Yearly Archives: 2016


What is it Like Training in Borneo With an Elite Team of Scuba Instructors ?

For first-timers or even the most experienced scuba divers, it’s important to have a good sense of every piece of vital equipment, its uses and its limits. As you get deeper underwater, as exhilarating as it might be, it is of paramount importance to know what to do in any given situation. Depending on what kind of dive you’re in for, you’ll need proper guidance from someone who knows the ropes.

For those seeking to make a living as professional divers—it is essential to get proper training and certifications to reach professional levels. In all instances, this is done through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)— the international standard bearer for dive teaching and specialized certifications.

On the beautiful island of Borneo on the western shores of Malaysia, people from all over the world seek out Richard Swann and his team of PADI instructors at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures. Not only does he show the patrons of the local resort through guided underwater adventures, he runs one of the most advanced teaching programs for those looking to become professional diving instructors. On the internationally-recognized PADI hierarchy of training levels, Swann is at the highest level attainable as a Platinum Course Director– one of only 58 people in the world with that title.

At Downbelow Adventures, Swann and his team teach aspiring professional divers and diving instructors the ins-and-outs of equipment, the latest technology, and most importantly– thorough safety precautions. Although on a seemingly remote island, the school and resort are equipped with modern speed boats, diving and communication equipment. Best yet, it is in close proximity to dozens of the most pristine, untouched dive spots in the world.

The Go Pro Team, which may sound like a partnership with the digital camera maker, but in the case of PADI, it’s the instruction team’s goal for the students. After proper certifications and internship hours, the graduates often make careers as commercial divers, or start their own dive centres for tourists and dive students.

What is it Like Training in Borneo With an Elite Team of Scuba Instructors

The next PADI Instructor Development Course will be starting very soon at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures. The next classes begin on the 1st of February and run through the 14th.   Examinations take place on the 15th and 16th. After that, the next opportunity for aspiring divers will be in mid-April.

The PADI IDC course is indeed rigorous, but there are many benefits to taking the course here with Downbelow and students never usually have trouble passing. One benefit is the “two-for-one-offer”. Since Downbelow operates two PADI centers in the marine park candidates get a very well rounded education. It takes a serious commitment in itself to travel to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Borneo just to begin the course, so naturally students have high success rates due to the well structured curriculum.

Graduates are also given the option to complete their Emergency First Response Instructor Certificate within days of passing their Instructor Examination. The dive centre also offers a variety of extensions of education for divers.

What is it Like Training in Borneo With an Elite Team of Scuba Instructors ?2018-02-03T00:58:16+08:00

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

Do you crave for one more amazing adventure before the year ends? We have the program just for you! Start the new year with a bang in our Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo!

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

Malaysia’s Tallest Mountain

The mighty and majestic Mount Kinabalu is the perfect place for you to spend new year and usher in the year 2017. With stunning summit views, extraordinary sunrise and sunsets, magnificent nature surroundings, and challenging trails – Mount Kinabalu symbolises strength, perseverance, and courage fitting for welcoming new beginnings as well as celebrating a great year to come!

Our 3D2N Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo allows you to stay at UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park for a night before you embark on an incredible journey to conquer the tallest mountain in Malaysia. You will then stay at Laban Rata Resthouse the next day where you will get a rare opportunity to enjoy panoramic sky views while there! Once you ascend, you will be at its summit on the exact first day of 2017!

Book Now!

There are only TWO (2) spots left  for this promotion so what are you waiting for! Call in and book with our Travel Centre today!

Climbing Dates: 30th December 2016 – 1 January 2017

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo2018-02-03T00:58:16+08:00

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

If you are planning on taking an exotic vacation here sometime in the coming months, you likely are already thinking about the different activities that you will be able to participate in while you are on vacation. Traveling to a beautiful place like Borneo can provide you with an experience unlike any other you may have ever had. When you visit a place like Kota Kinabalu you will find that there are a variety of fantastic outdoor activities and adventures that you can take part in. Since many people that travel to this area want to get involved in scuba diving, it is only natural that you will want to visit our dive shop in Kota Kinabalu so you can see what we have to offer! Here are some insights on what you get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu.

