Archive for July, 2015

A summer of camping at Downbelow!

environment, downbelow marine and wildlife adventures, premier padi 5 star idc dive centre, camps international, camp borneo, sabah travel centre, group travel, adventure, scuba diving, padi open water diver course, kota kinabalu

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.

Excellence in ‘Pro Diver’ training!

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Professional Diving Internships

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Once again, resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann is awarded the Platinum level for our Go PRO team’s outstanding achievement in PADI Instructor Development!

Since 2012, our PADI Instructor Trainers have developed professional scuba diving candidates to successfully attain their goals of living the diving dream on our highly successful Go PRO internship program to include the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC).

Already this 2015, our Go PRO team have enjoyed developing many interns from all over the world: Libya, Canada, Portugal and other countries! And not forgetting, our two latest PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors who are our very own full-time dedicated island staff team, who started as trainees with little or no dive experience at all.

Our Downbelow-created ‘Work For a Career’ PADI Divemaster local internship program, provides opportunity in our local community by offering the chance to enter the professional scuba diving industry.

As usual, we’re looking forward to our next IDC, which will be starting August 31st! For more information on continuing your diver education to Go PRO, get in touch with our Kota Kinabalu HQ Sabah Travel Centre.

First Independent Downbelow guests to visit Mount Alab!

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Sabah Travel Centre

sabah travel centre, mount alab, crocker range, downbelow marine and wildlife adventures, mahua waterfall, go pro camera, borneo, expedition style jungle trekking, minduk sirung peak, kk dive shop, hero4, hero3, go pro accessories, personalised itinerary

Marco and Jael are the first independent Downbelow guests to visit Mount Alab and conquer its Minduk Sirung peak at 2,050m altitude!

Two of our Sabah Travel Centre experts joined them on their mountain climbing adventure to ensure our partner operations went smoothly and their safety was always a top priority.

Their program was personalised with a mountain guide who possessed plenty of knowledge in the local environment, as well as experience with guiding the particular forests trails of the mountain too. For their health and safety, their English-speaking mountain guide escorts them on their ascent to Minduk Sirung peak, and descent to eventually reach Mahua Waterfall!

Both climbers and our two experts, Steph and Alice, recorded their expedition-style jungle trek on their phone cameras, digital cameras, and on one of the best items to bring on any Sabah adventure: Go Pro cameras!

Our KK Dive Shop stock both Hero3 and Hero4 models, with the perfect accessories to complement any of our Sabah Travel Centre’s packages.

For more information on climbing Mount Alab, contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ, for our experts to create an itinerary just for you!

Family of four on wildlife safari!

Monday, July 20th, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Sabah Travel Centre

orang utan, proboscis, wildlife safari, kinabatangan river, rare and endemic borneo animals, sabah travel centre, selingan turtle island, adventure, kota kinabalu, via ferrata, mount kinabalu, promotion, summit trail, laban rata plateau

Family of four on wildlife safari in Sabah’s east coast, learn about the natural biodiversity that can be found in our ‘Land Below The Wind’!

Grant and Vivien Alexander, with their children Hamish and Eden, travelled to Sandakan on our 4D3N Boutique package to visit the Kinabatangan River, which also includes 1 night at Selingan Turtle Island. All operators used within the program focus on ecotourism for visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for environmental conservation.

One of the Alexander family’s favourite parts of their trip together was visiting the incredible Merbau Tree on a jungle walk from their riverside lodge located along the Kinabatangan River!

Families can experience many adventures in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah together, and be rest assured their safety is supervised by experienced guides and trainers always. They will be returning to Sabah in the near future, from Australia, to complete our popular 2D1N climb Mount Kinabalu program. They have also decided on integrating the ‘Basic via Ferrata “Teaser” package’ (and on promotion too!) to experience the challenge of descending the new via Ferrata; its 50-metre route will be completed in time to coincide with the re-opening of Mount Kinabalu’s summit trail as far as the Laban Rata plateau.

