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Around North West Coast Of Sabah | Rafflesia Conservation Area

 

 

Around north west coast of Sabah laid a group of islands including Pulau Balambangan, Pulau Banggi, Pulau Jambongan, Pulau Balak and Pulau Malawali. A number of wrecks and rarely dived reefs have recently been discovered in this area and now a Kota Kinabalu based company, Sipadan-Mabul Regal Tours, have a live-aboard boat regularly visiting the area. The ‘Scuba Explorer’ is a 70ft live-aboard motor yacht with comfortable accommodation for 12 people and 6 crews. Designed for comfort and effortless diving, the Scuba Explorer covers the Kudat wrecks and reef diving around the islands of north-west Sabah.

Three wrecks have been discovered to date, all thought to be merchant ships. Two are lying at 20m-25m and the other lying a little deeper at 50m. All three wrecks resemble coral gardens being completely covered in colourful sponge and soft corals. Marine life around the wrecks includes schools of glassfish, lionfish, scorpion fish and huge resident grouper. The surrounding islands have shallow fringing reefs with all the regular reef fish such as the coral trout, butterfly fish, angel fish and the occasional cuttlefish. These reefs have rarely been dived and therefore new sites are being discovered on many of the trips.

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             Rafflesia Conservation Area can found the Rafflesia. Rafflesia is the world’s largest flower. Rafflesia is named after adventurer and founder of the British colony of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. There are about 20 described species of Rafflesia, some only discovered as recently as 1988. They are found on peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand, on Borneo Island, in restricted areas of the Philippines and in Sumatra. There is no particular flowering season for Rafflesia, and the flowers can appear at any time during the year. The Rafflesia has no leaves, stem or roots. It grows invisibly inside the roots of certain woody vines of the genus Tetrastigma. The Tetrastigma are rather common in the tropical jungles of Southeast Asia and related to the grapevine, but the Rafflesias seem to prefer only about three specific species. In the Rafflesia Conservation Area have a nature trails connects all the known sites where Rafflesia buds are found and the Information Centre provides an excellent display on the life cycle of a Rafflesia plant.

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