Kota Belud

Dive Map Kota Belud Sabah
Kota Belud Sabah
Description :
Go off the beaten track and dive the uncharted reefs of Kota Belud, which is just around 60km away from Sabah’s capital, Kota Kinabalu. The diving here is relatively new which makes the pristine reefs a joy to explore. Most sites are home to healthy hard coral gardens teeming with massive amounts of reef fishes, and pelagics. If you’re lucky, you may encounter passing whale sharks. Come explore the beautiful sites Kota Belud has to offer in blissful tranquility.
Where is it :
Kota Belud, Sabah. Just a 1.5hours (by car) from Kota Kinabalu
Number of dive sites :
Type of Diving :
Guided – boat, deep, drift, night
Skill Level :
Beginner to advanced
Main Diving Attraction :
Pristine marinescapes with mixtures of hard and soft corals, large boulder formations, marble rays, eagle rays, leopard sharks, coral cat sharks, bamboo sharks, whale sharks, pelagics such as tunas, wahoo, dorado, and macro diving (seahorses, frogfish, pygmy squids, decorator crabs, ghost pipefish, and a host of colourful nudibranchs)
Average Water Temperature :
27°C (80.6°F) to 30°C (86.0°F)
Seasonality :
All year round (ideals times to go between April and July)
Typical Visibility :
10m (32ft) to 30m (98ft)
General Current Conditions :
Low to mild
Family / Non-Diver Friendly :
Availability of Other Leisure Activities :
Snorkelling, sea kayak, island trekking, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rides, fishing trips, firefly trips.
Availability of ATM / Foreign Exchange Bureau :
Yes, located in Kota Belud town (~30 mins car ride)
Availability of Medical Facility :
Yes, located in Kota Belud town (~30 mins car ride)
Here are some of our favorite dive sites 🙂
Mayne Rock :
• Maximum depth: 30m
• Currents: Mild to moderate
Dive down into a seascape of large boulders and rock formations covered with pink soft corals and brightly colored feather stars. Get up close and personal with fusiliers, snappers, and sardines that swarm over the rocky contours of the reef where larger jacks and mackerel dart in to catch prey. Look around the sandy patches and you will often find leopard sharks and marble rays hanging around.
Ella’s Garden :
• Maximum depth: 26m
• Currents: Mild to moderate
The dive begins in a sand channel where you will often see schooling barracudas or trevally hunting. As you dive out to the big boulder rocks, you may spot giant cuttlefish, octopus where they call home. Drift over huge table corals and barrel sponges and you may be joined by eagle rays. How awesome is that?
Salvage Point :
• Maximum depth: 40m
• Currents: Moderate to strong
This is where the famous Japanese WWII wrecks once lay, before being salvaged for valuable steel in 2017. Nonetheless, this site is still a great place to explore the once artificial reef that has thrived and where huge fish takes shelter here. Keep an eye out for tunas and jacks hunting in the blue, and for eagle rays and giant groupers that live under the remains of the wreck. Bear in mind that over 128 crew members lost their lives here – the wrecks were sunk by torpedoes back in 1944 – viewing the ghostly remains of the wreck in the blue makes for an especially eerie and exhilarating dive.
Leopard Reef :
• Maximum depth: 25m
• Currents: Moderate
As its name suggests, this pinnacle is home to leopard sharks! Along with bamboo sharks, coral cat sharks resting on the sandy bottom and sleeping between rocky crevices.
Pandan Island :
• Maximum depth: 18m
• Currents: Mild to moderate
This tiny uninhabited island is a perfect location for a relaxing dive, which features sloping coral reef which extends all the way around the island with healthy coral gardens and reef fishes. This site is also great for macro-lovers where you may find strange sponge and decorator crabs, moray eels, scorpion fish, lobsters and minute critters such as the pygmy and bobtail squid.
Nearest Jetty :
* Access via Kampng Mangkabar (nearest landmark: Dragon Pearl Resort)
Address :
Kampung Mangkabar, Jalan Pituru Laut, 89150, Kota Belud, Sabah
Nearest Airport :
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA: BKI)
Estimated Travel Time from Kota Kinabalu Airport :
1.5 hours (by car), with average one way taxi fares of ~RM160

Price reference based on 4D3N packages

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    BigFin Divers

    Packages from RM1,170

    Looking to dive off the beaten path? BigFin is a rustic resort tucked away from the crowds where you can appreciate the natural beauty of Borneo both above and below the surface.

  • If you are looking to travel to Kota Belud, you are inevitably looking for a weather forecast. So here’s a forecast for the next 7 days. Although weather forecasts are not always accurate with ever-changing weather patterns, it does provide a good guess on what’s to come. Every little bit helps! 😀



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