Contact our Sabah Travel Centre experts for more information on the variety of adventure travel programs you and your family can experience together!

Camps adventurers’ learn diver safety.


Adventurers’ from Camps International learn about diver safety on their PADI Open Water Diver course while camping at Downbelow’s premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in Kota Kinabalu!

Groups ‘Tembikai’ and ‘Nanas’, respectively ‘watermelon’ and ‘pineapple’ translated to Malay, have completed their experience program at our paradise island beach house and left with a valuable lesson in conservation.

During their time of island camping, they experienced our popular ‘Try Dive’ program to discover the underwater marine life and their habitat of coral reef. When our team deliver the dive safety briefing for the first confined water dive session, participants are introduced to the basics of scuba diving and how to help protect the marine envrionment even as soon as their first experience. In all diver training, students will be assessed on their buoyancy, which can have a distinct effect on the health of our marine environment.

Beach clean ups are frequently organised during the summer months when our groups of Camps International visit because it’s also the monsoon season. As Project AWARE ambassadors, our team of PADI professionals inspire our groups to contribute in their future daily lives too!

Contact our Sabah Travel Centre for more details on unique educational programs we can personalise for your group, and to include environmental conservation.

Celebrate Sabah’s nature at Mahua Waterfall!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Sabah Travel Centre

mahua waterfall, sunguai lobou, sungai kulanggi, sabah travel centre, kota kinabalu, crocker range, primary dipterocarp forest, tambunan, rafflesia conservation centre, orchid nursery, mount alab, mount trus madi, kampung patau

In a 1-day itinerary celebrate Sabah’s nature at Tambunan’s Mahua Waterfall under a program personalised by our Sabah Travel Centre experts!

In Kampung (‘Village’) Patau, running through the dense primary dipterocarp forests, Sungai (‘River’) Lobou and Kulanggi meet at the 17-metre vertical plunge Mahua Waterfall. The natural surroundings of the Crocker Range are simply peaceful and intensely green, although many visitors try their luck to spot some colour in the form of the worlds’ largest and rarest flower species: the Rafflesia!

Downbelow’s Sabah Travel Centre offer a leisurely program to experience such attractions as, the Butterfly Farm and Orchid Orchard, Tambunan Rafflesia Conservation Centre. One of the tour highlights is a local lunch at Gunung (‘Mountain’) Alab with a stunning view of Sabah’s Crocker Range, and around 5pm latest, one of our licensed minivan drivers will transfer guests back to their Kota Kinabalu city centre accommodation.

After such a relaxing day in the forests of Tambunan, guests are ready to try a new and exciting adventure, such as learning to scuba dive in the TAR marine park – in yet another 1-day program!

For more information on the 1-day trips our travel experts can arrange for your Sabah holidays, get in touch!

Camps International: Summer of SCUBA!

Saturday, July 11th, 2015 @ 08:00 Camps International, News, Open Water Course

camps international, sabah travel centre, ecotourism, expedition borneo, padi 5 star idc dive centre, island activities, snorkelling, non-diving, kayaking, jungle trekking, padi instructors, diver safety, scuba diving, gap year, schools and universities, unique education program

It’s a summer of SCUBA with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures for adventurers’ from Camps International UK!

For the next 6 weeks, our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre will be welcoming 12 groups of youths from various schools and colleges in the UK to gain a deeper appreciation of the marine environment.

Our first group are named ‘Pisang’, which means ‘banana’ in Malay, and the groups arriving after will also be given an equally endearing Malaysian name. Each group will number between roughly 20-40 participants, and our island staff team will be supervising all of their island activities, such as jungle trekking, snorkelling and kayaking. All participants are also given an opportunity to earn the PADI Open Water Diver qualification too! These once-in-a-lifetime experiences offer our Camps International groups a unique education about protecting and preserving our natural world, as each aspect of their island fun revolves around ecotourismThey will also explore other attractions of Sabah with the same company policies that demonstrate environmental friendliness & awareness.

