Monthly Archives: August 2017


Our Plastic World

Plastic is entering our environment at an unbelievably alarming rate way beyond the what the planet can absorb it. There can be no argument that this is a global issue that has spiralled out of control creating our plastic world.

Our Plastic World

At Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures we are faced with the ever growing quite frankly impossible challenge to keep our beaches, bays & waterways clean for tourists to visit, we assist the local authorities daily but the trash just keeps coming and it is not only in the ocean.  Land fills are bursting at the seems and recycling is a vain attempt to try to control the problem its even now entered our own food chain.. yes we are eating it!

I often hear visitors complaining that more is not done.. they blame local governments, other tourists and the local people but they seldom look at themselves!

Our company is very conscious of plastic usage and we try to reduce waste as a policy where possible.  We spend countless hours cleaning beaches, diving for debris and also remove discarded fishing nets whenever discovered all at our own cost, we conduct regular Project Aware events to increase local awareness. As a PADI Instructor Development Centre we regularly incorporate these environmental issues into our education programs from entry level all they way to PADI Instructor Development and scuba diving internships. 

Our Plastic World

However our efforts will be in vain if mankind as a whole does not change. Every time we use plastic we all contribute to this global disaster we all need to care more and adjust the way we live!

Politicians are so afraid of voters not appreciating the unpopular decisions that have to be made they end up not making the changes that are so desperately needed at all so Its time the public stand up and back those tough choices regardless of political party preferences before its to late.

Manufacturers are also often so afraid of cheaper competition they take the easy “single use plastic” option so again consumers need to support companies that do take the lead even if it costs a little more in the short term we will for sure all see the benefit in the long term. Downbelow also faces stiff competition in our field that does not take on the financial burden of a conservation but as the Managing Director of Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and a Platinum PADI Course Director I take the stand and hope this is noticed by our clientele.

Our Plastic World

Manufacturers must also give consumers more choices as its practically impossible to shop without coming home with bags full of unwanted plastic but we can start by shopping wisely, use reusable bags, if you want a takeaway use your own containers, buy liquids in glass bottles or better still reusable ones, shop in markets where fresh produce has not been pre packed.. the list is endless but with thoughtful consideration we can all make a huge difference quickly.

The cynics may say I am only concerned because we work in the ocean environment and I am directly financially affected but I cannot describe the heartache myself and my colleagues feel when we find so many animals needlessly perishing due to discarded trash along with the natural beauty of the environment tarnished by debris.

Some creatures ingest and some are just trapped in the ever growing mountains of debris that is entering the oceans every second and it is not going away. Soon there will be more debris in our seas than fish and that is a fact we will all have to live with so next time you consider complaining or blaming others for trash on beaches or in the water you wish to swim in ask yourself how much have you contributed to this huge global epidemic!

Our Plastic World

We must all quite simply care more from manufacturers to politicians and act but most of all the general public must accept the tough choices in our ever changing world and make lifestyle changes.

For further reading, find more information about our environmental efforts and ways in which you can contribute to your own lifestyle.

Our Plastic World2018-02-03T00:58:15+08:00

August 2017 PROMOTION Last Minute Climb Mount Kinabalu

Book Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures‘ climbing package now and enjoy further discounted rates in our August 2017 PROMOTION Last Minute Climb Mount Kinabalu.

2D/1N Standard Mountain Climb: includes Accommodation & Full Board Meals, KK – KNP Return Transfers, Climbing, Permits, Mountain Guide, Insurance, Entrance Fees, Certificate. Ground Support Team. GST Inclusive.

Dates Available Spaces
19 – 20 August 1 space
20 – 21 August 4 spaces
21 – 22 August 4 spaces
22 – 23 August 2 spaces


There are limited slots available, so hurry and book now! For more information on this amazing deal, check out our page.

Contact us for BOOKING
Tel: (+6) 012 866 1935
August 2017 PROMOTION Last Minute Climb Mount Kinabalu2018-02-03T00:58:15+08:00

July 2017 Monthly Newsletter

Hi everyone! In this post, get to know Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and read about our activities in the July 2017 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, group season begins at Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre with the arrivals of Camps International teams, our Downbelow Guests had a journey of a lifetime in Sabah exploring Kudat town, Kinabalu Park and climbing Mt. Kinabalu, a new exciting product is available at Downbelow Dive Shop 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

July 2017 Monthly Newsletter

July 2017 Monthly Newsletter

July 2017 Monthly Newsletter2018-02-03T00:58:15+08:00

How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 

How to become a PADI scuba instructor might, at first glance feel out of your comfort zone. You see images of confident, fun loving people working in their ocean office, clearly having the time of their life and wish that could be you. You wonder how they did it. You wish you could turn back time and take that opportunity yourself and be one of those sun kissed people in the photo’s. Well i’m here to tell you its not too late –  you can.

Its never to late to live your dream and become a PADI scuba instructor. You may not see yourself teaching forever but being a PADI instructor literally opens up a whole new world – an underwater one.

How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 


Why Do People Become a PADI Scuba Instructor ?

I am PADI Master Instructor, my husband Richard is a Platinum PADI Course Director. We have been in the business of teaching people to become PADI Instructors since 2001 and i feel we are a great example of how the world of scuba diving changed our lives and then offered us different paths within the industry to develop our careers.

