Conservation

/Conservation

One of the most important areas of our organisation is our commitment to conservation and the health of our environment.

May 2019 Monthly Newsletter

Hi everyone! In this brand new post, get to know Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and read about our activities in the May 2019 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, we welcome another adventure group from Denmark for their one-month Expedition Borneo program, our staff receives more quality training from our multi-award winning PADI Course Director Richard, further guidance for the work-for-career interns, a new and detailed food post on our blog, and unveiling the brand new Borneo Bird Identification Guide!

We are extremely excited about our brand new Borneo Bird Identification Guide! This is the work of our Company Directors Richard and Joanne Swann. After decades of being bird enthusiasts and avid photographers, they have collected a massive amount of bird photos that have been included in all the Borneo Bird Identification Guide! Our team here then added bite-sized information on each bird for even easier identification! We hope that the guide will help Twitchers/bird enthusiasts all over the world to identify the beautiful birds here in Borneo! We will continue to add more into the guide as time goes by and hope you will benefit from it!

New on the blog is our Top 15 Must Try Foods in Kota Kinabalu , you have to try these while visiting Sabah! The compiled list is a great blend of traditional and modern dishes enjoyed by all in Sabah! Of course, there are so many other dishes that are delicious but we can only fit 15 dishes this time! Remember to try these dishes out during your walkabouts in the city Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.

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

May 2019 Monthly Newsletter

May 2019 Monthly Newsletter

May 2019 Monthly Newsletter2019-07-05T15:39:26+08:00

Danum Valley

The deep forest of Danum Valley in Sabah offers some of the most breathtaking rainforest sceneries in the world. The prominent mountain ranges that zig zag its way across Borneo makes for amazing and beautiful valleys. As the dawn is breaking a sea of cloud delicately covers the rainforest, the tallest trees appear to be supporting the cloud with its branches. The cool breeze brushes your skin. The valley echos the swish swoosh of the Rhinoceros Hornbill in flight. A scene that could come from the next addition of The Jungle Books, but in truth this is just some of the daily scene in Danum Valley.

Danum Valley - Rainforest View

Danum Valley – Rainforest View

Danum Valley has a tropical rainforest climate, which means that it is warm and humid year round. The relative humidity is rarely below 80%, mist are often so pregnant with water that they burst down as big droplets from high canopies. The tree canopies are so dense that sunlight rarely reaches the forest floor but what is stunning is the different type of biodiversity and even ecosystem in each layers of the same rainforest. The thick foliage also means that the forest is often darker and would make spotting wildlife difficult, or rare.

More often than not, one would need the guidance of a seasoned naturalist to look for the variety of animals found in Danum Valley. They have an elevated sensitivity to movements, sounds and even smells in the humid tropical rainforest, in fact hiring a private guide is always highly recommended when travelling to this part Borneo.

Private Guide at Danum Valley

Private Guide at Danum Valley

The great thing about the rainforest of Danum Valley is that it’s got different sight to offer during different times throughout the year. With an area that spans only 438 square kilometres, Danum Valley has an impressive attribute. Half a square kilometre of forest can sustain well over a thousand tree species, and as a pristine unlogged forest the wildlife is abound by ancient trees up to or more than 80 meters in height.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Being a rainforest, Danum Valley does receive constant rainfall year round. Typically it is the wettest between the months of October to February which means the fauna will be less active during these time of the year. Not so for the six and eight legged creatures that crawl along the forest floor. Insects and arachnid flourishes in the dark and cool rainforest.

As the climate gets warmer, the rainforest suddenly changes into a garden when trees starts flowering. One might be surprised to see flowers growing from tall sky reaching trees. The flowers are dainty and not flashing in colors, but simply white and sometimes dotted with colored spots making a stark contrast from the green of the forest. The breeze carries a faint floral smell, and sometimes also bring the flower to the ground – creating a regal white carpet fit for jungle royalties. Moth and butterflies will also be making an appearance, making the fairytale scene even more magical.

