Diving in Pulau Tiga

Pulau Tiga is one of a group of small uninhabited Malaysian islands in Kimanis Bay off the western coast of Sabah. The islands were formed on September 21, 1897, when an earthquake on Mindanao caused avolcanic eruption near Borneo. The island is 607 hectares in size and has a couple of active mud volcanos at the highest part of the island. Pulau Tiga became well known through the Survivor television series. It was the setting of Survivor: Borneo, the first American season of the show. It was also the setting of the first seasons of the Swedish and British shows.

lionfish.jpgHere 7 kms of coral reef surround the two islands Pulau Tiga and Snake Island, aptly named for the frequent sightings of sea snake here. The reefs range from 6 to 20 metres and whilst they harbor all your typical reef species visibility can be poor. The coral reefs on all sides of the island are home to many species of fish and other marine life. Scuba dive sites around Pulau Tiga are in excellent condition. With myriads of hard and soft corals, whip corals, barrel sponges, schools of Tropical Fish, Sea Turtles, Rays, Cuttlefish, Nudibranchs, Lionfish, Scorpionfish and the list goes on and on. However species density and coral growth can be very good and as a scuba diver it is well worth taking a day trip from Kota Kinabalu to visit Palau Tiga.

Pulau Tiga, a volcanic island covered in rainforest, also offers hot bubbling mud baths. Normally, unless you enjoy being caked in dry mud, these are quickly followed by a run down to the nearby beach and a wash in the sea. Among the activities that await you here are diving, non-motorised water sports, trekking, and bird watching.

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Flora and Fauna

The island's lush green jungle serves as a soothing backdrop, while the fine, white sand beaches and the clear unpolluted water are a wonder for nature lovers. The pristine natural surroundings of Pulau Tiga Park is protected by the Malaysian government. Pulau Tiga and its surrounding sea are home to a diverse number of interesting animal species.

lizard.jpgPoisonous sea snakes, proboscis and macaque monkeys, flying foxes, bats, sharks, monitor lizards, barracuda (a total of 132 species of fish existed in the park), sea turtles, and a plethora of birds - including megapodes, hornbills and sea eagles all call Pulau Tiga home. The megapode birds build their nests on the ground and lay their eggs a few feet deep in piles of sand and debris; when the chicks hatch, they dig their way out of their nest, unguarded by their parents.

seasnake.jpgPulau Tiga is also home to more than fifty species of tree and countless species of plants in mangroves, swamps, and lowland forests. Those who are a little more energetic can trek through the 7 miles of trails now carved through the rain-forest. Close by Pulau Tiga is Snake Island - named for the many Sea Snakes that inhabit and lay their eggs on the tiny rocky uninhabited island. The sea snakes, twice as poisonous as the King Cobra. This magnificent little island is located 15 minutes speedboat ride from our island base on Tiga. Its great for snorkelling and a must see for travelers to the area.


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