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

Downbelow Dive Shop – Largest Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

At Downbelow, we have the largest dive shop located in Kota Kinabalu so you can be sure to find everything you will need for your diving adventures. We offer all of the supplies you will need right on site, so what you get from a dive shop in Kota Kinabalu is everything you will need for scuba diving or snorkeling. We have all of the top brands available so that you can get regulators, wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, lights, cameras and any other supplies you may need to help enhance your adventure. Scuba diving tools & kit are available right at the shop or by ordering via email.

A PADI 5 Star Dive Centre

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

Knowledgable Staff to Help You Choose Your Gear

When you come to our dive shop in Kota Kinabalu you will see that we are a certified PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. This means we can provide you with all of the instruction and courses that you may need for your adventure, it is part of what you get from a dive shop in Kota Kinabalu. Whether you are an experienced diver or scuba diving or snorkelling for the first time we can provide you with the instruction you need from highly trained, experienced and certified instructors so you can be sure you learn the best and safest ways to enjoy your adventure.

Visit Us on Your Trip

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures Dive Shop

When you are traveling to Kota Kinabalu for your vacation, make sure you take the time to visit our Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures dive shop in Kota Kinabalu to see all we have to offer. You can get a sneak peek at what we have available by visiting our website. Our site will give you all the information you need about purchasing items for your trip, arranging courses or outings and much more so you can be sure to make the most of your vacation.

What You Get from a Dive Shop in Kota Kinabalu2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

Scuba Diving in Kota Kinabalu

When you take the opportunity to go scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu, you will be able to experience true underwater beauty like few other places on earth.  If diving is your hobby, there are likely many places around the world that you would love to be able to explore. The underwater sights are all vastly different, and each adventure creates its own special memory. One of the places any diving enthusiast must absolutely visit in their lifetime is Kota Kinabalu, the capital city in the state of Sabah, which is located on the island of Borneo.

Visit Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

To truly get the best experience during your adventure you are going to want to make sure that you go to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park during your visit. This park has been specially designed for tourists and visitors to the area that want to take advantage of the great Marine beauty that the island has to offer. The landmasses that are part of the Marine Park provide you with an amazing view of the Marine life under the waters in the area and also give you the chance to see the beautiful coral reefs that can be found here.

See Amazing Underwater Life

When you go scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu you will get the chance to see some amazing marine life. A great diversity can be found in the waters in this area of the world and you are very likely to encounter barracuda, puffer fish, parrot fish, porcupine fish, damselfish and many other beautiful and exotic species that you may not be able to see any place else. You will want to make sure that you bring along your underwater camera so that you are able to take pictures and record your adventure to show others back home.

Making Arrangements for Your Trip

Here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, we can provide numerous different trip packages for amazing scuba diving adventures.  Contact us at to learn more about our trip packages and to make your reservation.  We promise to make sure that everything is taken care of, and that your special trip will provide memories to last a lifetime.

Scuba Diving in Kota Kinabalu2016-12-23T10:50:23+08:00

November 2016 Monthly Newsletter

Hi everyone! In this post, get to know more about Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and read about our activities in the November 2016 Monthly Newsletter. We have gathered a selection of special happenings for your reading pleasure as well as to showcase the beauty of Sabah and give you an insight on us as a company. This month, the PADI Instructor Development Course for November 2016 begins, we received a special postcard from our guests, Downbelow had three major projects just in November alone and many more exciting news!

To download the newsletter, click here. For further info, you can contact us at +6012 866 1935 or email us at

November 2016 Monthly Newsletter

November 2016 Monthly Newsletter

November 2016 Monthly Newsletter2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

City Stay and Island Promo

Attention! We have a special promo dedicated for Island Lovers starting today! Go scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, trekking and other island activities at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre and enjoy DISCOUNTS at Downbelow Adventure Lodge in the City Stay and Island Promo!

City Stay and Island Promo

Downbelow Adventure Lodge

30% OFF on Room Rates at Downbelow Adventure Lodge when you book a minimum of One (1) Day Island Activity at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. Includes complimentary airport pick up from 7am to 6pm.

35% OFF on Room Rates at Downbelow Adventure Lodge when you book multiple days Island Activity at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. Includes complimentary airport pick up from 7am to 6pm.

Stay period is from 10 to 18 December 2016 – so if you plan on spending time in the tropical island of Borneo, do contact us about this City Stay and Island Promo! And if you need to know more about our activities and PADI courses at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, you may do so by visiting our page here. Or better yet, just give us a call or drop us an email!

