Frogfish choose Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park!

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What is it about Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park that makes frogfish choose it for their home?

Frogfish (Antennariidae) are part of the anglerfish family, characterised for luring their prey, and learning frogfish marine biology has shown us they are masters of camouflage! They can change colour to suit their environment; or they may use other organisms, such as algae, to hide.

Recently, our island staff team have enjoyed visiting a frogfish that has taken up residency on a coral block of a reef in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park where we operate. It’s very special (amongst divers) to find a frogfish because these fish are somewhat particular of their marine environment. So if the frogfish stays, it’s very happy – the best compliment, for Project AWARE supporters like ourselves at Downbelow, to receive!

Contact us at our Sabah Travel Centre to arrange a daily leisure diving program at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre to visit the frogfish with one of our experienced PADI professionals!

Go PRO PADI Platinum level of attention!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 @ 08:00 Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

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‘Work For a Career’ PADI Divemaster internship candidates, Chris and Oliver, receive the Go PRO PADI Platinum level of attention!

It’s been an amazing journey for them as they’ve observed the smooth running of Downbelow’s premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre facilities based in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park.

Mentor resident Platinum PADI Course Director, Richard Swann, couldn’t be happier with their development so far. Richard and Downbelow’s Go PRO team are very much looking forward to developing Chris and Oliver even further on our award winning PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) and certify them as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSIs)!

Follow the rest of their journey on our many social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and contact us as soon as you’re ready to Go PRO yourself!

End of summer with Camps International!

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 @ 08:00 Camps International, Groups & Schools, News, Open Water Course

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Time has flown by so quick – finally it’s the end of summer with Camps International!

Downbelow’s island staff team always prefer the lively atmosphere travelling groups, like schools and universities, create at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. Its also great for our independent  travellers who still experience excellent customer service yet feel the great vibe of summer fun!

A total of 12 groups (ranging between 20-49 participants each group) learnt more about Sabah, about why and how we contribute to protect the beautiful nature in Sabah through the opportunity to qualify as a PADI Open Water Diver!

We’re already looking forward to the next summer, when the groups will grow, which means there’s a good chance our Downbelow operations will grow too!

Contact us, so our Sabah Travel Centre experts can create a program for your adventure travel group to explore Sabah, Borneo.

An extra unique wildlife safari!

Monday, August 17th, 2015 @ 08:00 News

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It was an extra unique wildlife safari for our clients Anthony and Alyse, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary on our 4D3N Selingan ‘Turtle’ Island and Kinabatangan River wildlife package!

On the last day of their program, after witnessing the conservation efforts to protect and preserve sea turtles at Selingan Island and spotting rare and endemic animals along the Kinabatangan River, the couple were surprised with a gift from their private nature guide – a mug printed with photos of their time in Sandakan!

They were already so touched by the extra effort from the staff at their Kinabatangan River lodge in making their experience really special to commemorate their wedding anniversary. The warmth and hospitality of Sabah’s people is what leaves a beautiful and lasting impression on visitors to return!

Contact us to get more details on wildlife adventure programs and other tours our Sabah Travel Centre can arrange for a unique Borneo experience!

Mount Kinabalu: New limits tested after earthquake.

Friday, August 14th, 2015 @ 08:00 Climb Mt Kinabalu, News

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On Saturday 8th August, Mount Kinabalu’s new limits are tested after the June 5th earthquake by a group of 88 climbers, who are mostly Sabah Park’s staff, rangers, mountain guides and some members of the media too.

It’s been 2 months since the 5.9-magnitude earthquake, and the climbing group will be testing out the challenges of the new trail after the extensive repairs, with the aim of reaching the Laban Rata plateau at 3,333m altitude.

Sabah’s state Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun, reports: “We have repaired the damaged routes and built new paths…This may not be the final trail but whatever we end up with will likely be more challenging [than] the previous route.”

Masidi also went on to disclose the alternative route will be half the capacity of the previous summit trail, which means the number of climbers would be limited to less than 100 a day.

Dr Jamili Nais, Director of Sabah Parks’, commented this alternative route will only be a day climb with a ‘cut-off’ time of 2PM. Climbing to the summit is closed and still under review because there are still extensive safety measures that need to be met. Recommendations of the worlds’ mountain experts from Canada, Italy, Spain and Japan, concerning the ascent from Laban Rata to the summit, are being given great consideration for the necessary action.

Contact us for more information about climbing to the Laban Rata plateau come September, and follow our Facebook and Twitter for the next update on Mount Kinabalu.

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!

It’s been 100% success for Go PRO interns!

