Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, Pulau Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia

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P U L A U   K A P A L A I

Macro heaven in the Celebes Sea

 

 A few minutes byboat from Sipadan but a full world away it lies the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of the Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boats a mile-long sandbank of powdery blindingly white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure.

The resort offers great food, surprisingly roomy ad elegant twin-sharing wooden chalets with huge private balconies and attached bathrooms and a couple of miles of walkways for those who like to take their morning jog while looking at thousands of fish just a few inches beneath their feet. Meals are served in the terraced, open central structure, while a big western sundeck allows divers to have an evening drink or an after-dive chat with a background of fabulous tropical sunsets.

Diving around Kapalai is exceedingly easy and shallow but quiet 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 and unforgettable experience for any discerning photographer. The resort offers three dives a day plus, if requested, day trips at Sipadan.

Diving in Kapalai

  1. Nudi Branchia

  2. Sweettips Table

  3. Mantis Ground

  4. Goby Land

  5. Little Okinawa

  6. Flambo Reef

  7. Mid Reef

  8. Kens' Reef

  9. Mandarin Garden

  10. Mandarin Valley

  11. Cleaning Station

  12. Gurnard Ground

  13. Blackray Channel

  14. Eel Garden

  15. Stingray City

  16. Kapalai Rock

  17. Coral Garden

  18. Lost World

The purest image of natural serenity, the sandbank of Kapalai and its exclusive resort-on-stilts lie on a patch of brilliant turquoise a few miles off the coast of Borneo, along the spectacular Ligitan Reefs and just a few minutes byspeedboat from the celebrated (and more crowded) islands of Sipadan and Mabul.  

Quiet shallow waters lap at the sturdily, kampung-style built wooden bungalows overlooking the sandy sea bottom, and from the windows of the elegant, spacious rooms one can spend endless hours looking at the sea life dancing its never ending tune just a couple of meters below. 

 

Innovative in concept - a chain of roomy and well-equipped chalets with private bathrooms linked bylong wooden walkways, centered around the open restaurant cum sundeck and the customary dive center - the Kapalai Dive Resort has been built on a shallow but surprisingly wide sandbank which had been long known (and dived) byunderwater photographers from all over the world, who used to come all the way from Sipadan and Mabul in search of its wildly exotic resident fauna.

 

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 bythe resort stills 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 to the discriminating visitor unsurpassed opportunities for observation and macro photography.

Resort Facilities

This is the lair of the weird and Technicolor 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-coming in Kapalai in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors - which despite sometimes being as large as a melon will often escape even the most trained of wildlife spotters.

All dive spots are extremely close and can be reached in just a few minutes byspeedboat (some of them, actually, just byswimming from the dive center pier); the diving in Kapalai is so easy and shallow that it can be considered ideal for the newcomers to the sport, being extremely satisfying at the same time for the very experienced.

The water boat brings in fresh water from the mainland every other day bringing in 6000 gallons of fresh water each trip.

This is the hydroponics treatment system which is under constructing.  It is converting the dirty sewerage water into clear water back to the sea or use this water for the toilet flush system.

In any case, those who are at last satiated with the tiny marvels of the macro life of Kapalai can, in just a few minutes more, dive at will both in Sipadan (where big fish and turtles abound) or at Mabul (whose solty and muddy bottoms offer different and equally pleasant opportunities to the lovers of "muck diving"). And those who just want to relax and rest between the dives may take advantage of the cleverly thought-out balconies of the bungalows, which offer the total privacy so much sought out bythe lovers of sunbathing.

Warm Welcome of Kapalai Island's Sundeck

 

Package Price 2008/2009 - Ex Tawau

(Price Per Person in Ringgit Malaysia)

Days / Nights Dive and Nature Packages from 01 April 2008 - 31 March 2009
Per Diver Non Diver  Children
3D2N RM 1,750 RM 1,400 RM 700
4D3N RM 2,350 RM 1,880 RM 940
5D4N RM 3,050 RM 2,440 RM 1,220
6D5N RM 3,750 RM 3,000 RM 1,500
7D6N RM 4,450 RM 3,560 RM 1,780
Extension Night RM 700 RM 560  
Days / Nights Dive and Nature Packages from 01 April 2009 - 31 March 2010
Per Diver Non Diver  Children
3D2N RM 1,900 RM 1,520 RM 760
4D3N RM 2,480 RM 1,984 RM 992
5D4N RM 3,280 RM 2,624 RM 1,312
6D5N RM 4,080 RM 3,264 RM 1,632
7D6N RM 4,880 RM 3,904 RM 1,952
Extension Night RM 800 RM 640 RM 280

(Additional 50% for single supplement & 5% discount for Triple sharing adult in a room)

Diving Package includes:

  • Meet and land transfer from Tawau Airport to the private Jetty at Semporna (70mins) & return transfer.

