Mataking Island is in fact two (2) islands connected by a sandbar. On one island (the bigger one), the only resort, “The Reef Dive Resort” is located. The islands are covered by a natural jungle where species can be seen and observed.
Around Mataking Island there are more than thirty (30) dive sites with crystal clear water and its prosperity in aquatic resources and life. There is a wide choice and a lot of options on diving in the whole island of Mataking. There are lots of species to be found and some are already familiar and there are unfamiliar ones.
Underneath the waters there is colorful scenery of both soft and hard coral, there are barracudas, Spanish mackerel, giant clams, eagle rays, eels, gobies or small freshwater species, shrimps, frogfishes, hawksbill and green turtles, and a whole lot more. In Mataking island divers, non-divers, and tourists make it a point to visit the island to have a look on the rare pygmy seahorse and the unusual orangutan crab. To those who have never tried scuba diving, the island has a diving center with full training facility. There are introductory courses and specialty courses on training.
Best Time to Dive
The Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island in Malaysia is the newest and coolest dive spot in the sea of Celebes. The highlight and the most popular in Mataking Island is the night diving where different sea and freshwater creatures come out to play on reefs during sunset. These creatures are usually found swimming and playing along the underwater post office – it is the first and only underwater post office in Malaysia and one of the five (5) underwater post offices around the world.
The underwater post office was an aged 40-foot cargo ship made from wood, owned by the resort and was submerged being part of the island’s conservation program. There is a mailbox placed next to the wheel house of the ship where divers can write or else purchase a postcard sealed in a unique water-resistant plastic mailing wrap. Moreover, this ship/underwater post office became a playground and an man-made offshore pulling quite a few tropical fishes and other species and at the same time their home. Furthermore, the daytime diving is also a good time for diving where there are several things and creatures to be seen and the beauty of the underwater scenery will be fully captured. There is a schedule for day and night diving and for security purposes divers should have a permit with them before proceeding to the diving proper.
Getting There and Around
Mataking Island is at Sabah, Malaysia off the coast of Malaysian Borneo. It can be reached in 40 minutes through a speedboat that departs from the closest town, Semporna. The trips back and forth are arranged and scheduled by The Reef Dive Resort. For tourists coming from different places all over the world who wanted to visit Mataking Island, the closest airport to Semporna is in Tawau. There is also a schedule from The Reef Dive Resort for the transferring of tourists from the airport to Semporna. To minimize waiting time, it is better to book your flight and your travel to the Island. Inquire as early as possible and confirm your transportation arrangements with the resort.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)