The Water World
When the crystal turquoise waters of Mataking beckons, it is an offer that cannot be refused. Suit up and explore the 30 or so dive sites around Mataking Island and its surrounding islands of Pandanan, Timba-timba, the Tun Sakaran Marine Park of Bohaydulong, Bohayan, Kalapuan, Baturua and Mantabuan island. The marine life close to Kalapuan shore is just as magnificent as those found in the deep end. At Mataking, divers can experience a combination of slope and wall diving which offers exhilarating macro as well as pelagic sea creatures at one place alone. (Hire gear available)
There are various sea animals and fishes living in these areas which include schools of Barracuda, Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Ribbon Eel, Giant Clams, varieties of Goby, Eagle Ray, Giant Frogfish, Mandarin Fishes, unique and charming species of Shrimps, most photogenic and rare pygmy seahorses, spiders and much more.
One must also look out for the ‘Orang Utan’ crab which can occasionally be spotted at Mataking’s Reef. The house reef literally lights up in the night with many strange and tiny creatures which has charmed many photographers to this site. The unspoiled and living color of hard & soft coral decorations is also another special highlight for divers visiting Mataking and the surrounding islands, a paradise for Macro under water photographers.
For the true big fish fan, dive trips to world renowned Sipadan Island can be arranged. A day trip excursion from Mataking with 3 dives on Sipadan’s reefs will explain to you why the island has been rated as one of the top dive sites in the world.
Hundreds of Barracudas whirling around you like a tornado is an experience you don’t want to miss. The sea below turns black when huge schools of big eye Trevally approach, twisting and turning such as a single massive creature.
Big aggregations of Bump head Parrotfish grazing at the top of the reef, eat hard-corals and leave nothing behind but sand. Harmless White Tip Reef Sharks and Leopard Sharks patrolling the reef or resting at the seafloor are seen on almost every dive. When the current is picking up, Pygmy Devil Rays, Grey Reef Sharks and with some luck even schools of Hammerhead Sharks appear right out of the deep sea mainly early mornings.
Occasionally in March and April the gigantic Whale Sharks make an appearance on their migration path to south. But the truly unique attractions are the Green and Hawksbill Turtles of Sipadan. Seen literally on every dive and very used to divers, they will just ignore you and let you take their photographs even at the closest distance.
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