Most travellers to Kota Kinabalu will not miss the chance to enjoy a good day of sand, sea and sun on the marine park just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu city. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park consists of five islands altogether. The largest being Gaya Island, while Mamutik is the smallest island in the group. Meanwhile Manukan Island, Sapi Island and Sulug Island make up the rest of the marine park. Mamutik island has an area of 60,000 square metres and shapes like a triangle.
Compare to Manukan and Sapi, Mamutik is the least crowded, yet it offers almost everything the other two have. Mamutik Island is also very close to the Sabah mainland, just about 3km. If one departs from the Tanjung Aru Beach Hotel jetty, the speed boat ride is just five minutes or less at times. Once arrived at the Mamutik Island’s jetty, schools of fish can be seen crowded around the jetty. Being a great host they seem to welcome all the visitors to have fun and a relaxed time on this beautiful tropical island.
Towards the entrance of Mamutik Island, a beautiful view of white sandy beaches and clear crystal water on both sides of the walkway await the visitors. After paying the park fee, visitors can use the many garden tables located under the trees along the beach. Let your feet dance on the soft white sandy beach before diving into the water. The warm clear water of Mamutik Island is great for swimming too. For those who like to go for snorkelling, there are a few coral colonies to explore. Mamutik Island is also the home of the rare white distichopora lace coral. Residential fishes like Sergeant Major, Parrot fish, Butterfly fish and Angle fish, and even the cute Clown Anemonefish can be spotted at their preferred habitat.
Spending a few hours swimming and snorkelling can be tiring, lunch is the prefect solution to replenish the body. Having lunch in a tropical island is a wonderful experience, and this is no difference at Mamutik Island. Nice decorated tables and chairs are prepared for the comfort of the guests, and the big trees provide great shade from the tropical sun. Mamutik Island offers BBQ style cuisine, with prawns, fish and chicken are the main selections. While having a good time with the tasty meal, guests also get to enjoy the cool breeze blowing in from the sea.
Other facilities included here are a washroom and a canteen. Mamutik Island is the only island at the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park that allows camping, but one must get permission from Sabah Park first. At the centre of the island are a few old grave yards. These are the burial ground of the early settlers of Mamutik Island. After being gazetted as a marine park in 1979 this tradition had stopped. For those who find this spooky at night, be warned.
Borneo Divers is one of the pioneers in Sabah diving industry and they have a diving station here. Many divers get to experience the fascinating underwater world through the diving courses conducted at this island. Borneo Divers offers full PADI course. To get an open sea diving certificate, one just needs to attend a 3 day class. Day one is about underwater safety, no water is involved. Day two participants learn how to handle all the diving equipment normally done in a swimming pool, or in shallow sea. Day three, head out to the open sea and swim with the fish. Note: The west side of Mamutik Island offers great diving experience with its sea wall.
The Marine park opens from 8:30 am to 5pm and the entrance fee is RM 10 and RM 3 for MYkad holders.
How to get here? Hourly speed boats depart from three Kota Kinabalu jetties. The main jetty is at the Jesselton Point, and two other jetties are at Sutera Harbour and Tanjung Aru beach hotel. Depending on which islands and departing points, the speed boat takes about 5 to 15 minutes to Mamutik and it costs about RM 17 to RM 30 return.
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