Dive in Pulau Kapalai

Diving in Pulau Kapalai

Diving around Kapalai is exceedingly easy and shallow but quite spectacular: the sandy bottom and the spare coral heads host an amazing array of small, often yet-to-be classified, shamelessly colorful subjects, making the diving here an unforgettable experience.

Home to the weird and techno-colored flamboyant cuttlefish rumbling on the bottom like a miniature tank rippling with fluorescent waves of vermilion, purple, chocolate brown, bright yellow and blinding white, all the time waving and flourishing its paddle-shaped front tentacles like some samurai of yore, looking more like a sensuous orchid than a predatory cephalopod ; it is the domain of the invisible frogfish found in Kapalai in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors- which despite sometimes being as large as a melon will often escape even from the most trained of wildlife spotters.
Swimming, creeping, crawling or just simply lying still on the surrounding sand bottoms, hiding among the branching colonies of the shallow surrounding coral reef, ambushing their unwary prey from the hideouts offered by the resort stilts and a few artificial reefs dotting the bottom, an amazing number of rare and unbelievably colorful species play their game of life and death, offering discrim nating visitor unsurpassed opportunities for interesting observation and macro photography for any discerning photographer.

Travel to Pulau Kapalai


Kapalai was once an island but is now no more than a sand bar, only a thin strip of which rises above the water at low tide. The gorgeous stilted Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort sits over the shallows here.

From Kapalai island, Pulau Sipadan is at 10 o'clock and Mabul at 2 o'clock, and the sandbar enjoys a serene peace and calming tranquility that can sometimes be missing from its better known neighbouring islands.

  • Ornate ghost pipefish

    Ornate ghost pipefish
  • Hairy Squat Lobster

    Hairy Squat Lobster
  • Leaf Scorpion Fish

    Leaf Scorpion Fish
  • Devil Scorpion Fish

    Devil Scorpion Fish