Fleming family at Selingan Island!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 @ 11:14 Guestbook

Hi Stephanie
Just a quick note to let you know we arrived safely back from Sandakan last night. We had the most incredible time during our stay in Sandakan and on the tour. We could not have asked for anything better. Each of the guides who looked after us (Andre (Turtle Island), Muss (Sepilok & Kinabatangan), Robert (Gomantong) & Peter (driver)) were excellent and a great source of information. Both accommodation locations, although reasonably basic, were very comfortable and clean and the standard of food provided was very good. We all came away feeling like we had a 10/10 holiday. We will definitely be recommending our friends visit Sabah and book their tour through your company.
Thanks again and warm regards,
The Fleming Family.
PS=This photo is of my two kids observing the turtle after she laid eggs!

Quite simply magnificent!

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 @ 10:40 Guestbook

selingan turtle island, review, kinabatangan river, sandakan, nature guide, exceptional customer service, sabah travel centre, downbelow marine and wildlife adventures,

Hi Stephanie,
I just wanted to write an email to provide feedback on our recent package with divedownbelow and, in particular our guide, Elot:

    • The trip was excellent; perfect balance between activity/site seeing and relaxation, everything was on time, accommodation, food and transport were excellent and good value for money
    • The service (waiters, drivers, night walk guides etc.) were also excellent; informative and friendly
    • Elot was exceptional:
    • Shared his great knowledge of local wildlife, history, geography and cultures
    • Constantly reminded us of the itinerary and advised us on how to get the best out of the trip
    • Was fun throughout – encouraged integration with the other guests
    • Made my wife and I feel very special on our honeymoon:
    • Organised towel art/rose petal displays on our beds
    • Organised special table displays (roes petals, flowers, special table décor) each night
    • Provided waiter service for our meals
    • Provided a cake with a special wedding message
    • Presented us with a gift; mug with customised message and photos of our trip which he had taken – this really was above and beyond and made us feel very special indeed

Please do pass this feedback on to the drivers/accommodation staff and Elot; he is quite simply magnificent at what he does – you are lucky to have him.
Ps – Please ask Elot if he is able to email us some of the pictures he took of our trip (no problem if he no longer has them).

Excellent service

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 @ 11:08 Guestbook

Dear Joey,

My friends and I would like to express our deepest gratitude for the kind assistance that you and your team had rendered us for our Sabah trip. We really appreciate the high level of professional service offered by you and your team as we embark on our different activities during the trip.

In particular, my group of friends would like to highlight the exemplary dedication and patience that our dive instructor Tim had rendered, in helping us to successfully complete the course with proficiency. The friendly and approachable staff from your team have also made the trip a memorable one for my friends that took part in the non-diving activities.

We look forward to visiting Sabah again and would definitely approach and recommend Downbelow to our friends.

Best Regards,


My recent PADI Open Water Diver course!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 @ 17:18 Guestbook



I wanted to share my recent experience learning to dive with Down Below Dive Centre in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

I’m not usually a big contributor of reviews, but my experience with the Downbelow team was so good, I wanted to make sure they are recognised for the great work they are doing, so they can continue to provide great learning experiences for future divers.

I completed my Open Water dive theory via the PADI elearning prior to my trip. As a non experienced diver some of these concepts were new to me, but the course was well structured and provided plenty of detail, so that after I completed the final assessment I felt well prepared. I though this was a great approach.

Arriving at the dive centre with my girlfriend I was initially a little apprehensive knowing there would be lots of divers around, probably talking about diving stuff i would have no idea about. But after being promptly collected and transferred to the dive centre on Gaya Island, given a short briefing about safety on the island we were introduced to Richard who runs the centre. He was great at making us feel welcome and helped calm our nerves before assigning us to our dive instructor, a local guy who a found out later had only been learning English the last 12 months, which was hard to believe given his fluency.

We were shown to the stores area and fully kitted out in 10 mins. It was very well organised and everyone was so friendly. My girlfriend’s mask did leak on the first dive so they immediately changed it for a much better one (at no extra cost).

After 2 days of 1-2-1 training I had completed the course and felt as comfortable underwater as I do above. The instructor had a clear, calm and endearing quality both underwater and above, which made the whole experience very enjoyable. I can see why the DownBelow centre run so many IDC courses.

After 3 days of diving we had to say goodbye and we were both genuinely sad to leave the team. We’re already planning a repeat visit next year where I can do my advanced PADI, and see Richard and the team again.

As a professional organisation responsible for a technical sport such as diving I can see why PADI needs to ensure their dive centres and associated organisations are maintained at a very high standard, and given my experience at DownBelow I can say that they are doing just that.

Best, Phil

Memorable Kota Kinabalu holiday with Downbelow!

Monday, April 20th, 2015 @ 11:46 Guestbook

downbelow marine and wildlife adventures, padi diving course, kota kinabalu, sabah, tar marine park, sabah travel centre,

Dear Jane,

Thank you very much for your email!