After a while, the flowers will finish falling and fruits start to grow. Fruiting season is definitely the merriest. Orang Utan and other apes can be sighted on fruiting trees at this time. Fruiting trees are nicely scattered in the rainforest, which means food is in abundance to all the different species of wildlife in Danum Valley. Fruiting season may come mid year and last until July or August. This period is notoriously assumed as best time for wildlife sightings including mammals and birds.

Later in the year around September through December is peak migration time for the migratory birds, and you might also find the endemic species starting to nest around this time of year. As the forest welcomes the new year, chicks would have hatched and Danum Valley blesses us with new life again.

Pygmy elephant migrating pattern in Danum Valley is not consistent, but the river flowing through the valley does guarantee the elephant population. This is different to Kinabatangan and Sukau where sightings are more often. It would be unfair to not mention the wild cats of Borneo when talking about Danum Valley, several including the very elusive clouded leopard can be encountered here. In recent years, sightings of mother and cub have been recorded at different times throughout the year marking a promising continuation of this species.

Danum Valley is like an opal, magnificent and rare. Housing a myriad of life, many still undiscovered. The attributes of the valley knows no threshold and will never cease to surprise us. Lodgings in Danum Valley have adopted a sustainable approach in operations and maintaining the chalets and rooms, and have been a key player in the ecotourism industry. Guest staying there will be able to see first hand and experience the green practices that have been implemented in order to preserve all the wonders of nature at Danum Valley. This among others are all efforts and actions to make sure that the forest remains pristine, as how nature should be – timeless.

Danum Valley - Canopy Walkway

Danum Valley – Canopy Walkway

There really isn’t one perfect time to visit Danum Valley, because any time is perfect. Though you may need to book your stay in advance as there is a limit to daily arrivals at the lodges. Options are available and at Downbelow Adventures we take booking up to a year in advance, whether you prefer a more basic expedition style trip or a more luxurious and tailored itinerary.

If you are interested and wish to know more about our Danum Valley programs, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgable Travel Centre team at +6012 866 1935 or via email at info@DownbelowAdventures.com. To book our Danum Valley programs and other wildlife adventures online, click here.

Danum Valley2019-02-07T11:58:11+08:00

Dive Against Debris Net Removal

As most of you are aware, we are passionate about Marine Conservation and have always been very active in various programs to combat the ever growing threats to our marine environment. As Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, I regularly conduct marine conservation programs with the Downbelow team and implement marine conservation activities and talks to our guests in our programs. One issue we have battled tirelessly against is Discarded Fishing Nets with over 200 Dive Against Debris Net Removal conducted by our team over the last decade all at our own cost. These are one of the biggest challenges we face in the local area and ghost nets are hugely destructive. Nets are not biodegradable so it continues to ensnare creatures for a lifetime as they catch innocent marine life that in turn baits the trap for other predators so the cycle of death is continuous. In addition the reef is smothered and will quickly die off completely.

Dive Against Debris Net Removal

Illegally Discarded Fishing Nets Are One Of Our Biggest Challenges

The new Dive Against Debris course released by Project AWARE is a great example of how divers can get involved and take action to defend and protect the environment we all love so much while still having fun! I always say the very best dives are the ones where we feel we as divers have helped give something back.

With another discarded net reported by our team, I took the opportunity to integrate training with my latest PADI Specialty Instructor candidate Hamza who recently completed his PADI Instructor Development Course with resident PADI Course Director Pablo and has stayed on to reach his MSDT level.

Dive Against Debris Net Removal

Downbelow Team And Go Pro Candidates Team Up To Remove The Net

Hamza from Pakistan has particularly impressed me with his knowledge and passion for marine conservation and his desire to find realistic solutions to the problems his local area faces.

Our industry needs people such as Hamza which is why we at Downbelow PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre encourage conservation education so passionately and suggest all PADI Instructor Development Course candidates try to continue their education and gain at the very least one or two distinctive Project AWARE specialty instructor levels which will not only assist to improve employment opportunities and job satisfaction for the PADI Pro but also spread the conservation education message so badly needed in our society.

