Timba-Timba Island's Scuba Diving

Timba Timba Island is a small uninhabited island in the east of Malaysia belonging to Sabah state. There are neither hotels nor restaurants on the island; just beaches and the sea. Previously, the Philippines fought over this territory with Malaysia; however, even nowadays, this issue hasn't been completely resolved. Despite its complicated history, the place is perfect for quiet diving. No one will disturb you from exploring the amazing underwater world of Malaysia and enjoying the clear waters of the Sulu and Sulawesi seas. Near the island, there are over a dozen dive sites which offer swimming under small reefs and rocks in the midst of marine life. You will have the chance to experience a combination of a slope and wall; photograph small fish; and see pelagic fish species — all in one place.

Getting There

The best way to dive on Timba-Timba is from the island of Mataking. To get to the island, you have to fly to the city of Tawau. It accommodates local flights from both the Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu airports. From Tawau, you should take a bus to the docks in the city of Semporna. Then, you will have to go by sea renting a boat.


Timba Timba Island has a warm and humid, tropical equatorial climate. You can dive here all year round; however, the best time to dive is from April to October when there aren't any monsoons. The air temperature varies from +21 to +32 °C. The water temperature reaches +27-30 °C. During the dry season, underwater visibility can reach up to a record 30 meters. Rain can reduce it to 10 meters.

Dive Spots near Timba-Timba Island

Sting Ray City was named after its local inhabitants — shy, bluespotted ribbontail rays. Rays rest under coral branches and rock formations. When frightened, they quickly hide in the sand, blending into the sea bottom. There are also black corals here which attract colourful tropical fish.

Dive into
Timba-Timba Island