There are approximately 30 dive sites around Mataking Island and the surrounding islands of Pandanan, Bohayan, Timba-timba and Buhai Dulang. The marine life close to Kalapuan shore is just as magnificent as those found in the deep end; the house reef literally lights up in the night. Diving in Mataking and its neighboring islands is truly an exhilarating experience. Especially the variety of small creatures will fascinate you. Dive sites around Mataking itself,include, but are not limited to:
* Lobster Lair (guess you will find a lobster if you keep your eyes open)
* Nudibranch Heaven (you will find a few Nudibranches there)
* Coral Garden (this is where you will find a bit of coral)
* Barracuda Point (Barracuda perhaps)
* Eel Garden (check out the Morays)
* Picturesque Reef (take your camera with you)
* Sweet Lips Rocks (great for night dives)
* Hump Head Point
* Turtle Playground (the turtles here will just ignore you)
* House Reef (fascinating Marine life and coral formations between 5 and 12 metres depth)
Around Coral Garden, in the clear water you can see medium sized boulders, encrusting corals and also a good spread of Acroporus. There is a lot of marine life, and you will see Mandarinfish, Frogfish and even lobsters going about their lives in their natural habitat.
Pygmy Seahorses are very common around Mataking Island, but because of their size and camouflage they are often hard to discover. Harlequin and Robus Ghost Pipefish are another species with extremely good camouflage. One is trying to blend in to the environment as good as possible while the other tries to mimic dead sea grass on the seafloor.
Thorny Seahorses have been seen looking for food at the deeper end of some dive sites while the majestic looking Mandarin fish shows off its colorful patterns in the very shallow part of the reef. Scorpion Leaf Fish is a strange looking fish but not as weird as the variety of Frogfish that can be found in the sea around Mataking Island.
Blue ribbon eels are found on many dive sites and Nudibranchs in all shapes and colors will delight you on virtually every dive. The very small and harmless Bamboo Shark usually hides under rocks during the day and becomes only active at night. In sandy areas you can find different kind of gobies.
After sunset various crustaceans and invertebrates leave their hiding places on the search for a meal. Cuttlefish also getting active after at night time. The cuttlefish is the master of camouflage, its special skin pigments give it the ability to suddenly change it's color and shape.
Not only small marine life can be sighted at The Reefs more than 30 dive sites. Mataking's proximity to the Alice channel, a deep-water channel on the east side of the island, makes the encounter of pelagics possible. Schools of Tuna and Barracudas come close to the reef as protection from bigger predators. Eagle Rays use the upwelling currents from the deep-water channel as food source and a comfortable way of travel.
The sight of Green and Hawksbill Turtles is also common on Mataking reefs.
Off from Semporna, in the vicinity of the famous Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai, lie the island of Mataking.
Mataking is in fact 2 islands connected by a sandbar and on Mataking Besar you will find the only resort, The Reef Dive Resort. Apart from the resort and a small police station, the islands are covered in natural jungle as a little stroll will reveal. The main island is several times larger than Sipadan and is privately owned, meaning no other resorts will be setting up shop here.
The island is a short 40 minute ride east of Semporna where the peace and solitude of the luxury Reef Dive Resort awaits you. From Mataking you can enjoy convenient, hassle-free and diverse macro-diving as well as daytrips to world-famous Sipadan which is 80 minutes speedboat ride away.