Dive Against Debris Net Removal

Another Ghost Net Successfully Removed From The Ocean!

Needless to say this net has been safely removed by our team we were also assisted by some of our fun divers so big thanks to everyone as together we can make a difference!

RICHARD SWANN
Downbelow Managing Director & PADI Platinum Course Director

Dive Against Debris Net Removal2018-10-12T10:27:58+08:00

Ghost Net Removal Project

The Ghost Net Removal Project began in 2004 during the inception of Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures in Sabah Malaysia, Borneo. Illegally discarded fishing nets pose a serious threat to the marine environment, bringing with it a perilous and destructive cycle if not removed from the ocean. Informally named ‘ghost net’, it continually fishes even after discarded. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, where our PADI 5 Star CDC Dive Centres are based, is affected by illegal fishing nets. The project is carried out in this park, guided by Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann.

Ghost Net Removal Project

The Removal Of A Destructive Ghost Net In Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Tangible Positive Social Outcomes

A ghost net if not removed is capable of destroying a whole marine ecosystem, beginning from the smallest life to the largest. Whether the net is tangled on a reef or drifting in the ocean, it traps marine life which in turn will trap marine predators that try to eat the marine life, creating an endless and devastating cycle.

An example of a tangible positive social outcome from the Ghost Net Removal project is it encourages preservation, growth and development of the marine natural resources in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Removals of the ghost net allows reefs and marine life to flourish. With this, the local community will have a healthy marine environment that they can appreciate, protect and preserve.

Removals of the ghost net allows reefs and marine life to flourish.

In continuation to this, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park has steadily received an increasing number of visitors over the years from both local and international people alike. The importance of this is that it will highly benefit the local community of the park and its surrounding areas. Tourism is massive in Sabah Malaysia, Borneo. Local people who are in the working force of the tourism industry benefit from this growth as revenue will also increase; local economies will improve as well. More business and career opportunities in regards to the park has arise as a result from the development of tourism and this it is important that the reefs are free from ghost nets.

For the local community, fishing is a cultural identity. Both commercial and subsistence fishermen rely on marine life in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park to make a living. A thriving marine ecosystem produces a significant amount of fish that the locals can catch and gain profit from in a sustainable way. They are able to continue fishing without negatively affecting the park as long as ghost nets are removed and not causing harm to marine life.

Ghost Net Removal Project

Ghost Net Removal Contributes To A Thriving Marine Environment

Humanitarian Intent

There are not many places in the world that offer a stunning tropical marine paradise right at the doorstep of a bustling city full of modern facilities – and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is such a place. The marine environment needs to be protected so everyone can experience its beauty. With the Ghost Net Removal Project, we aim to ensure that local and international visitors alike are able to witness thriving reefs of the park by participating activities such as island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more.

It is also crucial that there is enough source of food for the local community who depend on the marine life in the park and that local fishermen have access to a significant amount of fish for them to sell. Their welfare is one of the reasons the project began. It is part of the Ghost Net Removal Project’s mission to prevent issues such as starvation, unemployment, and crime relating to the decline of fish in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Giving the local fishermen a fair chance in fishing sustainably is also important.

Ghost Net Removal Project

The Ghost Net Removal Projects Aims To Allow Local Community To Benefit From Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Community Outreach and Engagement

The primary way the Ghost Net Removal Project reaches people and encourages them to engage in protecting reefs and the ocean from illegal fishing nets is by providing education, spreading awareness and leading by example to the local community.

Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann is a passionate advocate of marine conservation. With his extensive knowledge in it, he shares valuable information about the dangers of ghost nets, teaches specialised skills to remove it without harming reefs and lists ways on how to prevent and combat this global issue to the community as well as local guests.

