Make the most of travelling Kota Kinabalu, Sabah this holiday!

Friday, December 19th, 2014 @ 08:00 News

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Thinking what to get the people in your life for Christmas? Our team are really looking forward to the festive season this end-of-year, but we haven’t forgotten about our guests visiting Borneo, for whom we want to make the most of travelling Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

It could be the holiday spirit that has inspired our idea to offer vouchers for purchase at our Kota Kinabalu HQ, where our Dive Shop and Travel Centre are located. These vouchers may be used when purchasing absolutely anything we offer to our clients, even those products on promotion or discounted!

Not only that, but whoever you gift these vouchers to will have have 1 whole year to use it!

The lucky receiver of your gift is spoilt with the variety of adventure we can arrange, such as a 3D2N climb Mount Kinabalu via Mesilau package, or ‘Try Dive’ for the day at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island, or even the GoPro Hero3, Hero3+ & Hero4 at our Dive Shop!

There’s a lot to think about, right? The 1-year validity is a good idea because of the bounty of choices we can offer you within our operations!

For more information, contact one of our friendly and helpful Head Office staff, who will be more than happy to create a program for you and immediately you may claim your voucher!

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Where can I buy GST-free dive merchandise?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 @ 08:00 Dive Shop, News

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Dive Shop Supervisor Karen is preparing for the GST well before it needs to be implemented, which means there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of GST-free products and invest in dive merchandise from our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop!

Planning an adventure to explore Sabah, Borneo, is a trip of a lifetime and will be even more exciting with new gear and gadgets to use for activities such as, snorkelling, scuba diving, camping, mountain climbing and more!

Our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop is stocked with items that complement the various programs we create for our clients to experience the very best attractions in Sabah! Karen recently ordered a BCD jacket for scuba diving from the reputable dive brand Scubapro, and its features are designed for the avid diver who travels – really useful for visitors to Sabah who are planning on diving everywhere between Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where our premier PADI 5 Star Dive Centre is located, to the famous Sipadan Island on the east coast!

For more information on products we stock, visit our regularly updated Dive Shop website and browse for items you need for your next Sabah adventure!

A GoPro camera and an LCD BacPac for Christmas?

Monday, December 15th, 2014 @ 11:10 Dive Shop, News

An existing promotion of ours is getting a further promotion this festive season! A GoPro camera and an LCD BacPac for Christmas need to be added to your letter of wishes to Santa!

It’s perfectly timed for visitors to Sabah during their end-of-year holidays, and we’re sure this will catch the attention of many adventurous travellers visiting Borneo!

Dive Shop Supervisor Karen is familiar with our GoPro range of camera models and can offer you the difference in specifications between the models we have selected to combine into a package with GoPro’s LCD BacPac accessory. The models to select from are the Hero3 (White), the Hero3+ (Silver) and the Hero3+ (Black).

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At the first instance of using the GoPro LCD BacPac accessory, users will be hooked because of the easy-to-use functions, which make using the GoPro camera more enjoyable too, particularly when sharing with others your photos and videos! Karen loves showing her ‘techy’ skills with the GoPro accessories, so come in and visit for a demonstration!

Contact our Dive Shop for more details on this promotional combination package, or other products we stock, to capture the amazing adventures you experience in Sabah, Borneo!

Kota Kinabalu: Pro divers protect coral reef from marine debris!

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 @ 08:00 Conservation, News, Project AWARE, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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Kota Kinabalu is a lively city, and the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park is located just off the coast of the city centre.

Scuba diving in the protected park is a prime location for its incredible coral reefs, however marine debris from mankind is so detrimental to environmental health!

Pro divers at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, tackle yet another ‘ghost net’ from one of our favourite dive sites in the park. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a very successful government designated marine park but governments need help from dive centres who are out everyday to keep them healthy.

Net removal dives are fully sponsored by Downbelow, with the necessary logistics and professional staff to remove illegally discarded fishing nets discovered with efficiency and safety always a priority.

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann leads the organized team to remove a very old fishing net to prevent it from deteriorating the coral reef and its marine life any further.

As committed Project AWARE professional divers, dive buddies brought along large mesh bags in aid of raising awareness about the negative impact of marine debris on the environmental health in our local area.

Contact our HQ in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, for more information on other conservation projects we will conduct in future, such as coral planting to revitalize damaged reef!

What to do on Mount Kinabalu? Via Ferrata Walk the Torq!

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 @ 08:00 Climb Mt Kinabalu, News

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International guests Alex and Brioni climb up to Low’s Peak on Mount Kinabalu and descended part of the way via Ferrata on the Walk the Torq circuit!

Our standard climbing Mount Kinabalu packages can be integrated with via Ferrata activities, one of which is the highest via Ferrata in the world, at 3, 776m above sea level.

Alex and Brioni reached the summit with the guidance of their private Kinabalu National Park mountain guide. After admiring the sunrise, they followed their guide to the starting point of the Walk the Torq circuit to meet their experienced via Ferrata trainer.

From 3, 520m, the three followed along crossing methods, such as balancing beams, the Tyrolean Traverse and a few monkey bridges too!

Walk the Torq is a basic 2-3 hour journey aimed toward beginner climbers who are ages 10 and above with average fitness levels. It’s very popular, because climbers don’t need to reach the summit to participate, unlike the advanced Low’s Peak via Ferrata circuit!

Contact our Sabah travel experts for more information on climbing to Low’s Peak and we can individually cater one of our convenient packages to suit your Borneo adventure!

Our Sabah travel experts share their own experience!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 @ 08:00 Discover Scuba Diving, Learn to Dive in Kota Kinabalu, News

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Knowledge is fundamental for our Sabah travel experts to create an itinerary for their clients to experience an amazing adventure whilst their travelling Sabah!

