Scuba Junkie is a multi-award winning PADI 5 star Instructor Development Centre with a strong focus on marine conservation. Over the years we have won numerous awards including the Wild Asia award for Protection of Natural Areas and Wildlife conservation as well as receiving awards from PADI Asia-Pacific for Outstanding Contribution to the Marine Environment and the Coral Triangle Initiative in recognition of our contribution to sustainable tourism.
Conservation of the local environment, both above and below the waves, has been at the heart of Scuba Junkie's ethos right from our inception. We believe that as divers and snorkellers we are fortunate to experience the joy and beauty of the underwater world and with this comes a duty to protect and conserve.
This responsible, sustainable ethos starts with our resort and dive operations, and carries right through to the work of Scuba Junkie SEAS, the dedicated conservation arm of the dive centre.
We have worked hard to make our operations as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, and we invite you to support our work!
Thank you for considering us for your next holiday! Whether you are hoping to enjoy a day trip snorkelling or fun diving, trying your hand at an introductory dive, or even becoming a dive professional- we are here ready to help plan an unforgettable trip
We have two boat transfers per day between Semporna and Mabul:
Please be aware that our transfer boats are also our dive/ snorkel boats- these are approx. 35ft speed boats - there is a roof, but the sides are open. This can mean that if conditions are windy/ wavy or rainy, there is a chance that you might get wet! Please do not keep any non-waterproof items such as phones/ vapes/ lighters in your pockets during the boat rides. We highly recommend using a dry bag for these types of items on the way to and from Mabul.
If you are planning on taking our 8am transfer to Mabul, and take advantage of a diving or snorkelling trip the same day, please do ensure you depart from Semporna swim ready. The journey to Mabul takes approximately 1 hour, upon arrival; our staff will take your luggage to the resort on your behalf while you visit the dive shop to try on your equipment. Once you have your gear- you will head straight back to the boat and start your tour immediately. Check in to your room will then be around lunchtime (1:30pm). A welcome orientation will be offered after your dive day at around 5pm.
If you plan to take our afternoon boat to Mabul- you will be welcomed by one of our staff members who will take you for a short walk up our jetty to the resort. Here you will enjoy a welcome drink while receiving an orientation to the resort and overview of your trip.
Plastic pollution is not only a huge global issue; it is also a major issue locally. We are actively working against this through weekly beach and reef cleans, but prevention is better than cure. Please do not bring any single use plastics or Styrofoam onto any of our boats
We appreciate all your efforts to support us in this. Not just at our locations, but wherever you choose to travel
If your last logged dive was longer than 6 months ago, we recommend joining our refresher sessions- this will be combined with your first dive of the day (this will be conducted on our purpose built platform in the ocean and will not have any additional charge!) Skills to practice are: a weight check, some basic mask and regulator skills and buoyancy skills. After the skills are completed, you will be able to dive our house reef sites (some of the best on the island!) The remaining dives of the day will join the dive boats. Spending a little extra time on a few skills to ensure you are 100% comfortable and confident will benefit during your whole stay.
1st dive/snorkel departs: 8.00-9.00AM - 1st Surface interval 10- 11AM
2nd dive/snorkel departs: 11.30-12Noon - Lunch Break 12.30-1PM
3rd dive/ snorkel departs: 2.15-2.30PM
From Semporna, we will first head to Mabul to collect some more guests before heading on to Kapalai- the boat ride from Mabul to Kapalai takes around 20 minutes. The boat will then remain at Kapalai for the first and second dive/ snorkel session, and the first surface interval/ break. After the second session, we will return to Mabul Island to enjoy lunch at our resort restaurant! The third session will then be after your lunch break. It is not possible to go on Kapalai in-between dives/snorkelling as it is a private island resort- please keep in mind there are no toilets on our boats!
All day trips usually end by 3:45-4PM. The boat that heads back to Semporna is the dive boat- so even if your day is running a little behind schedule- we will not leave you behind!
You will be out all day with the boat, having breaks and lunch on the boat or island. The boat will depart Semporna by 8am and return by around 4-5pm.
Depending on the tides on the day, we might not be able to get go on to the island- this is only applicable for Mantabuan Island.
Mataking Island is also a private island resort- as such; there is only a very small section of beach we are permitted on. Trips to the North Islands will depend on the number of guests requesting to go and the conditions on the day.
