Sipadan Kapalai Resort is a very beautiful resort located directly on the Kapalai sandbank. The Kapalai Dive Centre at the resort offer snorkelling and diving on the house reef from the jetty, and daily boat trips to all the sites around Kapalai, Mabul Island and, of course, Sipadan Island.
The bungalows of Sipadan Kapalai Resort are built on stilts over the water and are connected with walkways also built on stilts. Watching tropical fish swimming underneath your water bungalow is truly a rare and special experience. During low tide, you can access the sandbank and enjoy the small beach.
Accommodation & Facilities
Walkways connect the 51 tastefully furnished bungalows with the main building and restaurant. The restaurant offers three meals daily served in buffet style, with water, tea, coffee and snacks served in the afternoon. In the middle of the restaurant is an open area, where you can observe fish swimming below.
The large and beautifully decorated rooms each have a private bathroom, fan and a terrace with spectacular sea views. Due to the airy position of the bungalows, they do not require air conditioning.
Kapalai Island Resort has a beautiful house reef, with excellent diving and snorkelling and private access through the dive centre.
Indicative Pricing for Sipandan Kapalai Resort 2018
|7 days / 6 nights double/twin room||AUD||6640||MYR|
|7 days / 6 nights single room||AUD||8632||MYR|
|6 days / 5 nights double/twin room||AUD||5580||MYR|
|6 days / 5 nights single room||AUD||7254||MYR|
|INCLUDED: accommodation as specified, all meals, water, tea, coffee, return transfers Tawau-Semporna-Kapalai, up to 3 boat dives daily (except on arrival & departure days), 1 day guaranteed diving at Sipadan (up to 3 dives), unlimited house reef dives, night dives in front of Kapalai Dive Center (only for advanced divers), tanks, weights, air fills, Malaysia Government tax|
|The per person pricing above is indicative only: we show 7 night with 10/12 dive packages at high-end and lower-end rooms (singles & doubles) for the purposes of comparison. We can give you a price (and availability) for any combination of nights/dives you wish to undertake, which will include any discounts due to you as part of that package, and any exclusions, or items payable at the resort. Use the [Enquiry & Booking] button to give us your exact requirements and we'll give you the best deal we can.|
Kapalai has reliable mobile phone reception and WiFi is available in common areas. For house guests, a computer with internet access is available.
|Training School Type:||PADI||Nitrox Fill:|
|Air Fill||Number of Guides||8|
|Gear Hire||Number of Boats||3|
|Gear Sales||Number of Dive Sites||30|
Sipadan Kapalai Resort is built on stilts over the water around a sand island (referred to as Kapalai) close to Mabul Island.
To get there fly to Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu, and on to Tawau (on south eastern side of Sabah) with Malaysian Airlines. The bus ride from Tawau to the port of Semporna takes about 1 hour. The boat transfer from Semporna on to Sipadan Kapalai Resort takes about 30-40 minutes.
Guests must arrive in Tawau latest by 1.30pm for transfer to resort on same day. The 1st boat from Semporna to Kapalai is at 10am; the 2nd boat at 12.30pm and the 3rd and last boat for the day at 3pm.
On departure day, guests can book any flight out of Tawau after 10am onwards. The 1st boat departs Kapalai at 6.30am; the 2nd boat at 9.30am and the 3rd and last boat for the day at 1.30pm.
What to expect
The Kapalai Dive Centre at Kapalai Island Resort is under Malaysian management. They offer daily dive trips as well as PADI dive courses and equipment hire.
The shop offers usually three boat dives per day at reefs around Sipadan, Kapalai and Mabul. With fast speed boats it is only 30 minutes to Sipadan,15 to Mabul and not more than 10 minutes to the Kapalai reefs. The dives are guided by Malaysian dive guides with excellent local knowledge. You can dive the house reef off the jetty at any time. No Nitrox is available.
The dive areas visited are Sipadan Island, and while you are waiting, Kapalai and Mabul Island. You will get a huge variety of dives from critters to pelagics.
Sipadan is the tip of an underwater mountain, which reaches straight up from the depth of the Celebes Sea. On these dive sites you find superbly covered drops, great biodiversity and regular sightings of large fish. No dive is complete without a turtle and a white tip reef shark. Special attractions are a school of barracudas and bumphead parrot fish. Because of the exposed nature of the site, encounters with hammerhead sharks and other large sharks are possible.
Sipadan is actually quite small, with well-documented dive sites – so most dive sites are so close that you enter at one site and exit at the next site.
Please ensure you are well informed about the Sipadan Permit System before you book a trip to the area.
Mabul and Kapalai
Diving around Mabul and Kapalai is totally different from diving around Sipadan. These dive sites are much shallower and may appear much less spectacular at first glance. However, focusing on a smaller scale is quickly rewarded with fascinating encounters of the weird and wonderful critter world of the Indo-Pacific at its very best.
There is a shallow fringing reef around one side of Mabul, and a set of artificial reefs around the other. Check out the different dive sites to get a feel for what you’ll see there.
Kapalai has some amazing underwater structures for their artificial reefs and are treasure troves for all kinds of macro rarities. Ghost pipefish, anglerfish, leafy scorpion fish, mandarin fish, ribbon eels, seahorses, plenty of different nudibranchs and other curious sea creature are often seen here.