Boy Scouts ‘troop’ to Downbelow!

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American Boy Scouts Singapore Troop visit Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures for a week of scuba diving!

Arriving in Kota Kinabalu, are 12 American Boy Scouts between 10-15 years old with their 4 chaperoning adults who are also their Scout Leaders. Before transferring to our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre for a few nights of outdoor camping, the troop spend one night in our Downbelow Adventure Lodge located above our HQ, so when organising their many activities it’s effortless! The troop participate in a multi-activity program at our Gaya Island base camp, in which some qualify as PADI Junior Open Water Divers and others experience our daily leisure dive program and Snorkel Safari, and everyone will try the worlds’ longest island-to-island zipline too! Whatever activity it is, they all witness how beautiful both the terrestrial and underwater world can be in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park. To gain additional Scout Merit Badges they will learn other adventure skills, such as building a campfire and using it to cook!

Get more information on travel programs our Downbelow Sabah Travel Centre experts create for you to achieve your adventure travel goals in Sabah, Borneo.

Professional duty to keep diving at Downbelow!


Our island staff team don’t give up, even during the rain, because it’s a professional duty to keep diving at Downbelow providing the conditions are safe!

Of course, there are extra challenges to organise the daily leisure diving program when it’s really pouring down with rain, but if our captains can safely handle the boat to the dive site and the conditions are safe for our clients then nothing stops our ‘Pro Divers’ from diving! 

We will often contact our clients to ask whether they wish to continue with their snorkelling program or reschedule for another day. We also do not advise young children to join on heavy rain days not because of safety but because they won’t enjoy it. Most divers however are not dissuaded by the rain. After all we’re gonna get wet anyway!

No matter the weather, our island team will supervise all in-water activities to ensure the safety of our guests are their highest priority.

For more information on our dive centre operations, contact our Sabah Travel Centre in Kota Kinabalu, where our experts are more than happy to create a personalised itinerary to experience one of our daily island programs!

Downbelow teach SCUBA to the future of Sabah’s tourism industry!

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Our Downbelow premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre operations were honoured to host a whole day for our 30 friends visiting from Politeknik Sandakan!

The students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Project AWARE mission through their experience of the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program and Snorkel Safari. Nothing beats experiencing the reality of scuba diving, and inspiring others to become Project AWARE supporters themselves!

It seemed to be kismet when a whale shark was spotted swimming within the confines of the TAR marine park, and several of the students (who were snorkelling, as a matter of fact) were lucky enough to see it up close from one of our dive boats!

We only wish for the students of Politeknik Sandakan to continue visiting us on the regular basis that they are doing to always remember how important the contribution to our marine environment is for the future of Sabah’s tourism industry.

Sabah Travel Centre experts at our Kota Kinabalu HQ are experienced in creating itineraries to suit the educational mission. Get in touch if your group would like our experts to create terrestrial-based programs – such as jungle trekking the Salt Trails or climbing Mount Kinabalu!

No place like Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, to study marine biology!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 @ 08:00 Courses, Diving Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann will attest that there’s no place like Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, to study marine biology, which is why our Fish Identification Specialty course is so popular amongst clients visiting our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre!

Our Sabah Travel Centre experts Sarah Jane and Joey want to learn how to identify fish species to increase their marine biology knowledge and new inspiration for their passion in scuba diving. Sarah has been an experienced diver for a few years now, whereas Joey has recently qualified as entry-level PADI Open Water Diver, but they both have a fascination with marine biology in common.

The PADI Fish Identification Specialty Instructor course is also a very popular course that Richard conducts for PADI Instructor candidates completing their dive training to gain the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) rating.

Our Instructors themselves have a deep interest in fish identification, whether they are certified to teach the course or not, and really enjoy imparting their knowledge of our local environment. Our Instructor team get to showcase their expertise to regular groups of university students visiting our beach house in TAR marine park, as they spend their time with us conducting surveys of fish counting, coral species. It’s incredibly rewarding to assist the students and fascinating too, as their research indicates the health of our local marine environment.

