Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, Semporna

4.6
#7 of 14 in Things to do in Semporna
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Tropical Research and Conservation Centre Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.5
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  • Truly gorgeous. Fab Place. Its truly beyond me that we underestimate just how much we dont know about our oceans.  more »
  • The most meaningful diving experience you can ever have! Would definitely come back for the rest of my diving courses!  more »
  • Tracc is an incredible place, I'm so thankful I could have been there! I recommand this place for anyone who love to dive and want to help to preserve the beauty of nature. People at Tracc are also am...  more »
Google
  • TRACC is run by a bunch of incredible people who care much about our ocean. The work they are doing is fantastic! Happy to have been a part of it. Might come back for more at some point... :D.
  • Amazing!! I spent 8 months with TRACC from January - August 2017. My stay was divided into two parts. First, I took the marine science a-level course from January - April, and then stayed on to do my divemaster internship from May-August. I learned SO MUCH in the marine science a-level class. Coming from a political economy background, I decided to take the class to get some baseline knowledge on the oceanic environment before starting my divemaster. It was unlike any course I have taken before, being surrounded by the environment I was studying and having a truly hands on education in the subject. My teachers were very devoted to helping me learn all of the information I needed. We had practicals, gave presentations, and had very personalized teaching. While I was taking the course, I was also able to participate in work dives and conservation work each day which was great. In March, we went on a road trip to Brunei, which was a really cool experience. We got to travel through Borneo, learning about the history of Malaysia and its long economic ties to the oceans. Each morning we would visit fish markets and learn about sustainable or unsustainable fishing practices that we saw. The final exams were held in Kota Kinabalu, and the TRACC team made sure we have plenty of time for intense study before the test. I highly recommend taking this course at TRACC if you are doing your A-levels. I would also recommend for anyone like myself who is a diver or simple interested in learning the basics of marine science, to take the course with TRACC as well! Unforgettable experience! Beyond just the course, the people and community at TRACC far surpassed my expectations. Not only was I living on a tropical paradise, getting to dive every day, I was with a group of like-minded, engaging and genuine people. Everyone here is working to make a difference in the world in whichever little way they can, and have come together to set their minds to truly honest conservation projects at TRACC. Getting to do my divemaster here was better then I could have expected. It was very fulfilling working with divers for a few weeks at a time and helping them to improve their dive skills and establishing a dive relationship with our volunteers. Just sitting around each night chatting and getting to know everyone who came through camp was such a value add to both my A-level course and divemaster course. I cannot thank TRACC enough for everything I learned. TRACC will always feel like home.
  • I was there for a week to volunteer. this place is filled with nice and kind-hearted people devoted to taking care of the corals and making some fun out of it! Highly recommended should you thirst for a truly natural experience (and be prepared for it. Please do stay longer to make a real impact! (I feel my 1week stay has not helped much actually) more of you should be doing this! Visited August 2016
  • I spent 6 weeks with TRACC as a volunteer and had a great time. Pom Pom Island is fantastic, this is the stuff movies are made of. The diving was awesome and the staff went out of their way to be friendly. THIS is the place to get involved with marine conservation. The cutting edge of reef recovery is here. I will be back in late 2015 - see you then.
  • I volunteered at TRACC on the 2nd half of May 2016. TRACC provides the ulimate experience for dive conservation, with a brilliant coral reef and marine life restoration on Pom Pom previously left behind by fish blasting activities. TRACC is also the perfect place for perfecting dive skills. Personally, I have an improved understanding and practical competence on buoyancy, among others, with the work dives and skills review done by the instructor and divemasters here. I also got the chance to help out with turtle walk to curb poachers and located nest to be sent to hatchery. I recommend visiting their website and blog for more exciting information.

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Where to stay in Semporna

Not a very touristy destination on the whole, Semporna has somewhat limited accommodations, though they're definitely still workable. If you're basing yourself here for the scuba diving activities on one of the nearby islands, ask your operator or instructor about discounts at bed and breakfasts or guesthouses on Semporna. Otherwise, try one of several budget-friendly hostels near the archipelago, specializing in lodgings for divers, snorkelers, and travelers, and offering basic and clean rooms.
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