Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 August, 2018 11:16:59 PM


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What to expect on
Kapalai was a beautiful island two hundred years ago, but now it is eroded into only a sand bar.

Ligitan Reefs 18 Dive Sites 1 Dive Resort

Ligitan Reefs on the edge of the continental shelf.

Popular for shallow dives with interesting critters is excellent at this region Mabul and Kapalai.

Famous dive sites with beautiful coral reefs.

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort is surrounded by crystal clear waters teeming with marine life.


Kapalai, Sabah  

On the fringing sandbanks of Kapalai, lies a treasure trove of marine marvels that would captivate you and perhaps, cause you to go into decompression diving for staying too long underwater after repetitively going back to the same site! The bizarre antics of critters in Kapalai would leave you in awe as mantis shrimps dart in and out of their burrows in the busy afternoons totally ignoring your presence, your huge dome port and robotic arms of your strobes. Allied cowries that roam freely with their pretty mantles as if there wasn't a predator in the ocean and decorator crabs that would pick a fight with your steel pointer as you uncover them to show your buddy.  

Nudibranchs are aplenty here. The Solar-Powered Nudib ranch (phyllodesmium longicirrum) derived its common name from the algae that reside in its mantle and ceratas, photosynthesis- ing and manufacturing food for the sea slug. They usually grow to about 12. 170111 and it's a sight to behold. If you search the rubble of lettuce corals and such in Kapalai, chances are, you might find yourself the biggest Solar Powered Nudib ranch in the region!  


Kapalai Island
(Ligitan Reefs)  Sabah, Malaysia

Kapalai Island is an 'island' that has no soil.  This 'island' appears only during low tide as a long stratch of sand bar and after a short period the whole 'island' disappeared again in sea water.

From Kapalai Island, on a bright sunny day, one can see nearby  Mabul Island and Sipadan Island.  Sipadan Island is  only 5 miles (8 km)  away.

The only resort Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort is build on a shallow sandbank and coral reef. More on : SIPADAN-KAPALAI DIVE RESORT

Between Sipadan and Mabul Island lies a sand bar known many years ago as Kapalai Island. Unfortunately, erosion has taken its toll and now the sand bar sits on top of the reef known as the Ligitan Reefs, a very extensive stretch bordering the deep and vast Celebes Sea. Sipadan-Kapalai Resort is actually a water village style resort built above the water. All structures are erected on water and guests are able to observe the antics of squids and needlefish from their chalet balcony.

The underwater scene together with nearby Mabul offers some of the best "muck-diving" in the world. Rare subjects such as flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, sea moths, and mating mandarin fish are seen on a regular basis. Giant frogfish, ribbon eels, harlequin ghost pipefish and crab-eye gobies are seen on many of the dive sites.

They jetty dive itself has plenty to offer including leaf scorpion fish, pink-eye gobies, ammonium shrimps and the comical antics of the mantis shrimp. Other frequently seen creatures such as the crocodile fish, lionfish and scorpion fish are almost ignored as being too common!

World-class dive sites : Mabul, Sipadan and Kapalai are located close to each other and are considered world-class dive sites with Sipadan ranked among the top 5 dive sites in the world

Ligitan Reefs : Kapalai Island is  known as the Ligitan Reefs. The extensive reef stretch bordering the deep and vast Celebes Sea, is the dive destination. Ligitan Reefs (Kapalai Island) offering  an astounding diversity marine life.

Next to Sipadan : Kapalai is only a few minutes away by boat from Sipadan.  With all the wonderful diving opportunities available in the South Pacific region, Kapalai is not just another place to do it. Diving in Kapalai can be considered ideal for beginners, yet diversely exciting enough to satisfy the most experienced diver.

Amazing Marine Creatures : Face to face with amazing marine creatures, and skills at spotting minute and cleverly-camouflaged oddities are well rewarded. Rare subjects such as cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus and mating mandarinfish are seen on a regular basis.

The diverse population of corals support hundreds of species of colourful coral dwelling fish and invertebrates and are intermingled with several species of molluscs including giant clams. Octopus can also be found here. Sponges and crinoids are found intermingled with corals or near coral patches and so are several species of marine algae.

Regal Angelfish Crocodile Fish Lion Fish Pipe Fish Giant Frogfish

Moorish Idol Juvenile Giant Grouper Mantis Shrimp Ghost pipefish Shrimps

Pennant Banner Fish   Scorpion Fish Mandarin Fish Hawkfish

ribbon eels crab-eye gobies  leaf scorpion fish  pink-eye gobies 

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort : The sole resort occupying the island is the Sipadan-Kapalai Resort. Protruding above the water, it is elegantly built in a traditional water village style.

At one end of the resort boasts a rather long sandbar of blindingly white sand where one can sunbathe in total recluse during low-tides.

The resort serves great food at the open terrace and offers twin-sharing wooden chalets with en-suite baths. Guests are also able to observe the antics of squids and needlefish swimming below from the roomy balconies.

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