Get in touch with our Sabah Travel Centre (you can get a firsthand account from Sarah Jane and Joey on their experience!) and create a program that suits you, and/or your group to learn and appreciate the natural biodiversity found in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Downbelow guests ‘game enough’ for Walk the Torq via Ferrata!

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 @ 08:00 Climb Mt Kinabalu, Diving Kota Kinabalu, News

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From America, Downbelow guests Sarah and John are ‘game enough’ for the Walk the Torq via Ferrata descent from Mount Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak!

In a 2D1N standard climbing package, our Sabah Travel Centre personalised their itinerary to include the exhilirating challenge as part of their summit trail climb. Instead of continuing their descent with climbers on the summit trail to the Laban Rata Plateau, Sarah and John were diverted by their experienced via Ferrata Trainer to the starting point of their mountain climbing activity: Walk the Torq circuit at 3, 520 metres above sea level!

It was an amazing experience that they should be proud of themselves for completing, and they were also very fortunate to have attempted their climb Mount Kinabalu challenge during exceptional weather! When the skies are clear of clouds, the sunshine lights up the incredible vista of the Crocker Range all around!

They’re planning some leisure diving in a few days at our premier PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, but if they were really ‘game’, Sarah and John would have no problem to dive the next day after their climb if they so wished. However, their dedicated travel expert based at our Sabah Travel Centre advised the couple to have a day of rest between their activities – usually climbers have some stiffness in their leg muscles as the body recuperates from such endurance!

Our customer service approach is thorough, so our guests climbing Mount Kinabalu’s summit trail are thoroughly prepared and have a great chance of achieving their goals! Get in touch with one of our travel experts to arrange an itinerary catered to you!

Luxury diving holiday: Only in Sabah with Dive Downbelow!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 @ 08:00 Advanced Open Water Course, Diving Kota Kinabalu, Diving Sabah, News

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For many visitors to Borneo, their perfect idea of a luxury diving holiday would be only in Sabah, and with Dive Downbelow!

Sabah Travel Centre expert Joey has created a superb luxury dive package for our two clients, Ramon and Suzanne from Holland.

Any diver will tell you (even if they’ve never been!) the diving on the east coast of Sabah is some of the worlds’ best diving destinations that must be experienced if visiting Sabah!

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort will be greeting the lovely couple to their paradise in the Celebes Sea, but before they do depart Kota Kinabalu for their next epic dive adventure, Joey has suggested for them to qualify as PADI Advanced Open Water Divers at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park!

There will be some amazing reefs with incredible critters and pelagics they won’t want to miss when diving the world-famous Sipadan Island, and our island staff team of PADI Instructors possess the experience to prepare them for the local dive techniques practised in Sabah.

For more information on luxury dive travel in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah, contact our HQ to create a suitable package! Why not make it a ‘hat trick’? A scuba diving course, luxury dive travel and Sabah’s toughest challenge: climbing Mount Kinabalu!

Scuba diving and mountain climbing in Kota Kinabalu!

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Two awesome activities, scuba diving and mountain climbing can be found in Kota Kinabalu!

Only very recently, Go PRO intern Mike completed his professional scuba diving internship at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, and now he’s back for a different adventure!

Instead of going under the water, Mike wants to explore above the water – Mount Kinabalu! Sabah Travel Centre Manager Alice was Mike’s Go PRO advisor and created his personalised professional dive internship itinerary. Great news for Mike: Alice knows exactly what to expect and shares with him every detail he needs to successfully reach the 4,095m mark in our 2D1N standard mountain climbing program!

Alice also encourages Mike to participate in the Lows’ Peak via Ferrata circuit because it’s the worlds’ highest via Ferrata, with its starting point at 3,776m altitude, and it gives an unbelievable adrenalin-high and stunning views of the vast Crocker Range!

For more details on the programs we can cater to suit your individual needs, get in touch with our Sabah Travel Centre in Kota Kinabalu, and prepare for one of Sabah’s biggest challenges!