For more information on experiencing a unique educational program through the awesome attractions in Borneo, contact our Sabah Travel Centre experts.

Sabah Travel Centre introduces new packages!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Sabah Travel Centre


Sabah Travel Centre introduces to clients visiting Sabah new adventure packages to climb Mount Alab and Mount Trus Madi!

These two mountain ranges are within the Crocker Range valley, both routes can be completed in a 2D1N itinerary and both offer different highlights.

To reach Mount Alab’s peak, Minduk Sirung at 2,050 metres altitude, the terrain is exhilaratingly challenging and is way off the beaten track to many visitors! For those in search of an expedition-style for their jungle trekking experience in Borneo, they’ll definitely get what they need from Mount Alab!

On the other hand, Trus Madi is not only arranged in a 2D1N itinerary, but also a 3D2N Mount Trus Madi summit climb package. Climbers are transferred via 4×4 to the starting point of the climb to the summit, and the 4.2 km Apin-Apin trail is an awesome challenge because it’s narrow and overgrown with tree roots and fallen trees.

These programs are for the truly hardcore, adventurous hikers and climbers, although there’s plenty of attractions at both mountains for those who are not inclined to participate in jungle trekking, such as Mahua Waterfall at Mount Alab, or the Rafflesia Conservation Centre at Mount Trus Madi!

Travelling groups on our Expedition Borneo program who visit Sabah with our operations on a regular basis every year, will surely be more than willing to try trekking these routes!

For more information on our Sabah Travel Centre’s new packages, contact our experts who can personalise a program to suit your needs travelling Borneo!


Downbelow: Moves to Block F in KK Times Square!

Sunday, July 5th, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Shop, News, Sabah Travel Centre

sabah travel centre, mount kinabalu moutain guides, company development, business expansion, kk dive shop, kota kinabalu, borneo, schools and universities, accommodation, adventure lodge, dormitory, gap year travel, group travel,

Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures now moved to Block F in Kota Kinabalu Times Square, and it’s been a great frenzy of excitement!

To assist in our mammoth project of physically moving, we’ve offered employment for the few ‘moving days’ to a group of 10 Mount Kinabalu mountain guides. They are currently in search of employment until the summit trail of the mountain is deemed safe after extensive repairs are conducted, which can be continued until September this year.

They were also the first to stay in our brand new accommodation facilities, which is on the 2nd floor of our new HQ!

This was a great opportunity for our Sabah Travel Centre and KK Dive Shop staff, as well as some our island staff team, to get to know the mountain guides who have supervised many of our own clients’ health and safety in the past for Mt Kinabalu climbs.

We are most excited to be able to provide all the convenience our clients visiting Kota Kinabalu and Sabah would need, and especially for our travelling groups, such as schools and universities field trips, or participants on our Expedition Borneo program and our Go PRO interns!

Get more information on the development of our company, and how our facilities can benefit your travels in Sabah for the perfect holiday in Borneo!

Summer at Downbelow means: PADI Open Water groups!

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Once again it’s summer, and at Downbelow that means our island staff team will be providing logistics for our mass PADI Open Water Diver students at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre!

We’ve got group after group of students from various schools and colleges in the UK arriving at our paradise island beach house for the next 10 weeks with an opportunity to qualify as PADI Open Water divers under the instruction and supervision of our PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

Each group will number between 20-45 students, and there will be 12 groups, which equals to an approximate number of +500 participants altogether! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of the students on these groups, who will never have tried scuba diving before, and will be given this opportunity to  gain an internationally-recognized certification!

Schools and universities frequently visit our Downbelow operations to gain a unique education through a variety of adventure activities our Sabah Travel Centre incorporate into a suitable program. Other attractions, such as exploring Mount Alab or Mount Trus Madi, is also an option for our participants to witness more of the natural biodiversity that can be found.

For more information on our different programs for group travel, such as Expedition Borneo, contact our travel experts based at our Kota Kinabalu HQ!