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Nature Destinations



Sipadan, Mabul and Semporna Islands/Sabah

Sipadan & Semporna Islands

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Pulau Sipadan, an oceanic island, is about an hour away by fast boat from Semporna town (about 350 km or 218 miles from Kota Kinabalu). Mabul is about 45 minutes from Semporna and close to Sipadan. The Semporna Islands extend from the north and east of Semporna town. The islands include the islands of: Sebangkit, Selakan, Bodgaya, Boheydulang and Tetagan.

When to go

Any time of the year. Best times are between March and July during the period of calmer waters.


By air to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan, thence overland to Semporna. Trips to Pulau Sipadan, Mabul and Semporna Islands need to be made through tour companies. These trips could be arranged in advance in Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan, but special deals might be grabbed in Tawau or Semporna itself. Few companies organize trips to Semporna Islands, but these companies can be sought in Tawau or Semporna.


Not required. It might be advisable to inform the police office (Semporna) of personal and travel details, including boat hire or tour company details.


Sun, sea and more sun and sea. Tour companies will usually provide all the necessary equipment, it might be best to check with the companies beforehand to know what is provided. Food and camping equipment might be necessary if you are planning a trip to the Semporna Islands.


Dive Resorts are available on Sipadan and Semporna. Limited facilities are available on the Semporna Islands.


Excellent opportunities to see a wide range of fish, corals and invertebrates. Sharks and sea turtles are also very commonly sighted.

Visitor Activities

Island-hopping, diving, snorkeling, or fishing away from the protected reefs.

Further information

Updated: Feb 2002



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