Downbelow Adventure Lodge has rooms suited to all travellers coming to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Be it for friends, family or the solo traveller, our clean, comfortable and safe rooms are catered to those wishing to seek affordable yet pleasant accommodation during their stay in this beautiful city. Our helpful and friendly team provides hospitality dedicated to make guests feel home away from home. Not only that, the lodge is located right in the heart of Kota Kinabalu and is very close to Sutera Marina Jetty so guests are able to reach Gaya Island within a matter of minutes!

We hope to welcome you to Sabah soon, contact us for BOOKING:
Tel: (+6) 012 866 1935
City Stay and Island Promo2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

Downbelow Cattery Project For SPCA Kota Kinabalu

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures have always been passionate about and a supporter of community projects and charity works, especially here in Sabah, Borneo. As a travel operator, we practise responsible tourism by operating and promoting educational programs to our guests that benefits the local community as well as the environment. And when opportunity arise, we would try to get ourselves involved in a cause and do our part for the society as much as we can. The Downbelow Cattery Project for SPCA Kota Kinabalu is our latest effort to contribute to the rescued animals of Sabah – and what an exciting project it is!

Helping SPCA Kota Kinabalu

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Kota Kinabalu have struggled with premises in recent years, and have done their utmost best for the rescued animals in Sabah with very limited resources. But due to the many donations and contributions from kind people wanting to help, they are well on the way to opening their new centre located in Papar, Sabah.

Downbelow Cattery Project for SPCA Kota Kinabalu

Downbelow Cattery Project for SPCA Kota Kinabalu

Working Together for the Rescued Animals

In the Downbelow Cattery Project for SPCA Kota Kinabalu, we will be donating and building a much needed home for the rescued cats so they can be properly and safely looked after by the selfless staff of SPCA Kota Kinabalu. Now that they have a permanent location, we are able to assist with a wonderful, new purpose built cattery convenient for both the staff and animals. We will fund and manage the construction, with our very own Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre and Downbelow Adventure Lodge crew joining to lend a hand on site. As for the rescued dogs, rest assured that other kind and generous donators have helped with the dog area.

In the future we will be offering trips to our clients so they can learn more of the great work being done by this non profit organisation and how they can assist in grooming, walking, cleaning and generally spending time with the animals to brighten their day.

Get Involved

The SPCA is a registered animal welfare charity run by some very incredibly dedicated people. They will need all the support they can get, especially from the public – find out how you can help by visiting their website or Facebook page and get involved today.

Downbelow Cattery Project For SPCA Kota Kinabalu2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

How to Tell Frogfish Apart

With their fascinating facts and interesting looks, Frogfish (Antennariidae) have long been a favourite marine critter for muck divers and leisure divers alike. But being masters of camouflage that they are, identification of frogfish is particularly tricky because many species have the ability to change colour to suit their environment and sizes vary within the same family. Frogfish display perplexing behaviour with body shapes and colours very similar to the coral and sponges they live on to help avoid predation and assist when hunting. So how to tell frogfish apart?

Frogfish Illicium (Rod)

The most important distinguishing factor is their Illicium (Rod) and the lure that sits on the tip. Each of these ambush predators favour different prey, so they will mimic the food course of their preferred meal in order to attract that fish. Positioning themselves on reefs, coral heads, jetty pylons and other strategically exposed areas they dangle the lure above their mouth and wiggle it. Often residing in the same area of within a few meters of the location for months, sometimes years, divers are able to visit an individual on many occasions.

Frogfish found in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

To help you in identifying the different species of these amazing critters, here are some examples of frogfish found in the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park photographed over the years with a reasonable look at their unique differing rod and lures.

Sargassum Frogfish

How To Tell Frogfish Apart
Sargassum Frogfish’s lure hangs like a piece of seagrass in front of a semi open mouth. Unsuspecting fish use it for shelter rather than food, only to be swallowed whole by this ambush predator.

Hispid Frogfish

How To Tell Frogfish Apart
Hispid Frogfish has a “pom pom” type lure on a thick robust rod. I have witnessed this fish sweep the substrate with the “mop”, stirring up the sediment which in turn attracted fish.

Painted Frogfish

How To Tell Frogfish Apart
Painted Frogfish has a long slender rod, with small lure that resembles a tiny fish or shrimp to attract its prey. This frogfish has just had it’s feed, and they can consume prey two thirds their own body size.

