Mantabuan Island

Dive Map Mantabuan Island Semporna Sabah

Mantabuan Island Semporna Sabah

Description :
Mantabuan is a volcanically formed paradise for divers wanting to see brilliant corals with unsurpassed visibility. The main attraction of Mantabuan is its rare and precious black coral gardens with its pristine iridescent beauty. The area is also one of the ideal places to spot manta rays, especially when the current picks up. The island is not commercially developed and is only inhabited by the nomadic sea gypsies, and soldiers as there is a Malaysian army base on the island.
Where is it :
Semporna, Sabah, East Malaysia
Number of dive sites :
Type of Diving :
Guided – boat, deep
Skill Level :
Beginner to advanced
Main Diving Attraction :
The rare and precious black corals. Other marine life includes manta rays, eagle rays, devil rays, turtles, shoals of tropical fishes
Average Water Temperature :
27°C (80.6°F) to 30°C (86.0°F)
Seasonality :
All year round
Typical Visibility :
10m (32ft) to 20m (65ft)
General Current Conditions :
Low to mild
Family / Non-Diver Friendly :
Availability of Other Leisure Activities :
Snorkelling, visiting the sea gypsy (bajau) village
Availability of ATM / Foreign Exchange Bureau :
None in Mantabuan. Available at Semporna.
Availability of Medical Facility :
None in Mantabuan (but there is a Malaysian Military Base). Available at Semporna.
Here are some of our favorite dive sites 🙂
Black Coral Garden :
• Maximum depth: 35m
• Currents: Moderate
Dive down a gentle slope to 22 and 30m and you’ll find the precious black corals, ranging from white to neon green to purple in color. The black coral bushes can be found in large patches reaching a stature at nearly 2 meters tall! Covered in an iridescent coating that reflects the light that penetrates from the surface, these corals are simply magical to see.
Stingray Alley :
• Maximum depth: 40m
• Currents: Moderate
Not only will you find loads of stingrays here, but you are also almost certain to find the beautifully streamlined blue ribbon eels, and lots of pipefish. If you’re a nudibranch enthusiast, this site it for you! Flatworms are common as well. The seascape is blessed with beautiful hard and soft corals which grow in abundance. You may not even need a light to see the rainbow of colors the reef has to offer.
Star Point :
• Maximum depth: 15m
• Currents: Moderate to strong
Currents are often strong here which makes it a perfect afternoon drift dive after a few deeper dives in the morning. Because of the currents, this site is active all the time. Keep a lookout for turtles, barracudas, moorish idols, angelfish, and plenty of colorful butterflyfishes, all swimming against a backdrop of beautiful corals!
Nearest Jetty :
Semporna Jetty
* Approximately 40mins boat ride to Mantabuan Island
Address :
Taman Bandar Semporna, 91308, Semporna, Sabah
Nearest Airport :
Tawau Airport (IATA: TWU)
Estimated Travel Time to Jetty from Tawau Airport :
1.5hrs (by car), with average one way taxi fares of ~RM100
Estimated Travel Time to Jetty from Kota Kinabalu :
8hrs (by car), or 10hrs (by bus) with average one way bus fare of ~RM80

Price reference based on 4D3N diving packages

  • Bum Bum Island, Semporna, Sabah

    ND Divers

    Packages from RM1,450

    Dive with the locals, that is their motto. A simple homestay styled dive center with its private house reef offering the best local experience around Semporna.

  • If you are looking to travel to Semporna, 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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