Spectacular Sipadan Island, meaning “Border Island”, is located on the north-eastern edge of Malaysia in the state of Sabah. It is the only oceanic island in Malaysia formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone rising 600 metres from the seabed. Voted as “The Top Dive Destination in the World” by Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List, its reputation and uncountable species of marine life and corals is a must-visit for any scuba diving enthusiast.
Visitors from around the world flock to Sipadan’s shores to sight its impeccable marine life including a variety of shark species, schools of jackfish and barracudas, as well as the majestic humphead parrotfish. This lavish ecosystem is also a congregation spot for green and hawksbill turtles which mate and nest on its beaches. Besides the divine diving experience to be explored, this 30-acre well-preserved island is also blanketed with pristine untouched tropical rainforest.
The unique marine life of Sipadan Island granted its status as a protected park, and thanks to diligent conservation efforts, has remained an immaculate haven for marine biodiversity. Since 2004, staying on Sipadan Island has been prohibited and all resorts have since relocated to the surrounding islands of Mataking, Kapalai and Mabul.
For further measure, in 2005, the Sabah Parks authorities implemented a permit system to limit the number of daily visitors diving at Sipadan. Only a total of 120 dive permits are allocated each day.