Joanne Swann

/Joanne Swann

About Joanne Swann

Company Director, PADI Master Instructor, Adventurer, Entrepreneur & Homemaker ! Joanne has worked in the travel & corporate world since 1992. A passionate conservation minded marine & wildlife enthusiast. Together with her husband Richard Swann they founded Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures based upon their own travel & dive experiences.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

The world heritage site of Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo is one of the states most popular nature attractions and a must visit location. Not just once but time and time again. At any opportunity Richard and I will visit for a day trip or overnight stay.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

We adore Kinabalu Park’s cooler fresh air (about 25 degrees during the day and 16 degrees at night). We are Birding enthusiasts and Kinabalu National Park is a birders paradise. There is a very interesting canopy walk 45m above the jungle forest floor and stunning waterfalls for hiking enthusiasts. Visitors can soak in the hot water springs and discover unusual plant and animal life. Kinabalu National Park is also home to the tallest mountain in Malaysia – Mount Kinabalu.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

Kinabalu National Park is so diverse, not just in fauna and flora, but also in ways to explore it. Anything is possible – from a short day trip to spending 3 days or more.  Established as a state national park in 1964 before the droves of tourists began to visit. Restrictions were put in place, which kept general visitation to only some parts and routes, which to this day has kept human activities in the area to a minimum, while still offering the visitor plenty to see.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

In December 2000, Kinabalu National Park was designated as Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its “outstanding universal values” and one of the most important biological sites in the world.

We at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures offer Kinabalu National Park packages, which include accommodation in the park itself. There are a variety of accommodation options. We can tailor your Kinabalu Park program with accommodation that suits your needs and style.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

Our personal favourite accommodation in Kinabalu National Park is Kinabalu Lodge (images of the lodge are featured in this blog). A premier chalet with 3 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, lounge, TV area, stunning balconies with views of Mt Kinabalu and a sunken fireplace. Kinabalu Lodge is a hidden gem within the park. We are Birding enthusiasts so we are often asked to organise and conduct specialised Birding itineraries and Kinabalu Lodge in Kinabalu National Park never fails to disappoint.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo

Contact us at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures to arrange your holiday to Kinabalu National Park, your trekking adventure and your specialised Birding Tour.

Kinabalu National Park Sabah Borneo 2018-02-03T00:57:59+00:00

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari

The Longest River in Sabah & Malaysia

A Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari is a must when visiting Sabah. The Kinabatangan River is home to some of the most varied and easily accessible wildlife in all of South East Asia. The Kinabatangan is Sabah‘s longest river and the second longest in the whole of Malaysia. Rising from the eastern Witta Range of Sabah, the Kinabatangan River begins its 350 mile (563km) north-easterly course towards the Sulu Sea. About 20 oxbow lakes form part of the lower regions of the river. Created over time and separated from the main river as erosion and deposits of soil changed the river’s course, oxbow lakes are paradise for bird watchers.

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari

River People, or Orang Sungei, live in small settlements spread out along the river. It’s fascinating to see their self sufficient, peaceful homes fully operational, making a living through fishing the lakes and rivers and farming vegetables on its banks. They use the forests of the Kinabatangan as a source of building material, firewood food and medicine.

Ten Different Primates in One Location (11 including you)

WWF (formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations) states that this area is one of only two known places on earth where 10 primate species can be found. Some of these include orang utan, proboscis monkey, macaques, maroon langur and Bornean gibbon, most of which are endemic to Borneo.

Bird lovers will find the bird watching incredible. All eight of Borneo’s hornbill species are seen regularly. Occasionally, 2 species of the gorgeous pitas can be spotted too, as well as the storm stork and the bizarre oriental darter also known as the snake bird. Of the 200 other species of birds recorded in the area, 8 of these are on Malaysia’s threatened bird species list.

The Lower Kinabatangan is also home to Bornean pygmy elephants, which are a recently discovered species and endemic to this region.

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari

Planning a Visit to Kinabatangan River?

