Semporna Things to Do

  • Beautiful Sunset on Pom Pom Island
    Beautiful Sunset on Pom Pom Island
    by hart007
  • Green Turtle underwater on Pom Pom
    Green Turtle underwater on Pom Pom
    by hart007
  • Turtles are abundant
    Turtles are abundant
    by hart007

Most Recent Things to Do in Semporna

  • dna-usa's Profile Photo

    Diving with a purpose

    by dna-usa Updated Jun 22, 2015

    We came to TRACC Tropical Research and Conservation Centre to learn to dive and make a difference to coral reefs by helping to replant damaged areas. The dive training was great but what makes TRACC special was the reef reconstruction and the obvious purpose to each dive. We mixed cement , made bottle reefs, took them to the location using lift bags. placed the new reef bases in the locations. We then fetched corals from the nursery where they had been growing and placed them in the newly created reef bases. The joyous thing was it really worked, a few days later there are baby fish obviously resident on the reef we put there. It seemed to me that the reefs with branching corals got baby fish faster than the reefs with massive corals so it was clear that the hiding space was the critical factor. Steve did explain that we were trying to plant a diverse reef with many species so we planted a mixture of the biscuits from the nursery.
    A really satisfying experiece, we had a great time and clearly made a difference to the small reefs we created.
    checkout #tracc or @traccborneo

    bottle reef with branching coral bottle reef supporting healthy coral coral biscuits from the nursery massive corals spreading over the biscuit
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Budget Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Getting marine life back on TRACC

    by James-G Written Feb 7, 2014

    I'm 35, I live in London and travel quite a lot with work. I didn't take a gap year and have never travelled alone before. So it was with some anxiety that I decided to book up this four week trip to TRACC. I love and care about nature and all animal life, so I knew that I'd be going to a place which would attract like minded people, people who care and are compassionate. That's what separated this adventure with one of hosteling around the world to various cities, a common ground before you've even arrived. After 34 hours of travelling I was met in Semporna and taken to a small boat for the last hour of my journey. The boat to Pom Pom Island. As the island came into view I knew I had made the right decision to go. Every hour of my journey was worth every minute on this island. I had the best four weeks I think I've ever had. Importantly it's about conservation. I had never even worn fins before (I wasn't allowed to call them flippers) so diving to me was brand new. In 30 days I totalled 35 dives, this was down to excellent instruction and a get-on-with-it attitude from Steve, TRACC's Director and founder. Such a refreshing attitude because once you can dive you can start to make a real difference in the regeneration of marine life around the island. I was doing fish surveys, planting and collecting corals, marking out mooring sites and much more. I've seen and swam with creatures that I've only ever seen on the wonderful Attenborough programmes. I just can't stress enough how wonderful the whole experience was. The best decision I have made, that's for sure. It is important to go to TRACC for the right reasons. Marine conservation is that reason. If you don't want to help and just want a sunbathing holiday then it's not the place for you. If you'd like to make a difference and throw yourself at the challenges of the island then you'll have the best time ever. Maybe I was lucky with the particular group of volunteers and staff we had there at the time...? I certainly felt lucky, but I think you'd have to try incredibly hard to NOT have a good time on this project. Steve's passion is evident and infectious. The diving leadership and instruction was superb. The food was great (and cooked for you!). The social side was brilliant. I learned so much about so many things and have a real drive to now continue that.
    Are there any bad parts you may wonder? Well the flies were a bit annoying occasionally. That's it. Will I be making a return to TRACC on Pom Pom Island again? ..... Without a shadow of a doubt!

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Camping
    • Adventure Travel

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  • Diving with a purpose, visit TRACC

    by mdiver Written Jan 1, 2014

    Diving with TRACC ( Tropical Research and Conservation Centre) is amazing, where else can you plant coral reefs that will out live your children, we used lift bags to move reef blocks and then planted coral biscuits that have been growing in the nursery for 2 years. You can really see the difference, the fish are abundant on the reefs and the coral is slowly covering the substrate. We also dived some of the best reefs in the Semporna district. The well known island of Sipadan is amazing but for uncrowded reefs that are almost as good try diving with TRACC.

