Monthly Archives: April 2015

//April

To Malaysia’s highest point: Lows Peak, Mount Kinabalu!

Ken Sun Ng and Yee Min Ng made it to Malaysia’s highest point: Lows Peak, Mount Kinabalu!

The adventurous couple are from West Malaysia and are on a holiday to explore their neighbouring state, Sabah! Mount Kinabalu is famous worldwide (not just in Malaysia!) for its iconic national landmark status. Not only is it one of the ‘biggest’ attractions of the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, Kinabalu National Park, but is also where the Guinness World Records highest via Ferrata!

From the Laban Rata accommodation, via Ferrata climbers can be seen completing their descent on the Lows Peak circuit via Ferrata, which is located on the Panar Laban rockface.

Via Ferrata is an incredible thrill for any visitor to Kota Kinabalu to experience – although, all participants must be at least 16 years old and also participated in the safety briefing conducted by the experienced via Ferrata trainers based at the Laban Rata Plateau.

From the Laban Rata accommodation, via Ferrata climbers can be seen completing their descent on the Lows Peak circuit via Ferrata, which is located on the Panar Laban rockface.

Throughout the whole mountain climbing activity, via Ferrata trainers will be guiding climbers at all times during the approximately 6-hour circuit for their health and safety.

Our Sabah Travel Centre will advise for our climbing guests to read our climbing preparation and FAQs, once they have committed themselves to an itinerary personalised to their travelling needs.

To Malaysia’s highest point: Lows Peak, Mount Kinabalu!2018-02-03T00:58:36+00:00

Don’t forget your one-of-a-kind adventure in Sabah!

Invest in a good quality camera, so you don’t forget your one-of-a-kind adventure in Sabah!

Walk-in guests at our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop are always curious about our range of GoPro cameras, of which our Supervisor Karen offers the very best, value-for-money, suggestion for which model suits what adventure activity.

For those climbers who reach the Lows’ Peak summit early, while waiting for the sunrise a time lapse of the breaking dawn offers spectacular footage – and looks really professional too!

For example, the GoPro Hero4 Black edition can record footage with minimal light available, such as the last few kilometres climbing Mount Kinabalu from the Laban Rata plateau to the Lows Peak summit in the early hours of the morning! Karen can demonstrate how to set its ‘night mode’ feature so our climbing guests can capture the beautiful stars in the clear night sky. For those climbers who reach the summit early, while waiting for the sunrise a time lapse of the breaking dawn offers spectacular footage – and looks really professional too!

Karen is also really adept at what GoPro accessory suits which activity best also; whether you’re joining river cruises along the Kinabatangan River for a wildlife safari, or learning to scuba dive at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, there’s an accessory to complete your GoPro experience!

Get in touch with Karen for more details on our GoPro range of camera models and accessories, or get more information from your Sabah Travel Centre expert when you discuss a personalised itinerary!

Don’t forget your one-of-a-kind adventure in Sabah!2018-02-03T00:58:36+00:00

PADI IDC candidates start to arrive in KK!

The award-winning course won’t be starting until May 26th, but PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidates start to arrive in KK already for their Go PRO internship program!

Newly qualified PADI Divemaster Jed is joined by our newest Go PRO intern, Julia from the US. She will be completing professional diver training from the PADI Rescue Diver course to the PADI IDC on our award-winning Go PRO internship program!

Julia’s professional scuba diving internship is personalised specially for her to complete her training within 2 months.

Julia’s professional scuba diving internship is personalised specially for her to complete her training within 2 months, and within that time, resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann will be overseeing her progress to ensure she is prepared to successfully certify as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

During her time with us in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, she will explore not only the dive sites around TAR marine park, but also other attractions, such as climbing Mount Kinabalu.

We know that it’s an investment when continuing diver education to Go PRO, so as part of Julia’s internship, she receives a discount for any of our Sabah Travel Centre tours and any product from our KK Dive Shop too!

For more information on the value-for-money benefits our experienced Go PRO advisors can offer in our award-winning Go PRO internship programs, contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ!

PADI IDC candidates start to arrive in KK!2018-02-03T00:58:36+00:00

Discovering a new species in Sabah is very likely!

Great friend, educator and honorary Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures staff, Professor Peter Roy Wiles, enjoys the fact that discovering a new species in Sabah is very likely!