Information inspires action. People who call Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park as part of their home has become more and more aware of the need to protect it over the years and wishes to get involved and remove ghost nets as well. Many have participated in the Ghost Net Removal Project with the Downbelow team headed by Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann numerous times over the years and have developed into exemplary responsible scuba divers, an important role every recreational and professional diver need to be. These include guests, PADI Go Pro candidates, local and international universities, adventure groups and corporate groups. The divers then have detailed facts enough to spread awareness to more people about ghost nets which will give a positive impact on the community.

Information inpires action.

A net removal is conducted by Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures anytime a ghost net is spotted in the reef or drifting in the sea at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Besides hindering the ghost net from causing further destruction, it is also to encourage the people withing the park to be proactive in taking action and support marine conservation activities especially on illegal fishing nets. By using social media and other digital platforms, we communicate with the local community and provide visuals as well as details of the ongoing Ghost Net Removal Project as part of of an effort to engage them in marine conservation activities.

Ghost Net Removal Project

One Of The Way To Battle Ghost Nets Is To Engage With The Local Community In Net Removals

Staff and Management Engagement

Leading by example is how Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann engages the staff to be the key force in the Ghost Net Removal Project. As with reaching and engaging with the local community, Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director shares his passion in marine conservation with the team and inspires them to be committed to battling ghost nets. Using his extensive knowledge, Richard conveys valuable information about the dangers of ghost nets, teaches specialised skills to remove it without harming the reefs and list ways on how to prevent and combat this global issue to the team.

Being a hands-on Managing Director, Richard Swann personally trains and coaches our team of local PADI Dive Instructors to remove ghost nets in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. He instills the same determination towards removing ghost nets that he has to our PADI Dive Instructors and equips them with technical skills and knowledge that are fundamental to carry out tasks in the Ghost Net Removal Project. And when a ghost net is found in the park, guided by Richard they will carry out the meticulous and often dangerous duty of removing the net. Their pivotal role in the project shapes them into responsible professional divers with marine conservation in mind during and even outside of working hours.

Being a hands-on Managing Director, Richard Swann personally trains and coaches our team of local PADI Dive Instructors to remove ghost nets in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Each division in Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures have their own role in the Ghost Net Removal Project. Whether it is to communicate with our audience about the project’s progress, ensuring the safety measures during net removals, operations and transportation of net removals, accounts and administration of net removals, equipment – the staff and management all work together to ensure the project goes well and they themselves have a solid understanding and sense of teamwork in the project.

The management establishes and implements company values, policies, and rules that stems from the importance of the Ghost Net Removal Project. We foster and reward good responsible habits towards the marine environment and encourage staff to spread the awareness in addition to getting involved in marine conservation activities. Overall, the management motivates the staff to be purposeful in marine conservation so that it becomes second nature to them.

Ghost Net Removal Project

Downbelow’s Managing Director And PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann Leads By Example

Impacts of Ghost Net Removal Project

A prosperous marine environment offers tremendous contributions to humanity, the economy and development. A single ghost net that is removed today will give a positive impact to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park for many years to come. The impacts are that natural resources in the park are preserved, the local community will be able to have their source of food and income, employment rate will increase, the tourism industry will continue to grow and more people will be aware of marine conservation matters and get involved.

Committed to Marine Conservation

On this planet, there is only one ocean and Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures will persevere in protecting it. We will remain passionate and committed to marine conservation and continue to remove ghost nets for as long as we can. This self-funded project operates only on our sole wish for a clean and healthy ocean. We hope to keep fostering the responsible behaviour shown by our team, the local community and our guests to rid perilous and destructive ghost nets as well as spread awareness on its dangers and how people can take action.

Ghost Net Removal Project2018-08-28T13:28:43+08:00

Save a Stray Animal Welfare Project

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures team together with IAPWA (International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals) had great fun during the Run 7K to Save a Stray. We smiled all throughout the event knowing we are running for the needy animals of Sabah, Borneo. The Save A Stray Animal Welfare Project would not have been a success without our friends, families, clients and partners so thank you so much everyone for your tremendous support!