Most of the wildlife lodges are concentrated around the Sukau area, which is very accessible and offers a wide range of facilities, here our partner is Sukau Rainforest Lodge, an award winning premium lodge with very comfortable accommodation & great food. We also like to travel slightly off the beaten track we have two wonderful lodges located in Kampung Bilit, a tiny village with about 150 inhabitants. The lodges offer very comfortable and clean accommodation and are considered a mid-range option. Bilit village is quiet with very little disturbance made to the surrounding forest and unlike Sukau you don’t have lodge after lodge along the river-bank. The staff at the lodges are mostly from Kampung Bilit and the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the local wildlife, plants and medicine, always ensuring that you are well informed on the diverse ecosystem that surrounds you. Last but not least is our preferred choice in Abai. A little further up-stream, again very quiet. Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort offers very comfortable accommodation in an ideal location.

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari

A recommended length of stay for a Kinabatangan River wildlife safari is 2 nights / 3 days. During this time you’re offered various riverboat safari trips all of about 2 hours duration, jungle night walks or night safari riverboat trips. Also offered within the package is a 3 hour hike, to one of the Oxbow Lakes. Our Kinabatangan River wildlife safari can can also be combined with trips to Turtle Island, Gomantong Caves, Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and Labuk Bay.

On a recent 3D/2N visit to Bilit Adventure Lodge, our mid range partner we saw the following: Silvered Langur (adults and juveniles), Long Tail and Pig Tail Macaques, Proboscis monkeys (adults and juveniles), Orang Utan (mothers and babies) Saltwater Crocodiles, Bearded Pigs, Rhinoceros, Wrinkled and Asian Black Hornbills, Giant Moths, Lantern Bugs, Leaf Insects, Frogs, Scorpions, Field Millipedes and last but not least the Bornean Pygmy Elephants. On our birds-spotted list we’ve noted Scarlet Rumped Trogon, Garnet Pitta, White Rumped Shama, Dollorbird, Stork Billed and Blue Eared Kingfisher, Storm Stork, Jerdon’s Baza, Crested Serpent Eagle, Oriental Darter, Woodpeckers, Purple Heron and Egrets.

Contact our specialist team at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures to tailor your perfect Kinabatangan River wildlife safari.

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari 2018-02-03T00:57:59+00:00

Get Fit Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

Considering whether to climb Mount Kinabalu whilst traveling Sabah, Borneo?

Wondering how challenging is the Mount Kinabalu Climb and how fit you need to be. You do not need to be super fit to climb Mount Kinabalu but you do need to be in good physical condition.

Get Fit Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

Climbing Mt. Kinabalu is a tough physical challenge but not a technical climb as such. The average climber ascends from the starting point of Timpohon Gate within Kinabalu Park to Panalaban (aka Laban Rata), located a.s.l 3,333m in approximatley 4 – 6 hours. Our good friend Ravi Tharumalingam two time Mt Everest submitter recommends taking your time and aiming for a minimum 6 hour ascent time to reduce the effects of altitude sickness which can effect some people at this elevation.

Unrelenting large, seemingly endless rock steps form the well trodden path. The route is 99% uphill and the secret to a successfully climb is to take it slowly, unless you’re competing in the annual Kinabalu Climbathon, climbing Mt. Kinabalu is not a competition.

Rest huts are located along the route at 1KM intervals, equipped with squat toilets and untreated water they provide a seating area and an opportunity to discuss with other climbers the climbing experience.

The benefits of packing light for your Mt. Kinabalu climb becomes evident soon after you start your climb when everything starts to feel 10kg heavier than when you packed. Refer to our Preparation & FAQ page for a suggested packing list. Porters are available and can be requested upon booking, extra fees apply.

Clouds will begin to close in and more often than not it will begin raining around 12 noon and usually disperse around 5pm just in time for sunset.

Get Fit Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

Once you arrive at the Panalaban plateau you will find your basic accommodation. There are three huts to accommodate climbers, Laban Rata Resthouse, Pendant Hut and Lamaing Hut. All provide dormitory accommodation. Laban Rata & Pendant Hut also have private rooms available. If the weather has heated the water its slightly warmer than freezing cold, but don’t expect any luxuries at the overnight rest stop.

Temperatures at Laban Rata are 6 – 10°C at night, plummeting further to 2°C at the summit with wind chill sometimes subtracting yet another few degrees from that.

