Location

Latitude : 6.705611, Longitude : 116.344171

2D1N Mantanani Island Experience

Select the various activities available to go with your stay. This will be the ideal beach setting for your island retreat.

Mantanani Island Day Trip – Diving

Uncover the many diving sites around Mantanani Islands including wreck sites for serious divers which are now home to menagerie of marine creatures.

3D2N Mantanani Island Discovery

The island is yours to explore for a stay of two nights. Discover what this mermaid island offers as you dive, snorkel, participate in water sports or simply relax and relish the stunning views of sunset over the horizon.

Mantanani Island Day Trip – Snorkeling

Take a sneak peek into another world – the marine world. Snorkel along the crystal clear waters of the beach or follow our boat trips to amazing snorkelling sites.

4D3N Mantanani Island Indulgence

Isolate yourself from the outside world and leave your stress behind by opting for a three nights stay in Mantanani. Get to understand the real meaning of life as an Islander and indulge in this picturesque scenery, cool breezes and serene environment.

About Mantanani Island

Overview

Mantanani Islands 美 人鱼岛 is a group of three isolated islands that boast of crystal clear blue waters filled with a myriad of marine life and white sandy beaches fringed by coconut palm trees, making it an excellent destination for snorkeling, scuba diving or island hopping. One of the main reasons that Mantanani Islands is popular for local and tourists alike is because of its picturesque scenery, cool breezes and serene environment. The sun also seems a lot prettier in Mantanani. After a whole day of diving, snorkelling or kayaking, sit back and feast your eyes on the gorgeous layers of orange hues penetrating the clouds as the sun sets. In the morning, nothing beats sitting on the jetty with your legs dangling over the water, watching the sun rising as gentle breeze caresses your skin and ruffles your hair. Be spellbound also by the magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu veiled in chiffon-like clouds and morning mist.

Getting Here

The journey to the island begins with about one and a half hour drive from Kota Kinabalu to ‘Kampung Kuala Abai Jetty’ off Kota Belud Town. From here on, a 60 minutes boat ride by speedboat to reach the little piece of heaven, the Island of Mantanani. At some point the boat ride can be very bumpy and this very much depends on the sea conditions itself.

Location

Mantanani Map

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

  1. The Mantanani Islands are located Northwest of Kota Belud. It is located about 38 km from the mainland. Mantanani is volcanic rock in origin around which an oceanic island has developed resulting on two distinct reef formats, one built upon volcanic bedrock and one on the calcareous rubble.
  2. The islands consist of 3 islands, Mantanani Besar, Mantanani Kechil and Linggisan. Mantanani Besar is approximately 3km across and 1.5km widest point.
  3. There are about 12 dive sites at Mantanani Islands and still more to be discovered.
  4. Mantanani Kechil is a designated bird sanctuary by the Malaysian Government but the Mantanani Islands do not fall under the Sabah Park jurisdiction.
  5. The water temperature changes according to the currents and season. The water temperature can vary between 10C to 24C on a cold day and 29C to 33C on a hot day depending on the season.
  6. The Mantanani Besar community has approximately 1000 people who are from the Bajau ethnic group and are predominantly Muslim. The local community here relay on sea produce as their main source of income and daily sustenance, but with the recent development of the island as a tourist destination, more job opportunities have been made available for the locals.
  7. Mantanani is also home to a few endangered bird species (Christmas Island, Great and Lesser Frigate birds, Mantanani Scops-owls, Nicobar Pigeons). The island is also a good location for bird watching.
  8. Mantanani Islands are famous for its Dugongs or “sea cow”, a 200-300 kg mammal. There is no specific season for dugong sightings but probability of spotting the dugong would probably be in September to November as from past research, it has been documented that these months are the mating season of the dugong. No sightings are guaranteed as these sea creatures feed on sea grass and are constantly on the move looking for new grazing ground. They will not stay in one place for ling and are very shy and wary of humans.