On an exciting day trip to the Kiulu River, nearby Kota Kinabalu, the professor is joined by Downbelow’s Marketing Director Joanne Swann and admin executive Shirley from our HQ, in search of a watermite!

Professor Wiles’ years of research into watermite species have contributed enormously to the future of scientific studies of the miniscule arthropod, scientific name Hydrachnidiae.

The professor and his helpful assistants do find a watermite unrecognisable to our expert, however we must wait with bated breath for the results on whether it is definitely a newly discovered species!

For the first couple of weeks of his visit to Sabah, Professor Wiles accompanied a group of students from the University of South Wales on their 5th annual tropical ecology field trip, which is hosted by our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Marine conservation is, and always will be, an important element to the Downbelow company mission, and it’s a privilege and honour to host groups of school and university students on their unique educational program.

The professor and his helpful assistants do find a watermite unrecognisable to our expert, however we must wait with bated breath for the results on whether it is definitely a newly discovered species, so follow this story to find out more!

For more information on exploring the beautiful and exotic nature of Sabah, contact our experienced Sabah Travel Centre experts, who will be more than happy to create a suitable program for you!

Discovering a new species in Sabah is very likely!2018-02-03T00:58:37+00:00

Practical experience as a PADI Divemaster!

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann attests that practical experience as a PADI Divemaster on our Go PRO internship programs is a favoured learning method for our ‘Work For a Career’ trainees!

Now they have completed their PADI Rescue Diver course, Oliver and Chris have only just begun their journey into the professional scuba diving industry.

The more they ‘fine-tune’ their eyes to search for certain animals, the quicker they spot it for their diving clients who will be very happy to see it!

Richard shares his experience on the running of a smooth dive operations that prioritises diver safety. They will gain confidence with more knowledge they have, so for their ‘lesson’ recently, Richard briefs them on spotting underwater marine life. It’s a skill that needs practise, which is why many of our island staff team (even those very experienced senior PADI Instructors), go leisure diving during their days off too.

The more they ‘fine-tune’ their eyes to search for certain animals, the quicker they spot it for their diving clients who will be very happy to see it! Richard briefs the boys on how to find a ghost pipefish he spotted on a recent dive, with very precise details of its behaviour – because its behaviour dictates its habitat!

The boys will be getting lots more experience guiding as we have plenty of adventure travel groups, such as Expedition Borneo, arriving at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre to explore TARP!

For more information on the variety of diver experiences our Go PRO internship programs offer, contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ to discuss a suitable itinerary with our experienced and helpful Go PRO advisors!

Practical experience as a PADI Divemaster!2018-02-03T00:58:37+00:00

Planting in Sabah for rainforest conservation!

Before returning to Kota Kinabalu city centre, our Expedition Borneo group receive another practical lesson about tree planting in Sabah for rainforest conservation!

Their itinerary is filled with the very best adventure activities and ecotourism-based attractions found in Sabah, which will offer the young adventurers’ a greater appreciation for the natural environment.

One epic challenge, which is probably the toughest in Sabah, is climbing to Mount Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak at an altitude of 4,095m!

For 30 days, the unique educational programs are conducted under practical experiences, such as planting young sapling trees that are endemic to the Kinabatangan River and Bilit Village area! Eventually, the terrestrial biodiversity will thrive!

One epic challenge, which is probably the toughest in Sabah, is climbing to Mount Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak at an altitude of 4,095m! Before they begin each activity, they will receive a briefing of what to expect in a comprehensive presentation delivered at our Kota Kinabalu HQ, where its location is right next door to our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop. This suits our participants very well, as they may purchase items they may have forgotten to pack.

Contact our Sabah Travel Centre, where our experienced experts will be delighted to assist in creating a personalised itinerary for a travelling group of any size to experience beautiful Sabah, Borneo!

Planting in Sabah for rainforest conservation!2018-02-03T00:58:37+00:00

Sabah Travel Centre prepares you for Mount Kinabalu!

Expert Stephanie, from Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures’ Sabah Travel Centre prepares client, Karen, for Mount Kinabalu!

Karen from the US will be climbing to Mount Kinabalu’s Lows Peak, as well as descending via Ferrata. And the following day, after her mountain climbing program, she may visit our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre for a day of leisure diving! It’s not a problem to ascend to altitude before scuba diving, however the other way around will be putting health and safety at risk.

We will create a personalised itinerary for your journey in Sabah to include all the adventure activities you would like to experience!