The summit ascent starts at 2.30am and this is when a good torchlight is required. The final ascent from Laban Rata passing through the final check point in the dark is gruelling, steep slopes and some ropes to assist pave the route. If it’s a clear night, do take a moment to enjoy the night sky, with no light pollution its breathtaking.

Most people take around 2-3 hours to reach Mount Kinabalu’s summit from the Panalaban plateau, the objective is to arrive just before sunrise. If your ascent the day prior was quick then your guide may suggest you begin later than 2:30 am to avoid a long wait at the summit. The views at the top are spectacular. It can be extremely cold up there, especially since you may be sweating from the physical excursion then waiting in surrounding temperatures of 2°C for the sun to rise so make sure you take dry warm clothes. Due to the mountains close proximity to the equator Mt Kinabalu is not snow capped, so the mountains granite surface is visible year round. Take  a moment to appreciate the mountains beauty, you might even see hardcore paragliders going for an alternative descent.

Get Fit Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

Once sunrise is over and you have absorbed enough of the views then its time to begin the descent. If you are climbing with the optional Via Ferrata activities then you will descend via a different route which will involve ropes & bridges, if you are descending via the standard route, you will follow the same route as the ascent. Irrespective your decent from Panalaban follows the same route as the ascent.

The descent, including breakfast at Laban Rata, will take 5 – 9 hours depending on your pace. People often report the descent being more challenging than the ascent due to the unrelenting use of your knee joints and pressure on your shins & surrounding muscles. Our advice is to take your time and enjoy the entire experience.

Once you reach Timpohon Gate (the starting & ending point) our guide will show you where to find the park shuttle bus which will bring you 5.5km down the windy roads back to the Balsam Cafe where you will meet our team to bring you back to Kota Kinabalu, unless you wish to remain another night at Kinabalu Park or Poring Hot Springs in the various lodges available.

How should i prepare to climb Mt Kinabalu

• A good amount of outdoor cardiovascular exercise (power walking, cycling, running, mountain biking etc) and getting out for long days in the hills whenever possible is great preparation for your climb.
• We recommend all climbers take cardiovascular sports at least twice a week, with each session being a minimum of 2 hours in duration at a medium intensity.
• Fitness training should begin 2-3 months leading up to your trip, this way you should be well prepared.

We have a number of Mount Kinabalu climbing packages available to suit your budget and requirement. Contact Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures for more information.

Get Fit Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb 2018-02-03T00:57:59+00:00

Success PADI Instructor Development Course

Congratulations to our November / December candidates for successfully completing our PADI Instructor Development Course and becoming PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors. You are now at a super exciting point of your scuba diving career where you have a world of opportunities to choose from. Where in the world do you want to work? Previous candidates of Downbelow are located all over the globe. Check out the PADI employment board to see what jobs are on offer and begin living your dream!

Success PADI Instructor Development Course

Not Yet A PADI Instructor?

Join us for our next PADI IDC. Attitude & teamwork are the keys to success during your PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). The IDC is great fun as well as a rewarding and unforgettable experience where you meet people that will likely become lifelong friends.

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard & Pablo PADI Course Director together with our Downbelow Go PRO team will help you develop a clear understanding of the PADI philosophy of continuing education and the full range of PADI programs. We will show you how to take advantage of the teaching materials and tools, including digital products that are available to you as a PADI Instructor.

Teaching is an easy and exhilarating experience once you’ve understood the basic teaching methods and how to fully use the PADI system. The programs are performance based; feedback and encouragement for your improvement is guaranteed throughout the course to inform you of your progress and level of proficiency.

Our modern classroom facilities located at our head office are used for the PADI Instructor Development Course presentations by PADI Course Directors Richard & Pablo and their Go PRO team as well as the IDC candidates. Knowledge development presentation on topics such as dive theory, builds on the candidates knowledge base and is essential to teaching students.

Theory workshops will take place in the classroom, however we encourage candidates to study independently on their own time too. There are valuable benefits to staying in our adventure lodge during the IDC so you can spend evenings in study groups and practicing presentations in our purpose built facilities. This also develops a great team spirit and bond.

