Among the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish, Blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as the harlequin ghost pipefish and mandarin fish can be found especially with the help from local dive guides.
During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attract whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. At times, the density of the krill can be so thick in these murky conditions underwater encounters with these colossal animals can be exciting as they suddenly appear out of the gloom.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park comprising the island of Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. All only 10-20 minutes speedboat from the city of Kota Kinabalu.
The beaches are excellent and the coral and marine life are good. They are also the most easily accessible dive spots of quality from Kota Kinabalu. Diving around Tunku Abdul Rahman Parks it’s an ideal location for the novice divers as most of the reeds lie in shallow waters with little current.
Pulau Gaya is the largest of the five islands. The island is covered with dense of virgin tropical forest.
One of the popular beach is the Police Beach, Coral reefs surround the forested island and is ideal for snorkelling and diving. There are 20km of marked trails including a plank walk across a mangrove swamp.
Pulau Manukan is the park’s second largest island the most developed island in the group, the entire south coast of the island is one long white sandy beach. Most of the interior of the island is covered by forest, nature trails are available for those who want to explore the island.
Pulau Mamutik the smallest park among the 5 island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park . Despite being the smallest, Pulau Mamutik offers the best snorkelling in the park and also a perfect site for Scuba training as well as some fine macro diving. Borneo Divers operates a full service dive center in Pulau Mamutik, offering PADI courses from Discover Scuba Diving courses up through Instructor course.
Sulug island is the furthest from the mainland. The rocky island is less than 200 meters across. A long sand spit facing east drops sharply near and extensive coral reef. Sulug a favoured swimming spot. It’s major attraction are it’s coral reefs.
Palau Sapi is another popular and attractive island that offers snorkelling and white sandy beaches. There’s a decent coral garden around the southeast point of the island.
Sapi has one of the best swimming and picnic spots.