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Diving in Brunei

Brunei is increasingly well known for its fabulous wreck diving. Warm tropical waters delight divers of all levels. As do unpolluted oceans & uncrowded beaches.

Diving in Brunei

Quick facts

Good things come in small packages. Like the tiny nation of Brunei, which is slowly becoming a go-to destination for divers in the know. The reason? Its location on the northwest edge of the island of Kalimantan, in the famed Coral Triangle. Fewer than 10 years have passed since the first dive shop opened in Brunei, so a dive trip here is still a voyage of discovery for intrepid divers seeking something a bit different. Bordered by Malaysia on one side and the South China Sea on the other, Brunei is increasingly well known for its fabulous wreck diving. Warm tropical waters delight divers of all levels. As if that wasn’t enough, you’re likely to have the dive sites to yourself. Brunei’s tourism and dive industries are relatively young, and the country still features pristine jungles, unpolluted oceans and uncrowded beaches (much of which are protected in reserves). If that sounds attractive, book your ticket now and join the smart divers determined to beat the crowds.

Recommended training

PADI Open Water Diver course for those looking to get certified in this paradise. For certified divers the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course is a great choice to help identify the staggering array of macro life in Brunei. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty course helps you record that life once you identify it and the PADI Wreck Diver Specialitycourse helps you navigate the many wrecks here. You can also become a PADI Professional in Brunei by taking the PADI Divemaster course.

When to go

The best period for diving in Brunei is during the dry season from March to November. This period features calm seas and increased visibility. Water temperature is approximately 25-28° C/77-82° F year round, and air temperature hovers at about 27° C/80° F year round.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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* Ampa/Victoria Reefs – Amid the sandy beaches and mangroves that lie along much of Brunei’s coast, beautiful reefs, such as the Ampa and Victoria patches off the district of Tutong, delight divers. The currents that sweep over these shallow reefs support fantastic fish and coral. Macro photographers in particular will think they have found paradise. * The “Australian” Wreck – What’s in a name? Not much in this case, as it turns out the “Australian” wreck is actually a Dutch ship with the unusual distinction of sinking twice. The SS De Klerk is 90 metres/300 feet long and was built in 1909 and scuttled in 1942 to keep her out of Japanese hands. The ploy failed, and the Japanese refloated the ship and renamed her the Imabari Maru. Some believe the skeletal remains of this massive steamship are haunted. There are reliable reports of sailors falling ill after pilfering the wreck. Better to simply enjoy the barracuda, lionfish and other denizens. * Rig Reef - Festooned with sea fans, sponges and sessile marine life, Rig Reef is a decommissioned oil rig chopped up into several sections, which now lie in 19 metres/65 feet of water off the coast of Berakas. Big pelagics such as schools of barracuda and jacks patrol the wreckage. Parrotfish and grouper lurk closer to the structure, and everywhere you look you’ll find marvelous macro invertebrates.

What to see

Marine life in Brunei includes barracuda, lionfish, colorful nudibranchs, sea fans, sponges and more. Occasionally hammerheads, white tips and leopards sharks can be seen. The country’s spectacular soft corals are home to groupers, feather stars, snapper, sweetlips and schools of jacks.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

The Sultanate of Brunei is a tiny country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Thanks to its petroleum resources, this Asian destination is a very wealthy country. It is surrounded by Malaysian Borneo, but is strategically located on the South China Sea, which links the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Most travelers skip Brunei due to its fearsome reputation, but those that visit find a fascinating and environmentally diverse country.

Other attractions

Take a trip to Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque, with its 29 domes covered in real gold. Visit the capital’s massive Istana Nurul Iman palace, the residence of Brunei’s reigning sultan. Or take a day trip to the rainforest.

Getting there

Brunei International Airport (BWN) is located in the nation’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. This airport welcomes international flights from around the world. It’s also possible to reach Brunei overland from Malaysian Borneo.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.