    Turtles are abundant, TRACC helps to protect them Survey dives to document reef health snorkelling and counting turtles Beautiful reefs
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Budget Travel

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  • hart007's Profile Photo

    Get involved with helping to Save the reef.

    by hart007 Written Mar 20, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Tropical Research and Conservation Centre on Pom Pom Island off Semporna is a great place to learn about the underwater world at the same time as you help save part of the Planet. TRACC is run by marine conservationists for volunteers and visitors to learn and participate in marine conservation. They work on coral reefs to stop blast fishing, and they replant corals to give homes for the fish. They also protect turtles ( there are many nesting turtles on the island) and sharks. If you have a week or more and you want a dive vacation with a difference this is a great place. We had a fantastic time and will definitely come back again. Some of our group want to do the 6 day marine science courses that TRACC offers.

    We booked through TRACC and stayed at the Celebes Beach resort and it was very reasonable, about mid range for Mabul accommodation but without the water pollution and the village. Pom Pom is a beautiful island and that was the memory we wanted to take home.

    Green Turtle underwater on Pom Pom Planting coral to repair the reef Beautiful Sunset on Pom Pom Island Fanatastic coral reefs Turtles are abundant
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Budget Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Corriander's Profile Photo

    Diving in Sipidan

    by Corriander Written Apr 3, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We arrived in Semporna having booked into the City Inn Hotel (50 MR per night with air con and private bathroom, 8 minute walk from main diving outlets). We shopped around for diving in Sipidan and found that anything in the Lonely Planet was booked for days. We therefore went to a Malay diving company called Blue Sea Divers to see if they had anything. Surprisingly they did. We were a little worried about why this was but went with them anyway. They provided a very high quality of service, great equipment (no full foot flippers - if you want those they don't have any). We got unlimited water, fresh fruits, towels, great lunch etc all included in the price. The price was perhaps 20 MR more than Scuba junkies who we went out with the next day. In comparison Scuba Junkie was horrible. They were the bulk standard back packers budget diving company run by westerners for westerners who wished to cream as much money and give as little back as possible. If you think you can stretch the 20MR do, you will not regret it one bit. Also, we went back 2 days later and they gave us a discount. Wondferful, fun people who have a maximum of 7 to the boat (we saw 12 on another) who will give you the best experience of Sipidan.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • Diving Diving Diving!!

    by tsuey Written Jan 16, 2007

    There is practically nothing much to do in Semporna. But you should go to the islands close by like Sipadan (famous for the wall diving) which is about 45 mins on a boat. You should definitely scuba dive or snorkel in the islands. It's worth every penny. You will not miss a thing. Make sure if you want to dive in Sipadan especially, you should book early. It's a very hard place to get into. The dive shops have to book a permit in advance before anyone can dive around the island.

    However, there are other islands and they are just worth going as much. Depends on what you like to see. In sipadan you see lots of huge turtles, sharks. In other islands such as Mabul, Kapalai, Sibuan... you will see lots more of the macrolife in the sea. But turtles are everywhere. So you are bound to see them in most of the islands.

    Mabul Island from the distance A turtle on a coral in Sipadan Island Sipadan Island
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    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • Sambawalk's Profile Photo

    Not much except fish market

    by Sambawalk Written Nov 17, 2008

    There is nothing in Semporna, except coming here for scuba diving or snorkelling. There is a fish markt and a mosque.

    Semporna fish market

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  • camelweed's Profile Photo

    Scuba Diving

    by camelweed Written Dec 23, 2007

    Some of the best diving available only a 1 hour boat ride to some of the best diving sites, such as Sipadan, Mabul and Sibaun Islands. There are pently of beaches to sit back and relax

    Mabul Island
    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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Semporna Things to Do

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