Friday, August 7th, 2015 @ 08:00 Courses, Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

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This month has been really lively at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre with lots of PADI Divemaster candidates; and better yet, it’s been 100% success for our Go PRO interns too!

Go PRO team member and PADI Master Instructor Paul Jones, congratulates our latest PADI Divmeatser graduates on their successful completion of all performance requirements, and soon they will receive their confirmation from PADI to start living their diving dream!

Rene and Huimei from Holland, learnt to dive on the PADI Open Water Diver course the previous summer at our Gaya Island beach house; and with each return trip to Kota Kinabalu, they continued their diver education with our dive operations.

We won’t be surprised to see them once again later on in this year, or the following summer, to enrol on our award winning PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)! It’s natural and logical for Divemasters to continue onto qualify as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), and they’ve got the advantage that our Go PRO team know their leadership capabilities very well already!

Get more details on our Go PRO internship programs to complete professional scuba diving training with our Downbelow Go PRO team when you contact our experienced advisors at our HQ in Kota Kinabalu!

Dive Shop/Sabah Travel Centre ready for more!

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 @ 11:12 Dive Shop, News, Sabah Travel Centre

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Our Downbelow KK Dive Shop and Sabah Travel Centre are ready to offer clients more travel to see beautiful Sabah, ‘Land Below The Wind’!

It’s been a little more than a month since the first day of the ‘Big Move’ from our previous HQ to our new premises, and we couldn’t be happier!

The ground floor, which is predominantly our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop, is a brightly-lit space with our products being displayed in a variety of methods. New products are still on the way, so there’s still plenty to arrive, which will surprise even us!

Towards the back of the ground floor, a few of our travel experts are always available from 9am to 6pm for a consultation on, for example, a scuba diving package to visit Sipadan Mabul Island Resort SMART; discovering endemic Borneo wildlife at Danum Valley’s Borneo Rainforest Lodge, or via river cruise from the Kinabatangan River in Sandakan; and so much more! For a more in-depth discussion to make your Sabah holiday truly epic, upstairs is our Sabah Travel Centre hub for a bit more privacy – maybe you’re planning a surprise marriage proposal underwater on our popular 1-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving program!

It’s only been a month and already it feels like home, and we’re still not done evolving into the agency of adventure that you want and need when you’re touring Borneo, so come in every once in a while to see what changes we’ve made.

For more information on the services of our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop and Sabah Travel Centre, contact our HQ.

ReActivate confidence as GoPRO intern!

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 @ 08:00 Courses, Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

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Go PRO intern Leanne experiences her confidence soar after scoring high on her conduct of the ReActivate program!

PADI IDC Staff Instructor Strike assesses Leanne’s control of her students’ skills in the confined water environment in front of our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. This being the first session, is treated as practise, but even so Leanne achieved a very respectable score from one of our Go PRO team mentors!

Leanne arrived at our Gaya Island paradise beach house as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, and continued her diver education to certify in the PADI Rescue Diver combined with the Emergency First Response course – all of which are pre-requisites to enrol on the PADI Divemaster course.

Steadily she has gained confidence in her dive leadership and our Go PRO team always encourage professional scuba diving interns to continue their professional diver education. Our next award winning PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) will be starting August 31st, and Leanne is definitely considering enrolling on the course and start to really ‘live the diving dream’ she’s chasing!

For more information on our Go PRO internship programs, contact our Sabah Travel Centre in Kota Kinabalu for a personalised package from our experienced Go PRO advisor!

A summer of camping at Downbelow!

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So far, there has been a total of 6 groups from Camps International UK visiting for a summer of camping at Downbelow’s premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre!

Groups, ‘Pisang’, ‘Tembikai’, ‘Nanas’, ‘Penyu’, ‘Mangga’, ‘Tarsier’, and now ‘Monyet’ have recently arrived in Kota Kinabalu for their 1-month Borneo adventure, to spend a few nights camping at our paradise island beach house.

The groups will experience the same activities, starting with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of scuba diving on our popular PADI Discover Scuba Diving program! Many of the participants are more than willing to continue their diver education, so their time spent camping on the island gives them the opportunity to gain a qualification in recreational diving: PADI Open Water Diver!

Learning about the importance of protecting and preserving our environment is one of the many responsibilities PADI Instructors dedicate themselves to – one our adventurers’ become inspired to adopt for themselves.

To experience a Borneo adventure with a difference in gaining a deeper appreciation for conservation, contact our Sabah Travel Centre experts to create a similar program unique to your travelling group.

Learn to Dive with PADI Scuba diving courses for divers visiting Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Borneo.
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved By Downbelow. Unless otherwise stated all text, web & graphic design and photography is by Richard and Joanne

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