We specialise in group programs for schools, university, armed forces, corporate groups, adventure groups and adventure seeking individuals on a gap year or work sabbatical.

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

Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures Sdn Bhd have been selected by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a Commercial MoD Approved Centre (ComMAC) for the delivery of scuba diving and adventure training services to their personnel. There are only 10 such centres globally and only 3 located outside of the Europe. We are the only centre in South East Asia to receive this certification for our Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities.

For us to achieve this high-level of authorisation, two Adventure Training Officers by order of the Defence Safety Authority (DSA) and answerable to the Secretary of State must fly out to our location for a 3 day Audit of our Health & Safety Standards and Procedures annually. In addition we must conduct quarterly air purification checks by qualified personnel and our compressed air must meet the BS EN12021:2014 standard each time. Additionally our compressed air must be tested annually at an ISO17025 approved lab (USA) or UKAS lab in the UK.

What does this mean for you?

Whether you use our company for diving or non diving related activities and services, you can rest assured that we have the Health & Safety Standards and Procedures in place to conduct adventurous activities which have been scrutinised and assessed by qualified inspectors. The following areas of our business were audited. We have attached a copy of our current certificate.

Assessment & Evidence

The audit purpose is to provide evidence for compliance with current regulations. Evidence will be collected through interviews, examination of documents and observation of activities under the following sections.

Section 1 – Management (Does the contractor have a suitably qualifies and experienced management team)

Section 2 – Diving Safety Management System (DSMS) Records (Does the DSMS reflect all activities undertaken by the diving contractor?)

Section 3 – Documentation (Is all relevant documentation held and up to date?)

Section 4 – Health and Safety (Do all components of the H&S system comply with current regulation?)

Section 5 – Diving Equipment (is the equipment maintained IAW the PMS and recorded in the equipment logs by qualified maintainer?)

Section 6 – Breathing Air Charging Arrangements (Is the maintenance carried out in accordance with the PMS and is all maintenance and used correctly recorded?)
Portable Air Purity Tester (FACT AIR 2235 or Equivalent)
Portable Compressors & Fixed Air Charging System

Section 7 – Diving boats (is the maintenance carried out in accordance with the PMS and is all maintenance and usage correctly recorded?)

Section 8 – Ancillary Equipment (is the maintenance conducted IAW the manufacturer’s instructions / PMS and is all maintenance and usage recorded?)
Under Water Swim Suit (UWSS) Drysuit.
Depth Gauges / Computers
Medical equipment set
VHF Radios

Section 9 – Diving Project (Practical) to be completed by the DST (AT)

Section 10 – Diving Team Qualifications and Currency (Are the divers suitably qualified and experienced to conduct their role safely?)

More information on our safety procedures can be found on our dedicated website.

Health & Safety Standards for Adventure Activities2018-12-08T07:44:11+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

Camps International 2016 Groups are Loving The Tropics!

Throughout the months of July and August, Dive Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures Sdn Bhd has been very lively with the arrival of the awesome and fun Camps International Groups 2016

During this group season, about 400 participants camped for four days at Gaya Island to enjoy some island fun in the tropics such as snorkelling in the tropical waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, sea kayaking through the surrounding mangrove bays, jungle trekking at a nature trail on the island itself and the highlight of the program – Scuba Diving!

And needless to say, the kids are really loving life in the tropics! All activities are conducted with safety being the highest priority for our staff team so the groups are all in good hands the entire time they are with us.

The groups were able to see many marine life, enjoy stunning and picturesque views of the park from the island, as well as learn more about the natural environment here in Sabah.

Camps International 2016 Groups are Loving The Tropics!2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

Camps International groups arrive in Sabah

Camps International 2016 have arrived at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures!

Our partners at Camps International bring students from youth groups, schools and colleges from all over the UK to Sabah on adventure holidays and we are proud to be taking care of the dive portion of their visit yet again.

For the next 10 weeks, we will be welcoming 400+ young adventurers to camp and dive at our premier Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star in Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

They will also be enjoying island activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and jungle trekking as well. The young adventurers are offered an opportunity to gain the PADI Open Water Certification or higher level in the 3 days duration of their time with us.

Before and after their adventure at our dive centre, they are treated to a stay at Downbelow Adventure Lodge located smack centre in the heart of Kota Kinabalu – the best place to go sightseeing!