Save A Stray Animal Welfare Project

Downbelow Team Together With IAPWA Ran To Save A Stray On 28th July 2018

For the donation, we have managed to raised MYR 2,017.50 for the cats and dogs of Sabah. Downbelow’s Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann pledged to match the amount of donations raised, thus the total is MYR 4,035.00 and has been transferred to IAPWA. We actively support local animal welfare organisations and if you wish to donate, you can do so at any time you can by clicking here!

Save a Stray Animal Welfare Project2018-08-15T11:00:09+08:00

Run 7K to Save A Stray !

The Downbelow office girls have teamed up with IAPWA (International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals) and will Run 7K to Save a Stray on 28th July 2018.

Anyone that knows us is already familiar with our commitment to animal welfare. In 2017 we built a cat shelter for SPCA KK (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Kota Kinabalu). The shelter is now home to 57 cats, we fund staff to run the shelter, play an active role in the animals health & welfare and support SPCA’s adoption program.

Our next project is to help IAPWA with their efforts in Borneo and we are kicking off with a sponsored run!

Save A Stray

The Plight Of Stray Cats & Dogs in Borneo

Thousands of dogs and cats in Borneo have no owner to feed them or provide them with a safe place to sleep. When they are ill they have no owner to care for them to get the treatment they need. Under these conditions, many live just a few months or years during which time they struggle to survive, live miserable lives and die a painful death.

IAPWA have been working in Borneo since 2009 to change this and are a lifeline for these animals through their facility and the veterinary support they provide to local sanctuaries and outreach programmes in remote regions. Due to public support they have been able to:

• End the inhumane methods of population control, saving thousands of lives.
• Neuter approximately 3000 dogs and cats every year to prevent them being born to suffer
• Provide vital veterinary treatment for those who need it
• Find loving homes through our adoption programme
• Run education programmes to create a more compassionate community
• Change legislation to prohibit the human consumption of dog and cat meat
• Make animal fighting illegal
• Increase penalties for animal cruelty
• Support local sanctuaries with veterinary care for the dogs and cats they rescue
• Establish outreach projects in remote areas with no access to veterinary care

Save A Stray Day

This coming weekend welcomes in Save A Stray Day so we are taking to the streets with the IAPWA veterinary team to run the 7K Sutera Harbour Fun Run, hoping that you – our friends, family, clients, partners and associates will sponsor us!

We are taking our training seriously. Nicky Stevens the founder & CEO of IAPWA is in Borneo to make sure we are not slacking off just one week before the event !

Save A Stray

Sponsor 0ur 7K Run & Save A Stray

For £3 (MYR 20.00) we can vaccinate a puppy or kitten against disease. For £5 (MYR 30.00) we can feed a stray for 2 weeks during surgery / treatment time and for £10 (MYR 60.00) we can also neuter them to prevent so much suffering. With your support for this project we can make an even bigger difference to the lives of thousands of strays who need our help.

Donate Now

 

You do not need a PayPal account to use this service. 100% of the money you donate will be given to the IAPWA Borneo Team (minus PayPal fees). Please state in the payment reference that this is a donation to IAPWA Borneo.

Huge thanks in advance to anyone that will be supporting us, keep an eye on our social media FaceBook, Instagram & Twitter for race updates on 29th July !

Save A Stray

Run 7K to Save A Stray !2019-05-25T14:33:12+08:00

Fundraising for Marine Conservation and Animal Welfare

On the 19th November 2017, the Downbelow X Rip Curl Marine Conservation Program 2017 was held in the beautiful Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah Borneo. The event was fully sponsored by the Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures and Rip Curl Malaysia partnership that aims to raise awareness, educate, and encourage action towards the global problem of marine debris and the importance of preserving our coral reefs. 100 local and international participants joined the program at Downbelow PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre, Gaya Island and did beach cleaning as well as coral planting. The purpose of the program was to do fundraising for marine conservation and animal welfare, where all proceeds are channelled to SPCA Kota Kinabalu and Project AWARE Foundation.

