What makes Sipadan such a great dive site?
In a nutshell, the mind-blowing biodiversity. Sipadan sits inside the Coral Triangle — a region of the world with the highest levels of marine biodiversity — and has been protected by Malaysian law for many years. As a result, the reefs are thriving. Even after thousands of dives at Sipadan, my jaw still drops. It’s possible to see just about anything: hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, marlin and manta rays — you name it.
Is it suitable for all divers?
You must be a certified Open Water Diver to dive at Sipadan, as the currents can be challenging. However, snorkelling here is suitable for everyone and snorkellers see just as much as the divers — sometimes more.
What species can you see there?
Sipadan is famous for its large schools offish, especially chevron barracudas, as well as its shark and sea turtle sightings. White-tip and grey reef sharks are also common; so are green and hawksbill turtles. You’ll find that each dive site has its own unique quirks. For example, on South Point, big nose unicorn fish will hang around, waiting for divers to descend, then make a beeline for their bubbles; the reason they do this is to get rid of parasites.
Can you dive it the whole year round?
Yes. Although it’s worth noting that June to August is turtle-breeding season and during those months it’s not unusual to see turtles mating on the surface or during a dive.