Kapikan Reef

Kapikan Reef
Diving in Kapikan Reef by Prof. Steve Oakley.


Kapikan Reef and the reef at Mantabuan Island form a linked unit to the east side of Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Like Church Reef, it is a patch reef (small, isolated coral platform) which has no permanent island.

During low tide, sandbanks appear towards the southern end of Kapikan Reef.

The reef is just 3 kilometers long by 1.5 kilometers wide, with the reef rim measuring about 7.3 kilometers and having a gently-sloping profile.

Things To Do

Snorkeling & scuba diving
Kapikan Reef is a hot spot for snorkeling and diving activities.

Towards the northern end lies an extensive reef top at a depth of 1 to 5 meters, making it perfect for marine activities including scuba diving, muck diving, snorkeling and free diving.

These shallow coral areas occur on the inner side of the reef rim and are particularly well developed, measuring several hundred meters wide in some places.

Marine life commonly found in the area include sea turtles, blue-spotted stingrays, crocodile fish, puffer fish and the rare black coral.

Several dive resorts/operators organize snorkeling and diving day tours to Kapikan Reef.


There are no hotels or resorts on Kapikan Reef or any of the other islands within Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Most visitors to the island stay in the coastal town of Semporna, where hotels and dive packages are generally cheaper.

Alternatively, visitors also stay in Mabul, Pom Pom, Mataking, Singamata or Bum Bum where day tours to the marine park are frequently organized.

Check this list for hotels and resorts that organize day tours to Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Getting Here

Kapikan Reef is located ±40 minutes by boat from Semporna, ±20 minutes from Pom Pom, ±30 minutes from Mataking and ±1.5 hours from Mabul.

More Information

The seabed reaches depths of over 130 meters at certain points towards the eastern side of the reef.

The northeastern side consists of a deep reef that is a mostly vertical rock face with small caves.