  • Boat transfer to Kapalai island.

  • Accommodation on a twin/triple sharing basis on the resort.

  • 3 boat dives daily except on arrival and departure days and unlimited dives in front of resort.

  • Provide diving around the islands of Sipadan lsland & Mabul Island.

  • Fresh food cooked byour chef on buffet style.

  • Afternoon snacks served after 3rd dive, tea/coffee, cold water and cordial served thru out the day.

  • Tanks, weight and belt are provided during the dives.

  • Night dives in front of dive centre with a buddy are included if you are an Advanced diver.

  • Limited dive gears are available for rental.

  • Permit fee to enter Sipadan (Subject to Sabah Park Authority Approval)

NON Diving Package includes:

  • Meet and land transfer from Tawau Airport to the private Jetty at Semporna (70mins) & return transfer.

  • Boat transfer to Kapalai island.

  • Accommodation on a twin/triple sharing basis on the resort.

  • Fresh food cooked byour chef on buffet style.

  • Afternoon snacks served after 3rd dive, tea/coffee, cold water and cordial served thru out the day.

  • Limited snorkelling gears are available for rental.

  • Permit fee to enter Sipadan (Subject to Sabah Park Authority Approval)

 BOAT SCHEDULES (Fixed departure time)

 Semporna to Kapalai - 9.30 am; 12 noon and 3.30 pm

 Kapalai to Semporna - 6.30 am, 10.30 am and 1.30 pm

 Note:

  1. All Single Traveler will be charged with Single Supplement Rate (OWN ROOM - No sharing room for single traveler at Kapalai). Single Supplement Rate = additional 50 % from the above package rate

  2. Triple Sharing Room Option (All three Adults only) - entitle for 5% discount from the package rate above

  3. Group Travel Option - One ( 1 ) person Free for every Ten ( 10 ) Paying Person on the Same ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE DATES.

  4. For Unschedule land or boat transfers, an additional cost will be charged.

  5. Price Subject to change & a 4.5% ecommerce charge will imposed for credit card payment.

 

Cuti-Cuti Malaysia Promotion Package (available for Malaysian only).

   For further details and enquiries, please email us.

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE

- Snorkelling/Swimming

- Ocean Kayak - RM30/HOUR

 

EQUIPMENT RENTAL AT THE RESORT*

1. BC JACKET                                          MYR 30.00/DAY

2. REGULATOR/GAUGES/OCTOPUS        MYR 30.00/DAY

3. TORCH WITH BATTERIES                     MYR 20.00/DIVE

4. MASK, SNORKEL                                 MYR 15.00/DAY

5. FIN                                                       MYR 10/DAY

6. WET SUIT                                             MYR 25.00/DAY

7. BOOTIES                                              MYR 10.00/DAY

 

INTERNET SERVICE CHARGES IN KAPALAI*

Desktop in the office     = NYR 20 for 30 Minutes

Own Laptop (Wireless) = MYR 35/day

3 Days                        = MYR 60

One Week                   = MYR 100

 

* All Prices stated above are subject to change.

 

RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS TO TAWAU AND OUT OF TAWAU AIRPORT

 

ARRIVAL FLIGHT :- (KOTA KINABALU OR KL TO TAWAU)

MH 2121 – 0700/0745hrs – check in Kapalai via 0930hrs boat transfer

MH 2137 – 1315/1400hrs – check in Kapalai via 1530hrs boat transfer

AK 5833 – 0930/1020hrs from KK to Tawau – check in Kapalai via 1200hrs boat transfer

AK 5152 – 0720/1005hrs from KL to Tawau – check in Kapalai via 1200hrs boat transfer

 

DEPARTURE FLIGHT:- (TAWAU TO KOTA KINABALU OR KL)

MH 2134 – 1440/1525hrs – check out Kapalai via 1030hrs boat transfer

AK 5834 – 1045/1135hrs – check out Kapalai via 0630hrs boat transfer

AK 5836 – 1715/1805hrs – check out Kapalai via 1330hrs boat transfer

AK 5153 – 1030/1315hrs from Tawau to KL – check out Kapalai at 0630hrs boat transfer

AK 5155 – 1855/2140hrs from Tawau to KL - check out Kapalai at 1330hrs

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