Warty Frogfish

How To Tell Frogfish Apart
The Warty Frogfish has a more lumpy appearance than the Painted Frogfish, with a slender rod that is reddish, and a slightly larger lure.

Marbled Mouthed Frogfish

How To Tell Frogfish Apart
The very rare Marble Mouthed Frogfish reportedly known from only the North Borneo region. It has a stick like rod and the slightest hint of a lure at the end. It lives in real “muck” type environments such as areas with rivers entering the ocean.

Spotting the Frogfish

When trying to determine the type of frogfish you have stumbled upon during your dive, do your best to get a close look and if possible a good photo (without disturbing the critter) of the rod and lure in action. Then you can hit the books later for a solid identification. To know more about them join us for a fun dive at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre and request to see frogfish from your dive guide!

How to Tell Frogfish Apart2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

Choose a PADI Scuba Instructor

Scuba diving can be a life altering activity that provides a great deal of fun and excitement. Scuba Divers get the chance to explore the world in a way that they may never have done before, and see the great wonders that live beneath the oceans. Of course, if you are new to scuba diving or have never undertaken scuba diving before, you absolutely want to make sure that you get thorough and proper instruction before you venture out. In order to get the best instruction possible to enhance your diving experience, you want to make sure to choose a PADI scuba instructor to teach you the skills you will need.

The Best Education and Skills

PADI Scuba Instructor

PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Instructors that have received their education, training and certification from this organization are considered among the best in the world today. They have very high standards and expectations and the instructors go through a number of different courses in order to receive certification. They are experienced in all of the most important safety standards for scuba diving, have great knowledge of the equipment used, and are continually improving upon their skills by taking courses and exploring specific interests that revolve around diving.

Learn at Any Level

You do not have to be any type of expert diver or have any experience at all with scuba diving when you first start to work with a PADI scuba instructor. Your instructor will take into consideration any type of experience that you may have so that they can begin to teach you the skills necessary so that you can have a safe and enjoyable dive every time that you go out. The skills that they will teach you will build on each other so that each diving experience is enhanced and you become more expert in your abilities.

Where to Go for Instruction

Here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, you can get training with one of our top rated PADI scuba instructors, while on vacation in Sabah. We offer a five star PADI IDC Centre where you can get the education and experience needed so that you can receive proper certification and have a fantastic diving experience and adventure.  We even offer a Scuba Internship Asia opportunity, and a PADI Divemaster Course.  Contact us directly for details, to have the best experience Scuba Diving Kota Kinabalu which on vacation in Borneo.

Choose a PADI Scuba Instructor2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

Budget Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu

Has taking an exotic vacation to Southeast Asia always been a dream of yours, but appear to be out of your budget?  There are so many fantastic places that you can travel to that will allow you to experience all the different cultures and sights that Southeast Asia has to offer. Of course, traveling to this area of the world can be quite expensive for many travelers, and you may have a limited budget to work with for your trip. Also, you may have a difficult time choosing just where you want to go. You should check out our unique and fascinating area of Borneo, which provides endless opportunities for fun and adventure. You should know that here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, you can find a budget accommodation in Kota Kinabalu so that you can afford to take your dream vacation.

Proboscis Monkey Fireflies Tour

Proboscis Monkey Borneo

Budget Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu

Any time that you are going to travel, particularly to an exotic or distant location, you will obviously want to investigate and research the area and explore the surrounding activities. You not only want to inform yourself about the culture, sights, and community, but you also want to take the time to try to locate lodging and travel packages that fit well within your budget. Before you even start looking around, you should know that if you have a limit on what you can afford for your accommodations and activities, we can put together a package that would allow you to stay within your required budget.

An Inclusive Location

Here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, we provide a budget accommodation in Kota Kinabalu that offers inclusive packages. We will typically combine specific types of trips or adventures with our accommodations so that you get everything in one package. We can help you save on the added expense if you are looking to take specific hiking trips, go scuba diving, climb Mount Kinabalu or engage in other adventure activities. We can offer you accommodations and activities all in one package and help you save a significant amount of money to make your dream vacation a reality.

Find Out What is Available

If you are in the planning stages of your trip and want to learn more about our budget accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, we are here to help. We are top rated professional tour operators that can help arrange all kinds of travel to Sabah so that you can be sure to have the amazing trip of a lifetime, without going over your budget.

Budget Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00