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Mabul Island

Dive among shallow reefs and coral gardens and stretch out under the shade of coconut palms at this Malaysian island paradise.

Mabul Island lies in the Celebes Sea, just off the southeastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Perched by a gently sloping reef, the small, oval-shaped, sun-kissed playground is a gateway to lots of diving and snorkeling adventures. While investigating the undersea world is the main activity here, there is also fun to be had above the surface. Go sea kayaking, hike through the lush green landscape and laze on a beach.

Diving is a year-round activity on Mabul, although for optimum conditions, come outside of the rainy season, which is typically from November to April. The waters around the island are known for their rich concentration of small, exotic marine creatures.

Organize diving and snorkeling trips with local operators. There are several popular dive spots, including Lobster Wall and Crocodile Avenue. Dive through coral gardens populated by cuttlefish, starfish, boxer crabs and harlequin shrimp. Look in crevices and ledges for seahorse, pufferfish and lionfish.

In between dives, enjoy some of Mabul’s other attractions and activities. Cut through the water in a sea kayak and explore the island on foot. This is easily done in a couple of hours because it only covers approximately 51 acres (21 hectares). Then relax on sandy beaches lined with coconut palms.

Charter a boat for a trip to nearby Sipadan Island, another popular diving destination. After your dive, see what else the island has to offer. Stroll along white-sand beaches and trek through the jungle to see a variety of tropical birds. The island was declared a bird sanctuary in 1933 and is a stopover point for many migratory birds. Look for such species as sea eagles, sunbirds and kingfishers.

To get to Mabul Island’s dive sites and beaches, make your way to Semporna, a city on the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia. From there, it's a 30- to 45-minute speedboat ride to your destination.

Top hotels in Mabul Island

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
3 out of 5
The price is RM500 per night from 16 Nov to 17 Nov

Nestled on the beach, this Mabul Island hotel is 7.5 mi (12.1 km) from Bukit Tengkorak and 11.9 mi (19.1 km) from Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Limau Limau and Semporna ...

3/5 (1 review)

"First of all, diving with them is great and the room is pretty good too! That's what the 2 stars are for... But then it stops. We didn't feel welcome as guests but more felt like a wallet where they want to get as much money out as possible! It started with the boat transfer. There is only one available ..."…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar 2020

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
Lato Lato Resort
Lato Lato Resort
2.5 out of 5
The price is RM327 per night from 3 Nov to 4 Nov

Situated in Semporna, this guesthouse is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Semporna Mosque and within 9 miles (15 km) of Bukit Tengkorak and Limau Limau.

2.3/5 (4 reviews)
Perfect sea view bungalow

"Lato lato resort is an very unique place to stay. Not for high maintenance people as the room and amenities is basic but the view is spectacular and value for money. All bungalow has sea view so you don’t need to worry about the view. The shower place doesn’t have hot tub but provide u bucket for ..."…"

Reviewed on 1 Feb 2020

Lato Lato Resort
Perfect Hub Semporrna
Perfect Hub Semporrna
3 out of 5
The price is RM58 per night from 8 Nov to 9 Nov

Situated in Semporna, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Semporna Mosque and within 6 miles (10 km) of Tun Sakaran Marine Park and Bukit Tengkorak. Mataking ...

4/5Very Good! (1 review)

"No elevator. Everything else was great. Staff helpful."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2020

Perfect Hub Semporrna
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Mabul Island

ART Homestay Semporna
ART Homestay Semporna
3 out of 5

Situated in Semporna, this holiday home is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Semporna Mosque and 4.7 mi (7.6 km) from Bukit Tengkorak.

ART Homestay Semporna
Big Three Home
Big Three Home
3 out of 5
The price is RM298 per night from 29 Oct to 30 Oct

Situated in Semporna, this holiday home is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Semporna Mosque and within 6 miles (10 km) of Tun Sakaran Marine Park and Mataking Island Dock. ...

Big Three Home
Sarinas Homestay
Sarinas Homestay
2.5 out of 5

Situated in Semporna, this holiday home is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Semporna Mosque and within 9 miles (15 km) of Bukit Tengkorak and Limau Limau.

Sarinas Homestay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top things to do in Mabul Island

Photo by Gabriela Gajda

Semporna

Photo by Emma McCarthy

Tawau

Photo by Ryota Tanimura

Pom Pom Island

Tun Sakaran Marine Park which includes street scenes and a city

Bodgaya Island