Travel expert Lulu sits down with her client, Torbern from Sweden, to discuss a suitable itinerary to include adventure activities that would interest him, and he’s particularly keen on acquiring a divers’ license.

Our Downbelow operations consists of a premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre based on Gaya Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where daily dive packages and dive instruction of all levels are conducted!

Lulu offers Torbern our 1-day snorkel safari program to explore the marine environment, and another 1-day program to experience SCUBA on our popular 1-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) program. Lulu recently completed her PADI Open Water Diver qualification, and since, has become more confident with creating dive packages for our clients! With her valuable firsthand experience, Lulu advises Torbern to participate in the DSD program, because he can decide after the morning session if he would like to upgrade to qualify as a PADI Open Water Diver himself!

Contact us, or visit our Travel Centre, to create a program to add to your Sabah adventure! Our travel experts are experts, because they travel!

Removing another ‘ghost net’ to protect TAR park!

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 @ 08:00 Conservation, News, Project AWARE, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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When discovering a ‘ghost net’, it’s shocking and disappointing, and especially when we can see the effects of the destructive net!

The conservation efforts of the past decade of 150+ net removal dives, proves our expertise allows us to act quickly; and as usual, Downbelow operations immediately sponsor another project with logistics. Equipment, safety and full-time, dedicated, PADI professional staff are arranged to remove the illegally discarded fishing net to protect and preserve the fragile coral reef in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park.

Go PRO interns, having recently completed their professional dive training to become PADI Instructors, achieve valuable experience for their involvement, and to live one of the most important aspects of the dive lifestyle: raising awareness on marine conservation.

This fishing net was one of the largest any of our team ever handled, which is why so many professional divers participated. The net removal dive took roughly one hour to complete, and all divers are happier for it!

For more information on other marine conservation projects we can arrange for our clients, contact our HQ and discuss a suitable itinerary for your group or party. Contribute to the marine environment on one of our unique educational programs conducted at our Gaya Island beach house in Sabah!

The Mortons’ start their day with a view of the Crocker Range at sunrise!

Friday, December 5th, 2014 @ 08:00 Climb Mt Kinabalu, News

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Nick and Sue Morton, our international guests, start their day on Mount Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak at 4,095m altitude!

It’s an incredible achievement to reach the summit of Sabah’s Crocker Range, and the moment was even more special because they reached Low’s Peak in time to witness the valleys and hills lit by the sunrise!

Travel experts at our HQ are very happy to have created an itinerary for the Mortons’ to reach the summit, which was their goal for their Mount Kinabalu challenge! On their 3D2N climb Mount Kinabalu via Mesilau package, the Mortons’ spent one night at Mesilau Nature Resort to acclimatize to the cooler climate. Mesilau is a region on the eastern ridge of Mount Kinabalu, and the route to Low’s Peak is less steep and uphill than the summit trail from the Kinabalu National Park HQ. However, the Mesilau trail joins to the summit trail at Layang Layang, the halfway point of Mount Kinabalu.

There are a variety of packages to suit our clients’ expectations, and it’s highy advised to prepare physically and mentally for such a monumental challenge as ascending Mount Kinabalu!

Get more information from our experienced travel experts based at our Kota Kinabalu Head Office, and discuss a suitable itinerary to attempt the Mount Kinabalu challenge!

Supporters of marine conservation remove another net!

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 @ 08:00 Conservation, News

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At one of the most biodiverse and beautiful reef systems in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, another illegally discarded fishing net is found by our team of PADI professionals at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

The net was a recorded 200m+ in length and smothering the delicate corals of the top reef, between 7-12m depth. This ‘ghost net’ is one of the largest ever removed by our team of marine activists, but the entire crew of professional divers completed the task together in one long dive!

For the past decade of 150+ net removal dives organised, we (Downbelow) fully sponsor the project by providing essential logistics and manpower from the efforts of our full time PADI Instructors and their local ‘Work for a Career’ PADI Divemaster Trainee colleagues and our international Go PRO internship candidates too!

Net removal dives are a challenging project due to the physically demanding task of cutting the ‘ghost net’ free from the corals, which is why participating divers must be experienced. Before net removal dives, Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann briefs buddy teams on the ‘plan of attack’ to efficiently and safely remove the ‘ghost net’ from the reef and prevent any more marine life from perishing!

For more information on conservation efforts to protect the marine environment in our local area and how to get involved yourself, contact our Head Office to discuss a suitable program with one of our experienced Sabah travel experts!

Four new underwater photography Instructors at Gaya Island!

Monday, December 1st, 2014 @ 08:00 Courses, News, Professional Diving Internships, Speciality Instructor

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Only qualifying as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors recently, our Go PRO interns who completed their Instructor Development Course (IDC) and Instructor Examination (IE) the previous week are already continuing their professional dive education.

Maria, Ray, Dominik and Amy are tutored by their mentor resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann on the performance requirements to conduct the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty course.

Maria is first to brief and she discusses the correct procedures of preparing and maintaining an underwater camera and its housing.

Dedicated PADI Instructors at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre encourage student divers to practice on the course using their own camera, if possible. Many cameras differ in their features and functions from brand to brand and model to model, and it’s encouraged for our Go PRO interns to do the same for the Instructor-level too!

For more information on how to become a PADI Instructor, or continue your professional dive education with Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann in Borneo, contact one of the Go PRO advisors at our Kota Kinabalu HQ!

Learn to Dive with PADI Scuba diving courses for divers visiting Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Borneo.
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved By Downbelow. Unless otherwise stated all text, web & graphic design and photography is by Richard and Joanne

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