For family holidays, Tun Sakaran Marine Park is a nature lab one minute and marine playground the next – it’s perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, that romantic escape you’ve been yearning for and more.
What makes Sabah’s second largest marine park truly unique though is the people who live in it – the nomadic Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) people who reside in houseboats and stilt houses around the park’s islands.
This exciting marine conservation area also has one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on earth – it was once compared to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef by representatives of the UK’s Marine Conservation Society.
Accommodation & day tours
There are no major hotels or resorts in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a move resulting in less human impact and pollution.
Things to do
There are 8 islands and 2 reefs in the marine park, all of which are unique and can be visited.
- Bohey Dulang – By far the most popular island in this marine protected area. Has plenty of activities.
- Bodgaya – Biggest island in the marine park. Connected to Bohey Dulang.
- Sibuan – Great for snorkeling, diving or picnics. Famous even before Sipadan was discovered.
- Mantabuan – Just ±2km from the northern tip of Bohey Dulang. Smallest island in the marine park.
- Selakan – Most populated island in the marine park. Has a school that serves all 8 islands.
- Maiga – Beautiful islet located in between Selakan and Sibuan.
- Sebangkat – Nearest island to the mainland (10-15 minutes by boat from Semporna).
- Tetagan – Small island located at the tip of Bodgaya.
- Kapikan Reef – Connected to the reef at Mantabuan. Also known as ‘Lonely Reef’.
- Church Reef – Connected to the reef at Sibuan.
The relatively untouched beauty of the surrounding area makes it one of the most exciting dive sites in the region, an active ground for breeding, spawning and growth of terrestrial and marine life.
The park is known to have the highest species diversity among other marine sites in Malaysia and includes at least 528 species of reef fish, 240 species of marine invertebrate, 70 species of soft coral and 6 species of seagrass.
However, it is not just under the sea that life flourishes. The fantastic seascape, and the many species of sea birds and rare forest birds, including the beautiful black-naped fruit-dove, augurs well for plans to promote Semporna to non-divers.
Tun Sakaran Marine Park can be reached by visitors from:
- Semporna (±15 minutes to the nearest island)
- Pom Pom(±20 minutes)
- Mataking (±30 minutes)
- Mabul (±1.5 hours).
Learn about the exciting history and evolution behind Sabah’s second largest marine park, going back as far as 1933.