When to go
Mabul has a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round with temperatures ranging from 21șC to 32șC and high humidity levels. Mabul can be dived all year round, but weather is calmest and driest during the southwest monsoon from May to October. Visibility is unpredictable, but generally you can expect it to be at least 40 metres, in particular around Sipadan. Water temperatures are rather high and do not require more than shorts and T-shirt to go diving at any time of the year.

Getting there
There are two ways of getting to Mabul:

There are daily flights with Malaysian Airlines to Tawau via Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinablu, which gets you to your destination without a stopover.

The alternative way is to fly to Kota Kinabalu with Royal Brunei Airways or Singapore Airlines, spend the first night in one of Kota Kinabalu's fine hotels and fly to Tawau early the following morning.

From the Tawau Airport, Borneo Divers transports you by road to the seaside town of Semporna, where a ferry boat departs for The Mabul Resort each morning and afternoon.

The flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau takes about 40 minutes. The ride from Tawau to Semporna takes a little under an hour, followed by a boat ride to Mabul from Semporna of about 45 minutes, depending on weather conditions.

Getting around
You will not need any transport on Mabul, as the island is small enough to explore on foot.

Entry Requirements
European community nationals only require a valid passport and a return ticket.

Local Airport Tax
Not applicable as usually included in your ticket.

The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, but you will get along quite happily with English throughout Malaysia and in particular on Mabul, which relies totally on international tourism.

The local currency is the Malyasian Ringgit (RM). Banks are generally efficient and there are also plenty of moneychangers, who often have a better exchange rate than the banks. Cash in major currencies is readily exchanged, as well as all major travellers' cheques. Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most tourist establishments, but for the everyday expenses you should always carry some Malaysian Ringgit. Once you arrive on Mabul Island itself, you should have some local cash to pay for your drinks.

Although the Tourist Office recommends preventative medication for Malaria, incidences of malaria on Mabul are extremely rare. In our opinion it is easier to protect yourself from Malaria by wearing long sleeved clothes at sunset, using plenty of insect repellent and maybe sleeping under a mosquito net, than having to deal with the possible side effects of preventative medication. However, inform yourself about the side effects before travelling, talk to a doctor with experience in tropical diseases, and decide for yourself!

© Photo by Eric Madeja

Dive Centres
Borneo Divers

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

Time: GMT +8 hours
Language: Bahasa Malaysia
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
Weather: Tawau

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