Located at the East Coast of Sabah, Mantanani consists of a compilation of several islands namely, Pulau Mantanani Besar, Pulau Mantanani Kechil and Pulau Lungisan. It is a popular site for recreational diving as there are 3 dive wrecks remnants from WWII, as well as being known for its dugongs however dugongs are actually quite rare.
Mantanani Islands was once linked by the presence of Dugongs, although today the creatures don’t often come by. Operational resorts operate mainly on Mantanani Besar and Kechil. Day trips and overnight stays are available with various choices of licensed tour operators. Beaches are sandy white and the islands are important for migratory birds.
There are 3 nearby sea wrecks contributed by the events of WWII, namely Usukan Wreck, Rice Bowl Wreck and Upside-Down Wreck. All 3 wrecks were believed to belong to the former Japanese Navy sunk by the Allies during the Japanese Occupation of Borneo. Wreck diving here requires you to be an experienced and well-certified Diver as currents can be strong and visibility along the way can be quite a challenge.
Each dive site in Mantanani offers something unique. For underwater photography enthusiasts, the view is simply to-die-for—topped off with excellent visibility.
Mantanani is a safe alternative if you do not wish to travel towards the South-Eastern part of Sabah. Located from Kota Belud. Mantanani is accessible from Kota Kinabalu via land, taking about 1-2 hours depending on road traffic conditions. Upon arrival at Kg Abai’s jetty, transit by sea transport is needed, travel takes between an hour, more or less depending on sea and wind conditions.