Success PADI Instructor Development Course

Our PADI Instructor Development Course – IDC Package Includes Three Instructor Courses

• PADI Assistant Instructor Course (AI)
• PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
• Emergency First Response Instructor Course (EFRI).

If you already have any of these qualifications, we can tailor your training accordingly.

Once all three courses are successfully completed, you will be prepared for the PADI Instructor Examination (IE), which is a 2 day standardized, objective evaluation conducted by PADI Instructor Examiners from PADI Asia Pacific. We conduct the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) 5 times every year directly before the PADI IE.

This way our candidates knowledge and skills are fresh and fully prepared for the PADI IE evaluation. To find out more about Downbelow’s next IDC in Asia, check out our PADI Instructor Development Courses IDC schedule page. Visit our FAQ page for lots of answers to your questions.

What can I do after I become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor?

You can enroll in our PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer preparation course where you will be taught five additional PADI Specialty Instructor Courses and gain valuable teaching experience.

Not yet a PADI Divemaster? It’s no problem. You can join us at any diver level and we will design a program for you that incorporates all required prerequisite courses before the IDC.

Contact us at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures to learn more about our internship options.

Success PADI Instructor Development Course 2018-02-03T00:58:00+00:00

Awarded PADI Career Development Centre

Everyone at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures S/B is feeling very proud right now on receiving the news that PADI have awarded us the prestigious distinction of PADI Career Development Centre, moving us into the highest level of educational professionalism in our industry.

Awarded PADI Career Development Centre

We are also very touched by all the amazing comments on facebook from so many clients & friends. Downbelow began life as a small two person UK dive centre almost two decades ago. Since then we have developed into a respected company with more than forty employees. With exemplary work & environmental ethics, Downbelow has become a way of life. Our team play a huge role in what makes Downbelow very special, our joint commitment to learn, to educate and to share great experiences is what keeps us motivated, dynamic and full of energy. We provide careers and opportunity for all that work within the company and everyone that chooses to educate themselves through us and its fantastic to gain such prestigious recognition for our efforts.

How to Become a PADI Scuba Instructor 

Our two resident PADI Course Directors & GoPro Team not only prepare people to be successful in becoming future PADI instructors, we are providing employees for our growing industry and creating ambassadors for our sport, oceans, outdoor and diving lifestyle.

Our next PADI Instructor Development Course begins 29th January 2018. Come and join us in the knowledge that you have chosen a PADI Career Development Centre to start your career in scuba diving. We remain 100% commited to creating life changing opportunities for professionals in the dive industry.

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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+00:00

Borneo Clouded Leopard

The Borneo Clouded Leopard is one of the most sought after encounters for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Sabah, Borneo. Some people travel to Sabah specifically in search of this rare and beautiful big cat. Some will stay for two weeks or more in pursuit of a sighting. The Borneo Clouded Leopard has been top of my wish-list for more than 10 years and this weekend i was “baptised” and blessed with my first encounter – and what an encounter it was !

I had taken my Mum on safari to Danum Valley for a 3D/2N adventure. Mum love’s birds so i thought a quiet and relaxed morning “birding” would be perfect. In particular we were searching for the six species of Pitta birds found in Danum Valley. After about one hour of “calling” the birds and seeing 4 of the 6 species we got the radio call from another ranger that a Borneo Clouded Leopard had been spotted at the Canopy Walkway. We ran as fast as our legs could take us, it was the fastest 500m sprint i had done in hiking boots, we then skidded down the slopes of the jungle forest to a large decayed log. Inside the log was one of the most beautiful creatures i had ever seen. At first we could only see the striking clouded pattern of fur that resembles the lowland jungle forest, then we saw his huge tail, perfectly evolved for climbing trees. After some manoeuvring, a few scratches and a number of leech removals and with quiet and precise instructions from my guide i was peering at the Leopard from one end of the rotten tree, i had a great view. After a few minutes he crawled out from the log and walked away, we followed as he disappeared into the 130 million year old dense primary rainforest.

He left behind his kill, a Lesser Mouse Dear. So the researcher and guide set up a camera trap in the hope to get an image of him when he returned. Indeed he came back about one hour later and the camera captured the most amazing set of images of the Leopard with his kill.

