Spend a day on a tropical island in the South China Sea and do some good for the environment at the same time with a visit to Borneo’s Pulau Dinawan and the Ara Dinawan Research Conservation Centre. Lying a short distance off the coast of Malaysia’s Sabah – just south of the state capital Kota Kinabalu – this tiny island is still largely covered in well-preserved forest and ringed by lively coral reefs.
The Ara Project is involved in protecting marine and terrestrial environments on and around the picturesque island including establishing coral nurseries while also providing us with guides, equipment and training if required, for a reef snorkelling tour (as well as knocking up a pretty good barbeque lunch!)
We take the scheduled 10.00 am boat for the short journey to the island and return around 3.00 pm with snorkelling on the reef, a nature hike around the island, kayaking or swimming in the turquoise waters or just admiring the view from a strategically placed deckchair on the day’s menu as well as aforementioned barbie and drinks breaks.
Despite Dinawan’s relative accessibility Ara limit guest numbers per day meaning that the island isn’t going to get too crowded and importantly instruction and information can be much more easily imparted to visitors.