Mabul gained its own recognition as one of the best muck-diving (a term used to describe limited visibility dives at shallow sites with usually sandy bottoms) sites in the world.

Mabul is also renowned for its amazing array of macrolife, making it an underwater photographer’s dream location to capture some of the rarest ecological species on film. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, spike-fin gobies, frogfish and moray eels are just some of the spectacular critters you will encounter beneath the waters of Mabul.

The island is a small oval shaped island fringed by sandy beaches and perched on the northwest corner of a larger 200-hectare reef. The reef is on the edge of the continental shelf and the seabed surrounding the reef slopes out to 25–30m deep. In addition, Mabul is also a local island-village. Accommodation ranges from backpacker styled lodges to water bungalows.

Although all the excitement is underwater, you can always set your scuba gear aside for a day to laze on Mabul’s soft sand to work on your tan. It is about a 45 minute boat ride from the Semporna town jetty.

Within a short distance and prominently visible from the island is the Seaventures Dive Rig. The rig was previously used in the oil and gas industry and was decommissioned in 1985 and stationed in Singapore. It was move to Mabul in 1997 and besides housing travelers, the six legs of the rig shelters marine life.

Last reviewed: October 15, 2020