 

Borneo Clouded Leopard

Borneo Clouded Leopard

The Borneo Clouded Leopard is a wild cat occurring only in Borneo & Sumatra. Scientists discovered it as a new species and different from the Clouded Leopard found in other parts of Asia in 2007. They believe the Borneo population likely diverged from the mainland population some 1.4 million years ago. Its very difficult to know how many individuals still exist in the wild since they are so secretive and live in dense lowland forests. The most recent research suggests between 5,000 – 11,000 still live in the whole of Borneo. Certainly we were very fortunate to have this encounter and i’m so thankful to Azmil, my guide, to Eddy Boy Jon the researcher who provided me with his amazing picture and to Calixtus Laudi who gave me the images taken by the camera trap later that afternoon.

Borneo Clouded Leopards are rare and the only place to see them in the wild is in the jungle, your guide plays a big role in your wildlife encounters and we believe in working with some of the best guides in the field. So if you want us to arrange your jungle safari get in touch with Downbelow Adventures. 

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Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu Package By Downbelow Adventures

We, at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures, offer beach accommodation Kota Kinabalu, which is perfect for travellers who wish to enjoy the tranquility of Sabah, Malaysia.

If you are a scuba diver or snorkeller, we are proud to state that we just opened our second PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre on Manukan Island Resort in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. It is offshore Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo. Just 10 minutes away from the Kota Kinabalu mainland. Daily dive packages and island snorkelling are also available for walk-in clients and non-residents.

Our Dive Centre is located at the resort’s swimming pool area. The swimming pool is used for all confined water training dives and offers a comfortable location for surface intervals.

Furthermore, we present scuba diving, sea kayaking, and snorkeling safaris daily. You can access the 49 dive sites of the National Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park through our custom built dive boats. The dive sites are also minutes away from us.

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu For Scuba Divers

We provide our guests unparalleled convenience and international standard facilities, our scuba diver guests can take advantage of our affordable Stay and Scuba Dive Holiday Packages.

Do You Want To Learn How To Scuba Dive?

At Downbelow Adventures, you can stay and learn to scuba dive with our holiday packages. Staying at the accommodation where you will learn to scuba dive provides a very special experience. Not only will you save travel time in the morning and afternoon transferring to the dive centre, you will also be able to return to the comfort of your own chalet during surface intervals. At night there’s nothing better that feeling rewarded by your achievements, looking out at the ocean which has become your new play ground.

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu For Island Activities

If you are not into scuba diving, why not take advantage of our Stay and Snorkel Safari Holiday Packages. When you take advantage of these packages, you can explore the Pearl of the South China Sea and experience three activities in just one day. You can go snorkeling and discover the beautiful coral reefs. Then, experience trekking through the rainforest and mangroves. Afterward, you will go sea kayaking to check out the secluded bays and find out more about the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP).

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu

Staff Team

Throughout your scuba diving, snorkeling and sea kayaking activities, our professional staff team will be with you every step of the way. We will take you to the most unique places of Kota Kinabalu. Our team will have the required safety equipment so you can have peace of mind while appreciating the beauty of the islands. You can read more about our safety standards and proceedures at our dedicated section. Now, if you choose to trek alone with your family and friends, you can. It is extremely safe to explore the jungle trails without our guide. However an area orientation is required so you must ensure you receive this prior to any trekking activity. On Gaya Island you will be given a handheld radio to communicate with our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island.

To know more about our holiday packages, please call +6 088 488 997 or email us at [email protected]

 

Beach Accommodation Kota Kinabalu 2018-02-03T00:58:16+00:00

Mount Kinabalu Climb

A Mount Kinabalu Climb has been proven to be quite challenging for many tourists, regardless of age, this is a challenge that many embrace every day. Whether you want to explore new territories in the Pearl of the China Sea or you simply want to maintain your physique during the holidays, our Mount Kinabalu Climb package is the perfect solution for you.

Early Bird Mount Kinabalu Climb

For early birds, we have some great packages available. We offer a free night’s accommodation at our very own Downbelow Adventure Lodge in Kota Kinabalu and Poring Hot Springs in Kinabalu Park.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu is the best way for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of pure natural Sabah. Located within a world heritage site, it boasts clean air and un-spoilt jungle. It is one of the highest mountain in the South East Asia. No wonder this majestic mountain is considered the crown jewel of the area.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists take advantage of our Mount Kinabalu Climb package, as they know that it is the ultimate holiday package that they can get. The mountain’s uniqueness and beauty are just two of the reasons tourists keep coming back for more.

