Located in the north western of Kota Kinabalu, the Mantanani islands are a cluster of 3 isolated islands (06-42.8N by 116-18.3E) featuring stunning beaches and fantastic scuba diving opportunities northwest of Kota Belud or about an hour's drive from the state capital of Kota Kinabalu. Although only approximately an hour's boat ride by speedboat from the mainland, the islands are a reminder of an earlier and simpler place and time. Time slows down here amidst the crystal clear blue waters lapping on white sandy beaches. Tall slender coconut palms, like windsocks, tells of gentle breezes from afar. Pulau Mantanani Besar boasts a beach that is 2500 meters long and a definite ‘off-the-beaten-track’ vibe.

Scuba Diving

Diving enthusiasts will be happy to avoid the crowds and explore historical shipwrecks and excellent visibility in the region of 40 meters. All sorts of rays frequent the area including blue spotted rays and also marble stingrays. This dive spot is also popular with muck divers with sightings of seahorses, ribbon eels, the famous blue ringed octopus and imperial shrimp to name just a few.

For divers with more experience, Stingray Avenue is an excellent choice with all sorts to see – corals, turtles, star fish, stone fish and sea slugs are just some of the wide variety of marine life you’ll see here.

Divers are not only spoilt for choice, but are able to dive up to 3 times a day, including a scenic sunset dive that will get you back to your accommodation in time for a culturally diverse dinner. For those who are interested in learning to dive, read more about the Discover Scuba Program or PADI’s Open Water Course to make the most of your holiday in Sabah.

Until recently, the islands were only known to a few locals. The surrounding waters offer splendid fishing and scuba diving adventures. Sailfish and marlin are the main quarry of sport fishermen in these waters. Scuba divers come here for the underwater wrecks, which still hold plenty of the secrets from the day they first settled on the sea floor. These wrecks are now home to a menagerie of marine creatures and an unrivaled marine photo studio. For the novice scuba diver, the coral reefs of these islands offer some of the best scuba diving this side of Sabah.

Mantanani Dive Site Map

City Inn Semporna

1. Mantanani Hard Rock Cafe
2. Boxy Avenue
3. Mantis Avenue
4. Italian Place
5. Police Gate
6. Riza Garden
7. South East Point
8. Abalone Avenue
9. Sahara Desert
10. Gilly Rock
11. Great Wall
12. Hasim Stone
13. Wreck I (Eikyo Maru)
14. Wreck II (Nittestsu Maru)
15. Wreck III (Nittestsu Maru)
16. Mayne Rock
17. North Hill Rock

Mantanani Resort

Mantanani Resort lies at the edge of a white sandy bay at the western end of the largest island. Nestled amidst the tall coconut palms, are scattered beach cabins surrounding the main plantation styled house. These large and comfortable cabins come with attached bathrooms and air conditioning. The relaxing atmosphere makes this resort one of the best places to come to relax and get away (even for a little while) from the drumbeat of urban life. Afterall, there's only one resort here in these 3 islands, not the other way around.

Note: Don't miss the must see islands of Sipadan (Tawau airport). Please contact us for more information.