Mantanani Island's Scuba Diving

Mantanani is the name of three picturesque small islands surrounded by the South China Sea. They are located not far from the city of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It is a paradise-like place with coconut palms and snow-white beaches. Mantanani is considered one of the best places for diving and snorkelling in the country. Due to its remoteness from the mainland, the natural environment here is untouched; and there is the opportunity to see rare examples of marine fauna such as dugongs. The clear turquoise waters veil a fabulous underwater world, and the shallow reef waters have become home to various creatures. Sunken World War II Japanese ships, teeming with large fish, rest at the bottom of the sea. The visibility here is good — even at a great depth.

Getting There

You can get to Mantanani Island the following way: by going from Kota Kinabalu by bus or taxi to Kota Belud. Then you'll need to book a boat from the port of Kuala Abai. The trip by boat takes about 45 minutes. However, the easiest way to get to Mantanani is by booking a diving tour.


The climate in Mantanani allows you to dive all year round, except for the season of rainy-showers in October and November. The period from April to September is comfortable for diving, as you can enjoy splendid visibility (up to 40 meters). The air warms up to +28-30 °С, and the water temperature is betweem +26-28 °С. February and March are the driest months.

Dive Spots near Mantanani Island

Reefs and wrecks are the main dive spots of Mantanani. The most popular one is Ribbon Reef, with its diverse marine life and soft and stony corals. For those who like wreck diving, there are three sites for exploration. But be careful: the currents here are strong.