Things to do in Mantanani

Things to do in Mantanani

Scuba Diving : There are many exciting diving sites near the island that will enthral you.
Discover Scuba Dive : New to scuba diving? Fret not. Our Dive Instructor will give you adequate briefing on the keys to scuba diving and the use of the equipment and voila, you’ll be swimming with the rays, and many more other wondrous sea creatures.
Open Water Diver Course : Get certified by PADI! Get a license to dive around the world.
Advance Open Water Diver Course : Explore deeper oceans, experience more, more excitements. That’s what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course is all about.
Snorkeling : Take the surface tour, peeks into the underwater world and admire the abundant marine lives of Mantanani. Simply snorkel along the beach or follow our boat out to the many exciting spots.
Night Snorkeling : At night, it is a different sea, totally...
Sea Kayaking : Be adventurous, take out the kayak and explore the surrounding sea.
Dugong Rare Sightings : We have recorded some sightings recently.
Kampung (Village) Walk : A quiet stroll along the beach in either direction leads you to local villages and idyllic fishing village for an intimate look of island life in Borneo.
Bird Watching : Good for seeing birds that usually nest on island because of the relatively lack of terrestrial predators. The only place in Sabah to see the Mantanani Scoops Owls (Otus Mantananensis). The islands are important to pelargic species, wintering migrants and residents.
Sunset Cruise : Admire the magnificent sunset off the South China Sea while enjoying a cold drink aboard.
Night Island Walk : Take a walk under the star-lit sky, hear the Mantanani Scops Owls (Otus Mantananensis) call (found only at Mantanani and Palawan Islands) and be amazed by the “Kelip-Kelip” (fire-flies) lighted X’mas trees.
Bon Fire “Sing Song” Gathering : Enjoy the night telling stories and singing songs around a bon fire. Please ask for island crew assistance.

*Availability & schedules of all activities and facilities are subject to terms & conditions and sea & weather conditions.

Mantanani Additional Info

Dugongs in Mantanani

Mantanani is known for the presence of Dugong, a large marine mammal strictly herbivorous which is a close relative to the Steller's sea cow. The dugong is heavily dependent on sea grasses for survival and with its snout that is sharply downturned, which is an adaptation for grazing and uprooting sea grasses. The dugong has been hunted for thousands of years for its meat and oil. The dugong's current distribution is reduced and with a long lifespan of 70 years or more, and slow rate of reproduction, the dugong is especially vulnerable to extinction.

Several divers that have experience an encounter with these mammals, claimed that they are very shy and would swim away from human therefore you may find yourselves lucky should you see one swimming nearby.


Diving Around Mantanani

The term ‘diver’s paradise’ may sound trite, but Mantanani Island is exactly that and more. As you plunge into the Mantanani underwater world, you’ll be simply mesmerized by neon coloured fish in intoxicating swirls, adorable clownfish playing hide and seek amidst the sea anemones, vivid coloured finger corals waving about, and vast garden of living coral reefs.

Each dive site in Mantanani offers something unique. Other than sporadic encounters with dolphins, divers have also encountered some of the rarer underwater species such as the bumphead parrotfish, moray eel, sting ray, eagle ray, and several turtles. For underwater photography enthusiasts, the view is simply to-die-for—topped off with excellent visibility.


People in Mantanani

The island’s population is estimated at about 1000, comprises mostly of fishermen, the unemployed, and villagers employed by lodge operators to run the lodges and day trips to the island. The local people in Mantanani are all very friendly and just as curious of the tourists as you are of them. The children are always the first to shout “hello” and wave to you. Some may even pose for photos and ask for your name.

The villages are a collection of hand crafted homes made from whatever materials the locals can afford. There is a primary school for the villager’s children. There is also a small herd of cows on the island, most of which spend their time on the beach near the village.

For those who wish to stay the night at the island, there are accommodations available, humbly yet cozy for an island holiday away from the busy city sound of traffics.

 

Accommodation

Mari Mari Backpackers Lodge

Mari Mari Backpackers Lodge is located at Pulau Mantanani Besar. All chalets are very simple wooden village type house built on stilts and have teak wood floors.
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Mantanani Info

Mantanani Island
Mantanani Islands is a group of three isolated islands located northwest of Kota Belud, about an hour's drive from the state capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu

More info about Mantanani Island