May 5-20, 2016: The diving at Sipadan Water Village is unique. Within a 20-minute boat ride, you’ll find massive schools of fish (barracuda, jacks, bumphead parrotfish, Moorish idols, etc), sharks, turtles, rays, a healthy population of cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish), an abundance of reef fish and a wondrous variety of macro life (finger dragonettes, shrimps, crabs, eels, crab-eye gobies) and so much more! Boat rides around Mabul range from eight minutes to 60 seconds. The boat ride to Sipadan Island is just 20 minutes.
The entire resort is built over the water, on stilts of Belian wood, to minimize damage to the existing reef. Sipadan Water Village has achieved near utopia in its over-the-water layout, splendid cottage accommodations, flowered sidewalks, delightful Asian and continental cuisine and impeccably personable service.
Service at the resort is stupendous. The staff is friendly, professional and eager to please. Divemasters are well trained and know the local marine life like family. It’s the kind of place you want to return to over and over again. So, whether or not you’ve been to Sipadan Water Village, it’s going to be fantastic.
Learn more about Sipadan Water Village Resort.
Underwater Critters Gone Wild
We’ve timed our visit to coincide with this unique learning and sharing event. Among the many activities:
- Clay Wiseman will be teaching marine behavior such as where to find particular critters and how best to approach without scaring or disturbing them.
- Fred Dion of Backscatter is offering GoPro education and support with how to get the most benefit and best effects with any of the numerous accessories.
- Rob Aschermann will teach us how to take raw images and create phenomenal projects to share with friends, family and the world, complete with titles, music, transitions and special effects.
And, yes, there will be prizes. Lots of them.
You can have a wonderful time at this event, even if you don’t take pictures, by acting as a critter spotter or underwater model. Both are much-needed tasks. You can learn more at the Critters Gone Wild website.
Sepilok Nature Resort
While on the far side of the planet, you can join us for an additional three days at Sepilok Nature Resort. This opportunity features cruises along the Kinabatangan River complete with guide, ground transportation, meals and air-conditioned accommodations.
The high point of your stay here will be the opportunity to see and interact with the highly endangered orangutan. Loss of habitat is putting tremendous pressure on the dwindling orang population; there may, ultimately, be none left.
Sepilok Nature Resort is a Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner. Hidden amongst a treasure trove of tropical plants, grasses, huge trees and spectacular orchids, quaint bungalows at the Sepilok Nature Resort are within walking distance of the world famous Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, precious home of the last wild Orangutans of Northern Borneo.
Combining rich traditional style with contemporary luxury, Sepilok Nature Resort is the ideal starting point for most other wildlife land destinations in Sabah such as the fauna rich Kinbabatangan River and the surrounding Sukau area.
- Day 1 allows for one boat cruise along the river in search of proboscis monkeys, long and short tail macaques, wild boar, all kinds of water birds, crocodiles and the possibility of pygmy elephants.
- Day 2 includes dawn and dusk cruises.
- Day 3 typically allows for one more cruise before departure.
Learn more about Sepilok Nature Resort.
Who is This Trip Ideal For?
This may be the perfect trip if you:
- Want the comfort and convenience of a land-based resort.
- Want to visit a destination few divers ever see.
- Are seeking unparalleled interaction with unique aquatic and terrestrial animals.
When Does It Take Place?
Our travel schedule is as follows:
- You need to arrive no later than Sunday, May 8, 2016.
- The departure date from the resort is Sunday, May 15, 2016
- Remember that you will be crossing the date line both going and coming.
- The Sepilok Nature Resort add three days to this.
How Much Does it Cost?
Trip Pricing: Pricing for this trip is as follows:
- Base price, per diver (double occupancy): $2,450
- For single occupancy: Add $900
- Nondiver: Deduct $600
- Air-conditioned room at SWR: $100
- Additional days of accommodations, diving: $275/day
- Sepilok Nature Resort add-on: $1,200
Prices are per-diver, based on double occupancy, and reflect a discount for cash or check. If you pay by credit card, there is an additional five percent charge if we swipe your card or ten percent if we have to key it in.
Deposit and Balance Due: Requirements are as follows:
- $500 due at signup.
- Balance due January 15, 2016.
- Be aware there are no refunds unless we find someone else to take your spot
What’s Included: The basic trip price includes the following (if applicable):
- Airport transfers at destination
- Hotel accommodations
- Hotel tax and service charges
- Meals at resort
- Three boat dives per day
- Use of tanks and weights
Not Included: Travelers are responsible for the following (if applicable):
- Round-trip air fare from New Orleans
- Trip insurance
- Meals while in transit
- Personal dive gear
We can help you arrange air fare, which we estimate to be around $3,000/person. If you do so on your own, we strongly recommend using a professional travel agent, due to the peculiarities of international travel. We also strongly recommend trip insurance.
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