I never saw myself as a water babe. At school, swimming class was my worse and most feared lesson, i was never a strong swimmer.  But the moment i donned my scuba kit and learned to scuba dive i fell in love with the ocean and felt instantly in control and comfortable. I became a PADI instructor within one year of learning to scuba dive. My career at the time was in the IT industry, i loved the corporate world of business and travelled frequently, but there was something about the ocean that caught me and wouldn’t let me go. I knew that diving holidays were not going to be enough, i wanted to teach people to scuba dive. I wanted to be the person who introduced others to the underwater world. So i decided to look for a dive centre where i could complete my PADI instructor development course and become a PADI scuba instructor.

I knew that teaching was not going to be my lifelong career but as i learned the PADI system of education and the business of scuba diving i could see that there was a lot of opportunity beyond teaching. I saw how to integrate my experience of the corporate world and IT with scuba diving which filled me with enthusiasm and motivation.

I completed my PADI IDC in September 2001 and i taught PADI courses for 10 years. Although i no longer teach, my knowledge and experience as a PADI Instructor remains of great value every day and integral to the success of our scuba dive and travel business here in Sabah, Borneo.

Richard took a different path and to this day teaches courses. His passion is instructor development, he loves the process of transforming a capable scuba diver to become a PADI Scuba Instructor, he is a sharer of knowledge and experience. Richard is a Platinum PADI Course Director, the highest level of professional rating in the PADI system of education. The Platinum award is recognition of his commitment to instructor development. There are currently only 71 Platinum PADI Course Directors worldwide.


How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 


How To Become a PADI Scuba Instructor ?

There are several important aspects to consider when choosing how and where to complete a PADI scuba instructor course.

How much time do you have available ?

This will often dictate the method of your training. You can either take a standard PADI Instructor Development Course (PADI IDC) which takes around 12 days. Or you can integrate the PADI IDC into an internship program which is usually offered over a period of 1 month or more.

Here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures we encourage candidates to choose the internship method where you will enjoy un-limited scuba diving during the program to help build experience and expose you to a great variety of PADI programs & courses. You will not be working for us since we have a full team of PADI Instructors, but you will be invited to shadow our team to get valuable exposure to real word situations.


How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 


Where to complete a PADI Scuba Instructor Course ?

The world is at your feet and there are so many choices. Here’s just a few reasons why we feel that choosing Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in Malaysian Borneo should be high on your list.

a) Geographically easy to reach: fly into Kota Kinabalu International Airport and within 20 minutes you are arriving at our Downbelow Adventure Lodge.
b) Easy entry in terms of a visa: to enter Malaysia your passport must be valid for at least six months. You do not need a visa if you are coming for business or tourism for 90 days or less. Immigration officials will place an entry stamp, known as a social visit pass (visa), in your passport authorizing a stay of up to 90 days
c) A great deal of experience is on offer: We operate TWO PADI 5 Star IDC Centres within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, just 10 minutes speedboat ride from the mainland. This means that by day you are on a tropical island, yet by night you can enjoy the sights and sounds of city life. You also get to experience two different dive centre practices. Resort based and independent island based. You can read more about both PADI 5 Star IDC Centres at our website.
d) Safety: Kota Kinabalu (KK) in Sabah is considered a safe place to stay and visit. Sabahans, and Malaysians in general, are a peace-loving and friendly people. It is rare to hear of any violent crime committed within KK, especially not against tourists.
e) More than just scuba diving: The state of Sabah in Borneo is a melting pot for wildlife and adventure seekers. During your stay with us you can climb Mt Kinabalu, go on safari to the Kinabatangan River, jungle trek the 130 million year old jungles of Danum Valley, enjoy white water rafting the rapids of the mighty PADAS River, mountain biking and much more. There is never a dull moment.


How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 


Which PADI 5 Star IDC Centre should i choose ?

Only accredited PADI Instructor Development Centres can offer PADI professional level training. To become a PADI IDC the organisation must be affiliated with a PADI Course Director. So the first step is to look for the PADI 5 Star IDC Centre.

At Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures our founder Richard Swann is our resident PADI Course Director, being resident has many benefits for the organisation and candidate. Richard has achieved the Platinum award for instructor development for 6 consecutive years which shows he has extensive knowledge and experience in instructor development. So looking for a PADI 5 Star IDC Centre with a resident Platinum PADI Course Director will set you up in a good position for successfully completing your course.

You also want to look specifically at what experience the dive centre can offer you. A variety of scenarios are important for your development as a PADI Divemaster or PADI Instructor, this is also vital for landing that dream job. The greater the variety of experiences under your belt, the greater your offering to potential employers. At Downbelow’s PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, a wide variety of experiences are available. Our dive centre is the most popular in our area, highly rated, consistently busy and we dive every day.

We frequently host groups, schools and universities of sizes ranging from 4 to 55 people and, on any given day conduct a generous number of courses from the PADI spectrum be it Snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Courses, Advanced Open Water Courses, lots of PADI Specialties, NITROX, Tec & Gas Blending, Rescue & EFRs and the full Go PRO continuing education portfolio from OWSI to PADI Staff Instructor. We are also committed to conservation, read more about our conservation awareness projects.

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures offers you the variety of experiences you need for a successful dive internship and becoming a well rounded, highly employable PADI professional. Richard through his network of dive centres also assists in work placements and testimonials to help candidates find their dream job.

Choosing where and with whom to compete your PADI Scuba Instructor Course is a big decision and you will have a number of questions. We have put together a Frequently Asked Questions page on our website to help you with this decision.

For more information please contact us and we’ll be happy to chat things through with you to help you live your dream and become a PADI Scuba Instructor.

How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 2018-02-03T00:58:15+08:00