Fundraising for Marine Conservation and Animal Welfare

Coral Planting activity during the Downbelow X Rip Curl Marine Conservation Program 2017

Through the program, we would like announce that the event had managed to raise a total of MYR 5,176.00 in donations for SPCA Kota Kinabalu and Project AWARE Foundation! We have channelled  MYR 2588.00 to each of these non-profit organisations. The fundraising for marine conservation and animal welfare would not have been possible without the generous contributions from participants and celebrities who care about these causes and came to the event. We would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in marine conservation activities with high spirits throughout the day at Downbelow 5 Star Career Development Centre. You are the superstars!

Fundraising for Marine Conservation and Animal Welfare

Marine Conservation and Animal Welfare – two causes that Downbelow are very passionate about

Fundraising for marine conservation and animals welfare are ongoing causes that would need as much monetary aid as possible. If you wish to get involved or make donations to these worthwhile causes, please get in touch with SPCA Kota Kinabalu and Project AWARE Foundation and find out how you can help.

Fundraising for Marine Conservation and Animal Welfare2018-02-03T00:57:59+08:00

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 Safari2018-12-16T08:07:48+08:00

November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course

The November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) has officially started at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures with our two resident Course Directors Richard Swann and Mohd Fauzi aka Pablo! We wish the best of success to our candidates Bart, Yoke, Matt, Kevin, Akiko, Michael, Tabby, Evan, Ashok and Alex. We are also joined by Kalani who has returned to take his PADI IDC Staff Instructor Course.

November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course

November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course

So we can give the very best service to our candidates, our Course Directors are supported by Staff Instructors Michael, Oliver and Chris from our in house Go Pro Team! The journey begins – keep reading our blog for more updates on our November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course.

November 2017 PADI Instructor Development Course2018-06-26T07:31:40+08:00

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

What a super awesome and truly memorable day at Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Gaya Island as we held the Downbelow X Rip Curl Marine Conservation Program 2017! The marine conservation program with Rip Curl Malaysia was in support of two causes that are important to us. Marine conservation and animal welfare need as much monetary aid as possible, so all proceeds from the fundraising we did are channelled 100% to Project AWARE Foundation and SPCA Kota Kinabalu!

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Participants of the Downbelow X Rip Curl Marine Conservation Program 2017

We thank all of you for your donations and attendance in the marine conservation program with Rip Curl Malaysia! The program aims to raise awareness, educate and encourage action towards the global problem of marine debris and the importance of preserving our coral reefs – this is what we emphasise in our daily operations at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures.

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Beach Clean Up at Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre

100 local and international participants consisting of marine science students from University of Malaysia Sabah, staff from Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, members of the Borneo Tribal Squad, SPCA Kota Kinabalu, Downbelow’s own Go Pro Interns and the public took part in the program. They were joined by celebrities Malaysian Personality Daphne Iking, MMA Fighter AJ “Pyro” Manson and MMA Fighter Ann “Athena” Osman who came to the event to give their support to the causes! Participants had the opportunity to help save the ocean by doing beach cleaning and coral planting together with the Downbelow Team.

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Downbelow’s Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann delivered the Coral For Life Presentation highlighting the threats reefs face and what we can do to held as ocean heroes! It was amazing to see everyone come together as a community during the program and show how much they care for the local marine environment!

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

The day had a very personal, warm and family-like atmosphere because of everyone’s energy, enthusiasm and passion towards the causes during the marine conservation program with Rip Curl Malaysia – it was overall a really great day and good job to everyone who put their utmost efforts into the marine conservation activities!

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia

Malaysian celebrity Daphne Iking during the Coral Planting activity

We are still fundraising for the causes, so if you wish to donate to Project AWARE Foundation and SPCA Kota Kinabalu, CLICK HERE.

Marine Conservation Program with Rip Curl Malaysia2018-02-03T00:58:14+08:00