We only offer no decompression diving. To ensure our divers are safe at all times- we require all divers with their own computers to stay 5 minutes or above the NDL limit at all times. Due to this, we do request all divers who are not diving with a computer to stay at the same depth, or slightly shallower than their guide. If for some reason you do go over your NDL- please ensure you inform your guide so that a prolonged safety stop can be arranged to clear your dive computer. Please be advised that you will not be able to dive for the remainder of the day. If your computer goes into error mode due to you not clearing your computer- you will be required to wait a minimum 24hrs before being able to join our dive trips again. There will be no refund applicable for these missed dives.
We do not advise you to take valuables on the boats during your snorkelling/diving tours. Our boats are small speedboats- as such there is nowhere to lock valuables away, and there is a chance that items can get wet on board.
There are lockers available in Semporna - we will ask for RM10 deposit for a key - once you return the key, we will return your RM10 😊
At our resort on Mabul there are lockers available for our guests in the dormitories, and there are safes available in the private rooms.
Lunch is included with all day trips from Semporna- if diving/ snorkelling at Mabul island, lunch will be served at our resort (buffet style). If diving/ snorkelling around the northern islands- lunch will be served on the beach or on the boat. We can cater for vegans and vegetarians- please do let us know ahead of time if this is required. All meals served are Halal.
Please take into account that you are in a Muslim Country and public nudity is strictly forbidden. When you go into the village on Mabul island or when in Semporna town please do wear shorts/ shirts/ dresses (not swimsuits).
On the various island beaches and at our resort on Mabul- it is OK to be in your swimwear. Please be sure to cover back up before getting off the boat in Semporna after your day trip
BCDS: We have a combination of our own branded Scuba Junkie BCDs manufactured in Italy as well as Mares Rover & Scubapro T-1 BCDs
REGULATORS: We have Scubapro brand regulators. All of our rental regulators are Yoke valves- if you have a DIN regulator don't worry! We have DIN adaptors available to borrow during your stay 😊
WETSUITS: We have 3mm shorty wetsuits or full length suits if you prefer a bit more cover. Water temperature rarely drops below 27C!
MASKS: Our masks are standardized one size fits all! Please note that we do not have prescription masks available for rental or retail.
FINS: Our fins are closed heel style (no need for booties!) available from size (European) 34 to 46-47.
We do also have a few children's masks and fins available though our range is not extensive so please do check prior to arrival.
For our guests traveling with their own equipment we have built personal lockers to keep your dive gear together in one place to dry over night!
A dive computer is recommended by PADI, but not mandatory! All of our dives are guided by a dive professional- and all of our dive guide wear a dive computer to keep you safely in your limits. If you would like to rent one of our dive computers, please let us know! Dive computers are provided FOC for the Open Water and Advance Open Water course- if you would like to keep them when fun diving, the rental fees are as follows: 1 Day: RM50 / 2 Days: RM80 / 3 Days: RM100 / Extra day: RM20RM per day
All night dives are guided by one of our dive professionals- these are conducted on our house reef sites at Mabul only between 6-730pm nightly. We limit the total number of guests on a night dive so please do check at reception for availability! To join a night dive- you must be a minimum open water level certified, and have done at least one day dive with us (to ensure you are comfortable with our guides and equipment before embarking on a night dive!)
Price: RM110 per dive (includes torch rental)
Our standard tanks are 12LTR aluminium tanks with yoke valves. If you require a slightly larger tank- this can be arranged for all dive locations- please note we do not have 15L tanks available for nitrox fills.
Price: RM25 per tank
Enriched Air is available for dives around the Mabul and Kapalai area only (not available at Sipadan due to the risk of down currents). To dive on Nitrox, you must show proof of a valid Nitrox certification, and all Nitrox divers must wear a dive computer for all dives. If you do not have your own- you can also rent one 😊 Please note that due to the remote location and only one compressor for nitrox, there is a chance (very small)- that we will not be able to offer nitrox during your stay. We will endeavour to meet your requests whenever possible!
Price: RM25 per tank
We have Olympus TG5 camera and housing available to rent both from Semporna and Mabul. We strongly recommend all guests to bring their own SD card or USB to transfer the pictures across. SD cards are available to buy from our retail shop on Mabul! Please note that camera rentals are not available during DSD or Open Water Course dives. We do not have GoPro's for rental or sale.
