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Address :
Lot A-1-G, Block A, Signature Office, KK Times Square, Off Coastal Highway,, Sutera Harbour Boulevard, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Contact :
Tel +6088-486 389

Most people go to Mabul to dive Sipadan, that great pelagic sea mount made famous by Jacques Cousteau, home to the turtle tomb, thousands of live turtles and millions of schooling pelagics. The accommodation at Smart Diver Resort on Mabul is slightly more upmarket that offers private en-suites, fresh (not brackish) showers and loads of hot water.

If you’re diving Sipadan from Mabul (only 15 minutes away by boat), then you’re out for the whole day. This isn’t a problem because the boats are huge with lots of room, full awnings and even shelves overhead for dry gear. Between dives, have your surface interval sitting on the famous Sipadan wharf, or perhaps, walking along the beach. Lunch will be served at the site. After the second dive, you’re back on Mabul in time for a hot shower. The third dive will be carried out in the afternoon at Mabul or Kapalai Island. After dive you will have a relaxing afternoon for a cup of tea or coffee at the resort which is always accompanied by a scrumptious Asian pastry of some sort.

Muck Diving
Sipadan is no discovery, it’s been around for a while now, but the real discovery is the diving around Mabul itself, home to the world’s best “muck diving”. “Muck diving” is an expression that was coined in PNG to describe the diving to be had under a live-aboard boat while it is on safe anchor for the night. Usually a protected inlet somewhere, the water underneath the boat is shallow and the bottom is either silt, sand, dead coral or clumps of dirty coral on a silty bottom. The visibility is almost always limited.

The Secrets of Mabul
Not just one or two sites, Mabul is an entire destination of muck dives, offering the circumferences of two whole islands, Mabul itself and nearby Kapalai Island, and promising practically any tropical critter you might want to see.

Open any book on tropical fish and invertebrate marine life and you’ll see practically everything you’re going to see in Mabul. Not in one’s or two’s but in ten’s and twenty’s. You’ll see frogfish the size of soccer balls in blue and black. Every species of pipefish known. Fire gobies, both purple and red. Mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, many species of shrimp, wild and exotic sea urchins, crabs which will blow you away and lobsters by the dozens. Mabul is nudibranch heaven and if this is your bag, you’ll see more species on Mabul than everywhere else you’ve been combined.

Mabul & Smart Divers Resort
Although you can still walk around the entire island in less than an hour, Mabul is considerably larger than Sipadan, and boasts several resorts and a large village, mainly home to fisherman and employees (and their families) of the resorts.

Sipadan and Mabul couldn’t be more different. While the interior of Sipadan is untouched tropical forest, Mabul is predominantly made up of actively producing coconut trees. Practically every tree on the island is numbered and is associated with a distinct individual who cares for the tree and harvests the coconuts.

Our Chalets
Standard chalet

The Smart Divers resort is nestled in a coconut grove on the south-east side of the island overlooking the water and near-by Sipadan Island. It consists of 40 wooden chalets with each room featuring two oversized single beds, a couch, shelves, ceiling fan, flyscreened windows, air-conditioning, a private en-suite offering free-flowing hot and cold fresh water and a front verandah.

Suite chalet
The public buildings include a main house which is an open air pavilion where meals are taken, an air-conditioned room, called TV Room, set aside for watching satellite TV, and a huge lock-up airing shed for storing your equipment each evening.

Life at Smart Divers
Start your day with a buffet breakfast which usually consists of fruit, cereal, toast, tea, coffee, eggs, possibly porridge and some sort of noodle dish. A large whiteboard lists divemaster and guests assigned to each boat. A quick squiz at the whitebaord will tell you the dives scheduled for your boat that day giving you an idea of what to expect and what lens to assemble on your camera.

Muck Diving Extraordinary!
Mabul is arguably one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life anywhere in the world. Having already spent several days on Sipadan Island, I planned to spend my entire visit diving around Mabul and nearby Kapalai Island.

On the first evening, my divemaster, Ferdie, handed me a marine invertebrate book and asked me to show him what I wanted to see. Being optimistic, we went through the book page by page with me giving him my entire, uninhibited wish list. By the end of my visit, I had seen at least 80% of everything we had discussed, plus heaps more. Ferdie even surprised himself, when he encountered animals he’d never seen before either, even after several years of diving almost daily.

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