Camps International groups arrive in Sabah2016-07-20T08:03:26+08:00

Salt Trail Presentation and Briefing

After their trip in Sandakan the Expedition Borneo group from Denmark was briefed about their next destination, the Salt Trail.

Located within the confines of Crocker Range Park, the Salt Trail is a jungle trekking route originally used by local traders.

At regular intervals they journeyed to the markets of towns on Sabah’s west coast to barter with their fresh produce for notably salt, as well as other goods.

Although some of the easier accessible villages are connected by roads, the Salt Trails are still the only access route to some of the more remote villages in the park, particularly those near the upper part of the Papar river and near Tambunan.

For 4 days and 3 nights, the group will venture into the Salt Trail and experience nature like no other as well as catching glimpse into the life of the villagers there.

It is a challenging yet exciting adventure, as the environment and surroundings of the trail will put the group out of their comfort zone. However, the journey undeniably promises an amazing and unforgettable experience.

Before leaving, they were briefed about vital preparations and given tips for their trek at our Downbelow Adventure Lodge. What to bring, what to expect during the trek, wildlife they will encounter; our team made sure they were given enough information to ensure that they have an incredible time at the Salt Trail.

Salt Trail Presentation and Briefing2018-02-03T00:58:18+08:00

Universiti Malaysia Sabah students experience SCUBA at Downbelow

MD Richard Swann and the Dive Centre Island team welcomed a very special group who are students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah to experience Scuba.

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures provide groups with a unique education about the local natural environment.

16 students studying Marine Science at Universiti Malaysia Sabah learned to dive and are all fully qualified divers! Now they can access the marine environment safely to further their studies.

Contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ Sabah Travel Centre to discuss any group travel to explore exciting adventures within Sabah, and at the same time receive an educational perspective of our natural environment in Borneo!

Universiti Malaysia Sabah students experience SCUBA at Downbelow2016-04-29T01:22:23+08:00

Zipline Action in Kota Kinabalu!

Our second expedition group of the year tried the Zipline action in Kota Kinabalu for an extra land day trip to explore more of the very best attractions in Sabah.

Seven young adventure group from Denmark tried zipline, wall climbing and rope-walking activities in between their adventure trip in Sabah.

One of our Downbelow Travel Centre experts, Lulu, escorted the group to the venue and assisted when necessary. There’s a long list of attractions in and around Kota Kinabalu and it is important that our travel and tour packages consist of other operations that also share our corporate responsibility to practice environmental friendly programs.

Get more information on how we can assist you to create a detailed itinerary for you and your group to explore Sabah!

Zipline Action in Kota Kinabalu!2016-04-29T01:24:56+08:00

Our Second Adventurers From Denmark Is Here!

For a 30-day Expedition Borneo Adventure Program, our second group from Denmark will be discovering the natural beauty of Sabah’s many attractions and under the safety-conscious supervision of our experienced staff throughout!

As part of their Expedition Borneo program, the group first visited our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island for a week of camping and learned to scuba dive.

Many more adventures follow to experience the best of Sabah, such as climbing to Low’s Peak on the iconic Mount Kinabalu, white water rafting the raging Padas River, wildlife safaris at the Kinabatangan River and jungle trekking historic forest trails.

Contact our Head Office to experience such an itinerary as our Danish adventurers’ on their Expedition Borneo program! We can create a program to suit your needs to explore exotic Sabah!

Our Second Adventurers From Denmark Is Here!2016-04-29T01:26:00+08:00

First AdventureDK Group on Expedition Borneo program Completes A Month of Adventure!

We hosted a farewell dinner as we said goodbye to our first Expedition Borneo group of 2016.

The group completed the one-month adventure program tailored by Downbelow where they experienced the best of Borneo.

They completed diving courses and became certified PADI Open Water Divers while camping in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, battled the white water of Padas River, enjoyed wildlife safari, met with Orang Utans, scaled the majestic Mount Kinabalu and trekked the tropical jungle of Borneo for 4 days 3 nights via the Salt Trail.

We are sad to see our adventurers’ travel to their next exciting destination, we are elated they have enjoyed their adventure in Sabah, Borneo!

Do you want your own Borneo adventures? Contact us and see what we can do for you and your group.

First AdventureDK Group on Expedition Borneo program Completes A Month of Adventure!2016-04-29T01:27:25+08:00