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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village in

Sipadan Water Village, Nov, 2011,

by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB (Top Contributor Top Contributor 41 reports with 22 Helpful votes). Report 6329.

Photos Submitted with this Report

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Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 4 of us travelled from the UK to Sipadan. This is a long way for most divers and, for us, involved 3 flights, a bus and then a boat transfer - in total just over 24 hours there and back. Most of the divers were Japanese or Russian. A few Chinese, US and European.
Sipadan Water Village is an over water resort on Mabul Island. There are 3 or 4 resorts on this island plus nearby Seaventures and a couple on nearby Kapalai. SWV offered reasonable, clean, accommodation. All units has double or twin beds, separate large bathroom and a balcony. NO AC but a ceiling fan. Mini bar in each room. The resort also had a bar area and a large dining area plus a small shop.The food was a bit same - y but there was a reasonable choice and it was fine. The staff were friendly.

The dive operation is in a self contained area and is professionally run. You get allocated a locker and hangers for your wetsuit and BCD. The BCD rentals were of reasonable quality. The tanks are standard 12 litre aluminium tanks. If you are concerned about air consumption they have one 15 litre tank, so make sure you request that in advance (it's the only one they've got!)

You get a different dive guide each day. genarally they are pretty good and will spot critters for you. Most guides will allow you up to 60 minutes each dive, although the "standard" for Sipadan says 25 minutes.

Most of the sites are close by (5 to 10 minutes by boat) around Mabul island or Kapalai. These are generally walls with some artificial reefs. Mostly this is critter territory although you will see multiple turtles on most dives here and at Sipadan. We saw lots of great small stuff, including flambouyant cuttlefish, orang utan crab, clown frogfish, peacock mantis shrimp and loads of nudibranchs.

Most people are here to dive Sipadan island itself. Be warned - the permit system in place means you will probably only dive there one day in three! We were there 6 diving days and dived Sipadan twice. You get 3 morning dives and can pay extra for an additional afternoon dive. You'd be mad not to do this, as the diving at Sipadan is world class. We saw the bumphead parrot fish school both days, thousands of schooling barracuda, likewise thousands of schooling jack. You get multiple turtles and whitetip sharks on every dive. The coral is pristine and the fish life abundant.

There is another island called Siamil, about 45 mins away. This is a location like Mabul/Kapalai - mainly critters, including pygmy seahorses. It is less dived and a better location. The dive centre won't advertise this - you need to ask!
Websites Sipadan Water Village   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving galapagos, malapascua, maldives, red sea, caribbean, florida, hawaii, spain
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy, dry Seas
Water Temp 29-30°C / 84-86°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15-40 M / 49-131 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Generally 25 metres depth and 45 mins to 1 hour dive duration. All dives (apart from House Reef dives) were guided boat dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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