hour fast catamaran boat transfer to the island. To avoid disappointment, prior bookings must be made.


....Next : About Layang-Layang Island 

    I have bought this book from Amazon.com, and I have found it quite useful for travelers, especially for backpackers.  The price of the book is reasonable with quality content. I think you should also get one for your easy reference, if you ’re planning to explore Sabah borneo.   

By Ian Chow

>>Click to see Customer Review

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