The whole Dive Down Below team is great and this was a huge contributor to us having a very memorable holiday with you.

Thank you for your help all through the trip, and also thank you to Tim who was very professional, patient and made our diving course so enjoyable and successful.

Here is the photo that we took together at the jetty! :)

Have a great weekend.

Dmitry and Helen

Professional and Safe Organization

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 @ 08:00 Guestbook

Downbelow was recommended to me by a friend as I was visiting Kota Kinabalu with my wife who was attending a conference. I sent them an email after their closing time thinking that I would get a response in the morning. I was very surprised to get a call from Sarah Jane, a Senior Travel Consultant, within an hour. I was able to book my wife and I for the next morning.
They arranged for my wife and I, and our gear, to be picked up at our hotel the next morning and for the next three days. The van that picked us up was clean, reliable, comfortable and the driver was prompt, courteous and professional. We were dropped off at the marina where we signed some paperwork and were briefed on the boat ride to Gaya Island. Then we were escorted to one of their boats, where we donned personal floatation devices. The boat did not cast off until everyone was wearing a life jacket and seated.

The ride to Gaya Island was brief and pleasant. The boat was clean and the driver was focused on getting us to the Island safely and comfortably. The facility on the island was clean, well kept and, again, comfortable. We were briefed on what was expected of us on the island and while diving. We then completed the diving paperwork and our certification cards were reviewed so that they knew our limitations regarding depth and gas.

Each dive was well briefed by the guide, most of whom were PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors or higher. We were actually guided by PADI IDC Staff Instructors on many of the dives. Each dive required a short boat ride to the dive site. The guides helped us don our equipment and assisted us in our back rolls off of the side of the boat. Each dive lasted about 50 minutes, depending upon the air consumption of the divers. Each dive was conducted safely and professionally and to the standards expected of them as a PADI 5 Star Dive Center. The scuba equipment was in good shape and well maintained. I tested the air in the cylinders for Carbon Monoxide and there wasn’t even one part per million detected in the 18 cylinders that I checked.

After each dive, we returned to Gaya Island for water and fruit. Coffee and tea was also available. After the second dive, lunch was provided. If you are a vegetarian and you let them know then they will cook a vegetarian lunch for you. I’m a vegetarian and some days the lunch was the best meal I ate all day.

The staff will carry your gear back to the facility for rinsing at the end of the day and they will store your gear if you are returning the next day. I dove with them for four days and 12 dives.

I have never seen a better run organization, from the Course Director – Richard Swann down to the the amazing staff both at headquarters and on Gaya Island. I recommend Downbelow without hesitation. They can accommodate very large groups down to single divers and their training program is one of the best in the world.

– Pedro, Japan

Honeymoon in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Friday, March 20th, 2015 @ 17:57 Guestbook

We are so pleased to have arranged packages through our Sabah Travel Centre for honeymooners Mikko and Maria to begin their married life with such wonderful memories of their time spent exploring Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

We’d be honoured to plan your anniversary for a return visit, for you to see the other amazing attractions you didn’t sample on your first trip! ;)


First tropical dive and KK vacation

Friday, March 6th, 2015 @ 08:00 Guestbook

I received my PADI certification last year in the cold frigid water in the Northwest and was planning to visit KK. After some careful research, it paid off to visit this Dive center. Its a gem in KK as its a 10min boat ride to a little paradise. It was a wonderful experience to dive in the warm waters here in northern Borneo. Great and honest staff with wonderful dive sites at TAR marine park. I even got to check out the Coral flyer zip line. I enjoyed my dive experience with this great outfit that I decided to schedule a second day dive. Thanks to all Downbelow staff and management.

– Thomas.


A little bit of paradise

Sunday, March 1st, 2015 @ 11:51 Guestbook

i-could-look-at-thisI did my Scuba Diver (pre-Open Water) certification at DiveDownBelow in early February. It was an amazing experience from start to finish – thanks in large part to the professionalism of the team, relaxing environment, and jaw dropping beauty of the island. I was lucky to have a excellent instructor, Timmy, all to myself since I was the only person taking the Scuba Diver certification while I was there (most people were doing the Open Water or Divemaster certifications). He also took me kayaking on my last day. Definitely ask for him when you book!

– Rhajiv

One stop shop for marine and wildlife adventure

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 @ 11:20 Guestbook

downbelow-marine-wildlifeI spent a month with Dive DownBelow studying to be a PADI Open Water Instructor. Downbelow was recommended by a friend who studied with them back in 2013 and I can see why! Great location (near markets, shops and cafes), professional staff and a fun experience all round. The whole experience was streamlined from day one – transport by car and boat, accommodation, lunches and equipment rental. I’m keen to continue my study and become a IDC staff and will be returning to Downbelow :) If you’re thinking of going for a holiday in Borneo or want to take the next step in your diving certification then make sure you contact the team at Downbelow… Even before I returned to Australia I had been offered work as dive instructor by two dive shops :)

– Carl Charter.