Facilities for clients of Downbelow’s 5 Star Dive Centre!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Kota Kinabalu, Diving Kota Kinabalu, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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The convenient facilities offered to clients of Downbelow’s 5 Star Dive Centre are on location to provide a comfortable island experience.

Each morning, one of our team of PADI professionals greet our guests for the day. A welcome briefing, to offer some perspective of the layout of our facilities, is delivered to include information of the surrounding jungle area, general schedule for island activities and the other islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park too!

After a 5-minute welcome briefing, our guests will then be invited to adjourn to our beach house deck, where they will meet their PADI professional guide or Instructor.

Naturally heated freshwater showers, washrooms, freshly cooked lunch, hot tea and coffee, filtered water are just some of the small things that make the day more enjoyable and comfortable!

Our guests and our island team have the chance to get to know one another during surface intervals, spent at our Dive Centre.

For more information on what island activities we conduct at our PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, get in touch with one of our Sabah travel experts at our Kota Kinabalu Head Office.

Experience lux at Gayana Island Resort and adventure at our Dive Centre!

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Our 4D3N Gayana Island Resort promotion is awesome value-for-money to include a choice of either a day of scuba diving or fully-guided snorkelling conducted at our Dive Centre!

Lagoon, Mangrove and Ocean Villas offer luxurious facilities to complete any Borneo holiday! All 3 villas include air conditioning, satellite TV with DVD player, WiFi, minibar and tea/coffee facilities, and a private bacony with sun beds, however there are some novelty differences. For example, the Mangrove Villas are designed with stairs for guests to walk into the sea from their private balcony! At the Ocean Villas, the stairs run from your private deck into the sea! For an even more special treat, breakfast is served at your private deck…and delivered by boat!

Take advantage of the Solace Spa and a complimentary entrance to the Marine Ecology Research Centre, which is attached to Gayana Island Resort, and thoroughly educational on its many environmental projects, such as protecting the giant clam!

Visit our Gaya Island Dive Centre on day 2 of the promotion, and explore fantastic reefs and the tropical biodiversity within Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park! Snorkelling and scuba diving activities at our beach house doesn’t require for you to have any experience, and you will always be under the direct and experienced supervision of our PADI professionals for your health and safety throughout!

This promotion will only be valid until 19th December 2014, so hurry and contact us for more details from helpful travel experts based at our Head Office!

Treat yourself to our promotion of luxury and adventure right here in KK!

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Our 4D3N Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa promotion offers amazing value for luxury experience during your travels in Sabah, and includes a 1-day island activity program; a choice of either scuba diving or fully-guided snorkelling conducted at our Dive Centre facility located on Gaya Island!

The selection of villa accommodations are Superior, Deluxe or Plunge Pool. The large 1-bedroom Superior Villas are scattered about the rainforest hillside offering incredible views of the South China Sea, whereas the Deluxe villas offer views of the sea as well as jungle canopies. Each Deluxe villa includes a living room extension with a TV and DVD facilities for entertainment and can be converted into a bedroom, so the added space in Deluxe villas are great for small groups! The Plunge Pool Villas…comes with your own private pool on an open deck balcony, complete with deck chairs and bathtub!

For total peace and relaxation, the hilltop Solace Spa provides therapeutic remedies, such as body scrubs, massages and facials for guests to enjoy! This is a great idea, particularly after experiencing a 1-day island activity at our premier Dive Centre!

On the second day, explore the marine environment of Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park under the guidance of one of our experienced PADI professionals. Our dive operations conducts 3 dives a day, every single day! For non-certified divers, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program includes an extra boat dive in the afternoon for participants to experience more! Our snorkelling program is fully-guided and offers the best shallow snorkel sites!

The most difficult choice is which villa? Which island activity?

This promotion is valid until 19th December 2014, so don’t take too long in deciding on your luxury travels in Borneo! Travel experts in our Head Office will organise an itinerary for a Sabah holiday that suits you!