Scuba Diving in Mataking Island
A 15 to 20 minute boat ride from Mataking takes you into the newly protected Semporna Islands Marine Park. Here there exists a special little spot which will delight all on your dive boat.
You will roll in to shallow warm waters of a depth of around 8 metres and no sooner will you have submerged that the entertainment can begin. At 8 to 10 metres there is a rocky area which is home to more mandarinfish than you can believe. At almost every opening you can see the fluttering movements of these multi-coloured beauties. For photographers, encountering such a wealth of subjects is truly a special moment. Be careful of the numerous urchins around which the mandarinfish lurk! A carelessly placed hand or knee and you will certainly feel a bit of a prick.
During the entire dive you are unlikely to move more than a few fin kicks in any direction but boredom is not an option as, in addition to the mandarinfish, there are plenty of other sights in the immediate area. Mantis shrimp, tiny pyjama cardinalfish, juvenile sweetlips and banded pipefish are all lurking here and there. Add to this the presence of several different species of nudibranchs and you can see how this is a spot that often sees "Insufficient memory" appear on underwater cameras as there are simply too many subjects to photograph them all.
Gavin's Playground Reef Basics: Coral reef slope
Depth: 8 - 20m
Visibility: 10 - 20m
Surface conditions: Generally calm but can be choppy
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner - intermediate
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 6 km (15 minutes) from the Mataking jetty
Access: Mataking Resort dive boat trips
• Mataking Island travel information
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• Sabah - Borneo - Malay Peninsula
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