Sipadan-Mabul Resort (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd.

P.O. Box 15571, 88864 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Telephone +60 88 486389
Fax +60 88 486628

Hall map

boot 2019 hall map (Hall 3): stand D84

Fairground map

boot 2019 fairground map: Hall 3

Our range of products

Product categories

  • 08  Diving
  • 08.02  Services (Diving)
  • 08.02.02  Diving Trips
  • 08  Diving
  • 08.02  Services (Diving)
  • 08.02.03  Diving Centers
  • 14  Beach Resorts
  • 14.02  Beach Hotels

Our products

Product category: Diving Trips, Diving Centers, Beach Hotels

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.

I guess we have die-hard divers to thank for discovering the benefits of muck diving. Compared to the 30+ metres visibility, the breath-taking walls, colourful reefs and dynamic pelagic action normally encountered during a day of good diving in Papua New Guinea, jumping into silty slop is a poor excuse for getting wet. A much better idea would be to stay on board, sharing a bottle of wine and telling lies. But somewhere along the way, someone jumped in and discovered the fascinating world of macro marine life in mucky environments. Down there in the silt and dead coral are hundreds of bizarre animals. With no need to swim very far, all you have to do is rest quietly on one spot and watch an almost completely undocumented marine world in action. Scientists flocked to the area in droves and selected sites in Papua New Guinea were beginning to attract a clientele of their own. Divers were actually suffering through the wall dives and schooling pelagics for one or two good muck dives.

Following close on the scientists’ heels were sportdivers and a real revolution has taken place in the international dive travel industry. Are we finally sated with 30+ metres of visibility, schools of thousands of pelagics and hundreds of large fans and soft coral trees? More and more, divers (and particularly photographers) are choosing their diving destination for the little stuff… the bizarre and the uncommon.

« Nudibranchs are everyone’s favourites and Mabul is home to both the common and the wild and unusual.

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Product category: Diving Trips, Diving Centers, Beach Hotels

Life at Smart Divers

« Smart Divers resort features beachfront lawn chairs and leaf umbrellas, a great place to relax with a drink and watch the sun go down.

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.

After breakfast, mosey down to the dive shed. Scattered in front of the shed are little leaf umbrella structures, numbered to correspond with boats. Full tanks will be waiting for you. Simply assemble your gear under the umbrella reserved for your dive boat and ensure everything gets loaded onto the tractor which services the boats. After that, you never touch your dive gear again during the day since the staff switch tanks for you between dives.

« The diving is from speedboats. They are very roomy with overhead shelves for dry gear.

In the evening, the boat crews brings your equipment back to the dive shed where you disassemble, wash and hang everything to dry in a securely locked airing shed. At Smart Divers Resort, you NEVER carry a heavy tank, not even a few metres.

Each boat has a permanent driver and deck hand. If you are working with heavy camera equipment or multiple systems, it’s worthwhile getting to know your driver and deckhand. and from the boat for you. All you have to do is ask once. After that, it’s automatic everyday. I simply left mine on the front verandah when they were ready to go and then forgot about them. My eagle-eyed deck hand was always lurking about and before I knew it, they were whisked away to be stowed in padded, shady comfort on the boat. For this extra service, you might want to tip the boat driver and deck hand a little bit on the side or give them a souvenir from Australia such as a t-shirt, hat or pinch koala.

If you’re diving around Sipadan, then you’re out for the whole day, but if you’re diving around Mabul, then you will be coming back to the resort between each dive allowing you the opportunity to have a quick shower, change film, take a nap or lounge around the main house sipping cool drinks.

Evenings are recovery time. Lounge in the beachfront deck chairs until the last light has disappeared and then mosey up to the main house in anticipation of a great buffet meal which usually features a mixture of Asian and western dishes.

After dinner, you can do a night dive, chat with new friends, browse the library to determine how many new animals you saw that day, watch a video or retire early with a good book. At least once in your visit, grab a torch and a few other people and walk around the island on the beach. Look carefully in the scrub where the beach meets the brush for kraits, or black and white sea snakes, which come ashore in the evening to hunt for small reptiles and rodents. Creepy!

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Product category: Diving Trips, Diving Centers, Beach Hotels

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.

Discriminating divers wishing to explore Sipadan will enjoy the extra comfort offered by Smart Divers Resort, but whatever you do, make sure you allocate at least two full days to diving around Mabul itself. It’s the finest and most easily accessible “muck” in the world!

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About us

Company details

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.

Just a stone’s throw from Sipadan is a destination which offers practically every wild, weird, exotic, and seldom-seen tiny marine animal found in the Indo-Pacific.
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.

«  Giant crocodile fish, sometimes almost a metre long, lie so quietly on the silty bottom that you’re inclined to pass them right by.

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