Price: RM100 per day
All meals are inclusive at our Mabul Beach Resort. These are served buffet style daily (we can cater for vegans and vegetarians too)
Breakfast is from 6:45 - 9:30AM
Lunch from 1 - 2:30PM
Dinner from 6:30 - 8PM
Homemade snacks at 10:30AM and 4PM
Water, tea and coffee are available in the restaurant all day. We encourage all guests to have a reusable water bottle to refill at our various stations 😊
Our resort on Mabul has 24-hour security and surveillance throughout to ensure our guests are secure during their stay. Our resort is also built next to the ESSCOM base (security forces) and also next to the local police base again ensuring our guests have the highest security possible while visiting the area.
There are no curfews on the island preventing you from walking around after dark, but there are curfews in place for water-based activities. As such- we do not allow snorkelling after sunset (usually around 6pm) and all night divers are required to be out of the water no later than 7:30pm.
Wi-Fi is available in our bar and restaurant on Mabul. Keep in mind that this is satellite Wi-Fi; this is suitable for checking emails/ WhatsApp- but might not be strong enough to stream/download. When it is overcast or heavy rain, this may affect the WIFI signal.
There is phone signal and 3G/4G on the island. We recommend buying phone credit in Semporna before heading to Mabul, as this can be difficult to purchase on the island. Celcom, Digi and Maxis are the 3 biggest providers.
On the island there are small stalls/ shops run by the locals in the village- these are cash only stalls and sell things such as snacks or cheap cigarettes. Please note there are no supermarkets on the island- if you are looking for something specific it is best to check for it in Semporna.
We have a small retail shop in the resort for souvenirs, toiletries and dive accessories- we accept cash or Visa/ Mastercard (3% processing fee applicable).
We sell alcoholic and soft drinks as well as some snacks at our resort bar- we accept cash or Visa/ Mastercard (3% processing fee applicable).
All luggage will be brought up to our resort upon arrival in Mabul.
8:00am boat: Check into your room at lunchtime (approximately 1-130pm) or you can choose to check in after the 3rd snorkel/dive.
2:30pm boat: Check into your room upon arrival.
If going to Sipadan on your check out day: Please settle your bill the day before and check out of your room before you head to Sipadan, please place your luggage in the check out section at reception
If diving/ snorkelling on your check out day: Please settle your outstanding bills by lunch time, and please check out of your room prior to going diving/ snorkelling. Please place your luggage in the check out section at reception.
If taking the 10:30am boat: Please check out of your room and settle your outstanding bills by 10AM. Please place your luggage in the check out section at reception.
All luggage placed in our designated check out luggage area will be brought to the jetty. Please ensure your luggage is on the boat before departure.
Weather is very difficult to predict in a tropical country and on an island in the middle of the ocean- Please note that the below is a suggested guideline on the expected visibility and waves each month in the area however weather can be unpredictable and thus this can change from year to year 😊
In general diving and snorkelling in the area is amazing all year round and the weather conditions are sunny with a slight chance of rain- when it does rain- it rarely lasts longer than a couple of hours 😊
Generally air temperature is 25-30℃ during the day and 20-25℃ at night.
In over a decade of operating- we have never had to cancel a day trip due to weather! Borneo is nick-named "land beneath the wind" as we are fortunate enough to not experience monsoon seasons- though occasionally we do experience the tail end of storms from other locations 😊
|Visibility||15-40 meters||5-30 meters||10-40 meters||5-30 meters|
Scuba Junkie SEAS is the dedicated conservation arm of Scuba Junkie. This was set up in 2009 with the aim of raising awareness for shark conservation in the area. Since then, our portfolio has diversified and we now have six major work areas:
SJ SEAS are based at the Mabul Beach Resort, where we have an office and classroom adjacent to the restaurant. All of our conservation activities are coordinated or run on Mabul - including our conservation internships, our weekly beach and reef cleans, our coral restoration projects, our turtle hatchery, turtle and shark surveys, and major outreach programmes with local schools and colleges.
Central to all of our work is encouraging the local community to take part in all aspects of our conservation programmes, through both awareness raising and practical activities. Taking care of an ecosystem means taking care of the people within it too, and taking into account their needs and livelihoods in a responsible manner! Due to the fact that many of the local community rely on the marine ecosystem for food and their livelihoods - many of our projects are geared towards facilitating sustainable livelihoods, for example, the Mabul Community Market.
We are proud to have an extensive portfolio of conservation programmes already in place - a lot of hard work has gone into getting where we are today, and it will take more hard work to keep it going. We hope that through the collaborative work of passionate people we can make a difference to our beautiful oceans and the lives of those that rely on them.
If you'd like further information on any aspect of our work, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call into our office while you are here 😊