Karen didn’t have to think to much about that though because our Sabah Travel Centre experts are experienced in the rules of recreational scuba diving.

There’s more preparation to climb Mount Kinabalu’s summit trail than timing though! Our dedicated website to our mountain climbing packages references lots of advice and FAQs, as well as important information, for our clients to successfully achieve their goals!

Contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ and we will create a personalised itinerary for your journey in Sabah to include all the adventure activities you would like to experience!

Sabah Travel Centre prepares you for Mount Kinabalu!2018-02-03T00:58:37+00:00

Award-winning Go PRO internships at Downbelow!

Go PRO internships at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures are award-winning, and for the 4th consecutive year in a row, resident Platinum PADI Course Director and Managing Director Richard Swann, achieves Platinum status!

There are 58 Course Directors in the world who have achieved the Platinum status, and 25 of those Platinum Course Directors are based in the Asia Pacific region!

Attaining Platinum-level is very special to our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre because it means that the active teaching we conduct on our Go PRO internship programs is being noticed within the professional scuba diving industry.

There are 58 Course Directors in the world who have achieved the Platinum status, and 25 of those Platinum Course Directors are based in the Asia Pacific region! It goes to show the popularity of completing professional diver training in the tropics amongst prospective candidates!

Downbelow’s Go PRO team are integral to the achievement of our Platinum status, for each valued member contributes to the beginning of our PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidates’ career!

For more information on our highly successful professional scuba diving internship programs, get in touch with our helpful and experienced Go PRO advisors at our Kota Kinabalu HQ!

Award-winning Go PRO internships at Downbelow!2015-12-22T07:58:31+00:00

GST is upon us, but our KK Dive Shop is ready!

Now GST is upon us, but our KK Dive Shop is more than ready with the thorough preparation they’ve had in the past several weeks!

Supervisor Karen attended to ‘waves’ of walk-in clients who came in to take advantage of our GST-free products up until April 1st!

…our staff get the opportunity to understand the features of new items to benefit them with their product knowledge and assist our walk-in guests…

Because of the increased popularity during that time, Karen is eager to order more to keep our stock healthy. She’s also been researching some additional items that would benefit our clients on their various travels in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah. It’s always one of the most exciting ‘happenings’ in our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop, as well as our Sabah Travel Centre, when Karen’s orders are delivered to our HQ. The reason being that our staff get the opportunity to understand the features of new items to benefit them with their product knowledge and assist our walk-in guests where our Dive Shop Supervisor Karen might need assistance from time to time.

Many of our clients are recreational divers, and they are inspired to progress their diver education to become professional on our Go PRO internship programs to qualify as PADI Divemaster or PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI).

Get more details on the products of our KK Dive Shop and the value-for-money packages we offer our Go PRO internship candidates!

GST is upon us, but our KK Dive Shop is ready!2018-02-03T00:58:37+00:00

Future marine scientists help out TARP mangroves!

From the University of South Wales, a group of future marine scientists help out the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park mangroves!

Mangroves are an essential environment for the health of our marine ecosystem, particularly for juvenile species, small crustaceans, sea turtles and dugongs.

It’s a part of our duty as PADI professionals to protect and preserve our marine environment, and the university students believe likewise of themselves, especially after qualifying as PADI Open Water Divers.

With each dive, the students underwater tasks (for the benefit of their scientific degree field study) gets more complex, and as is expected, they will be all the more confident after such practise!

The students had already certified back in the UK, and arriving at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, our experienced Instructors conducted a refresher session to acclimatise them to the warm tropical waters of the South China Sea – not that it’s tricky!

After plenty of buoyancy practise, resident Platinum PADI Course Director and Downbelow’s Managing Director Richard Swaan, introduced a underwater visual census survey technique. With each dive, the students underwater tasks (for the benefit of their scientific degree field study) gets more complex, and as is expected, they will be all the more confident after such practise!

The better part of an afternoon is spent cleaning the mangrove area nearby our island beach house, where our island staff team organised a clean-up to rid the area of marine debris.

There’s a lot of common ground between marine science and professional diving, and it’s only natural many of the university students visit again to continue their diver education and Go PRO to become PADI Divemaster or PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) on our award-winning PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)!

For more information on a marine education program our Sabah Travel Centre can create specially for you, or any of our Go PRO internship programs!

Future marine scientists help out TARP mangroves!2015-12-28T06:55:06+00:00