Mount Kinabalu Climb

Package Inclusion

Our Mount Kinabalu Climb package includes return land transfers from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park plus internal park transfers. The package also covers your climbing permit fee and application, insurance, as well as entrance fees. You can also get a Certificate after climbing.

Currently, we have a Mount Kinabalu Promotion that includes one night at Poring Hot Springs with full board, free meals, and an additional night at the Downbelow Adventure Lodge with free lodging.

To follow the steps of Sir Hugh Low, who first conquered Mount Kinabalu, we recommend planning your climbing expedition in advance. Our guide speaks English, so when booking and climbing with Downbelow Adventures there is no need to worry about finding an experienced guide when you climb this highest mountain in the South East Asia.

Our Mount Kinabalu Climb package does not include the equipment that you need for the climb. But our Dive & Adventure equipment shop offers essential pieces of equipment that you can use for your climb, and they are all available at affordable prices. We can provide you the logistics and know-how to face the challenges in climbing Mount Kinabalu successfully.

Our package consultant will help you arrange your expedition upon your first inquiry. Before you arrive in Kota Kinabalu, you are provided an itinerary with a packing list so you can prepare for your mountain climb and look forward to that day when you can finally conquer Mount Kinabalu. Doing it this way will allow you to train and amp your fitness levels before the most awaited climb of your life.

For more information about our Mount Kinabalu Climb package, please contact (+6) 012 866 1935.

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PADI Instructor Development Course Asia

Do not wait any longer take the PADI Instructor Development Course Asia. It is time for you to take the plunge and get your certified PADI Divemaster certificate to another level. Being a PADI Dive Instructor lets you have a job that you love. With our PADI Instructor Development Course Asia, you will be trained by our dedicated Go PRO staff team. Our IDC offers you all the tools that you need as you train and teach scuba divers in the classroom, open water, and confined water. The highly recognised and awarded Go Pro team of Downbelow Adventures will guide you on how to develop your skills to utilise these tools.

Downbelow Adventures is proud to be a 5-Star PADI Instructor Development Course Center. If you want to move into the top professional levels of PADI, then this is the ideal place to start your training.

Whatever your current level and whichever dive courses that you need, we can offer you a package that is just right for your expertise. Our Go Pro team can offer you anything that you need so you can go from a non-diving candidate to a certified PADI instructor.

PADI Instructor Development Course Asia

PADI Instructor Development Course Asia

We offer a broad range of packages and options for PADI Dive Instructor coaching. Even if you have never tried diving before in your life, you can still become a diving instructor with the assistance of our Go Pro team. Our diving training centre is found in the heart of the Kota Kinabalu, an ideal place that you can spend a few weeks or a few months exploring the underwater world.

What The PADI Instructor Development Course Asia Includes?

Our PADI Instructor Development Course Asia includes the following courses:

  • PADI Assistant Instructor Course
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • Emergency First Response Instructor Course

We also add in FREE of charge the PADI Oxygen Provider Instructor Course AND at reduced rates the opportunity to scuba dive the BEST OF BORNEO dive sites of Sipadan or Layang Layang !

PADI Instructor Development Course Asia

When you have completed these courses, you can apply for the PADI Instructor Examination. It is a two-day evaluation conducted by the PADI Instructor Examiners of PADI Asia Pacific. Before the examination, our PADI Instructor Development Course Asia at Downbelow Adventures is stuctured five times a year.

PADI Divemasters choose our development course because they know what we offer is recognized worldwide. Our course can guarantee that you pass the IE through thorough preparation. We have a record of 100 percent pass rate for several years. Although our PADI Instructor Development Course Asia is of high-quality and professional in nature you will experience all of these in a fun atmosphere with unsurpassed support before, during and after the course.

To know more about our PADI Instructor Development Course Asia, please contact (+6) 012 866 1935

PADI Instructor Development Course Asia 2018-02-03T00:58:16+00:00