Sabah is home to Malaysia’s highest mountain. Mount Kinabalu at 4,093m ASL. A UNESCO World Heritage site a visit should not be missed when traveling Borneo.

Effortless Travel In Borneo

In many ways technological advancement has changed the way we travel, making for hassle free and effortless booking options. In other words technology has totally revolutionised the tourism industry. Nowadays there are many online travel agents that allow you to book and plan your holiday at the click of a button. However with an overflow of feeds from different social media platforms, beautiful images and so many “must do’s” we are flooded with too much information and too many choices which can lead to a difficult decision process.

Research has shown that more than 70% of travellers now plan their trip on the internet, while only 13% still use high street travel agencies to prepare their itinerary.

While online travel agents offer the convenience of planning and booking your holiday via the world wide web, more effort and time will usually be necessary to research for a specialized attraction and very often in the online world you will meet sites giving you information with no proof of reliable sources. In Sabah for example there are plenty of niche attractions that do not get the recognition they deserve and may never be found just by hours of searching on the internet.

At Downbelow Adventures (aka Adventures in Borneo) we have recognised the need to filter the overwhelming amount of options presented to our clients.

With 20 years of credential, at Downbelow Adventures we pride ourselves as your Borneo Adventure Specialist. Our packages are tailor made by people who are passionate & highly experienced in the art of travelling. Our objective is for you to enjoy the best of Borneo and take away an experience of a lifetime – effortlessly. Whether you are looking for a budget friendly holiday package or a high end luxurious escape, our team of experts will create a personalised itinerary to best suit your interest and wish list maximising your time in country and saving you money. In other words, effortless travel in Borneo!

We also offer our clients the simplicity of online bookings with instant confirmation and payment with no booking & credit card fees. Online bookings still enjoy our full customer service with a dedicated travel consultant for tailored itinerary making a seamless and even more effortless travel in Borneo experience.

So get in touch with us today, tell us your travel dates, number of people traveling, your budget and your interests and we will present to you a tailored suggested itinerary. Alternatively visit our website where a selected number of tailored packages are available online.

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The Mystics of Aki Nabalu

Tangkayau’d pinipin
Tundu undu winorun
Ilo Nabalu
Ilo gayo ngaran
(Dusunic mantra, unknown source)

Liver of the earth
Heart of the universe
That Mountain
That great name

Sabah, Borneo – the land below the wind where the people are warm and welcoming. Visit any place in Sabah and you will find that Sabahans are among the friendliest people and always generous with their smiles, food, cultures and tales of Mt. Kinabalu. Any chance they get, a true Sabahan will boast to you about the mystics of Aki Nabalu.

The majestic Mount Kinabalu has always been the pride of all Sabahan. Standing tall at 4,095 metres above sea level it is the highest peak in Malaysia. The massive mountain towers  over the other peaks along the Crocker Range.

Myths and mystics have always been associated with Mount Kinabalu and often time the Mountain has been a source of identity for Sabahan, especially one who grow up under the shadows of Aki Nabalu.

Many says that the name Kinabalu originated from two words : Aki and Nabalu, which in loose translation means Grandfather or ancestor and mountain. Native elders still refers to Kinabalu as di’Aki, meaning belonging to grandfather or sometimes even just Aki as in the old man.

It is no mystery why the elders refer to the mountain as Aki, they believe that all spirit belong to the mountain and will return there after their time in this realm has finished. Thus Aki is the guardian who keeps the mountain, and lead the souls back to the mountain when its their time. Native of Sabah has always revered Aki Nabalu for this reason.

When you climb Mt. Kinabalu, you will find several mountain plateau before reaching the summit. It is said that these plateau are places of rest for the spirits before Aki comes to greet them, as once the spirit guardian arrives the spirit will forever remain in Nabalu. This belief leads to people climbing to the mountain plateau and call the spirits of their dead relatives to return to its human body and be resurrected. One of these plateau has been named Panalaban, derived from the Dusunic language talab which means to stop. Literally meaning to stop the spirit from going towards Aki.

Although Sabahan have long stopped climbing to Panalaban for this purpose, to this day ethnic leaders still performs blood sacrifice rituals in Panalaban to appease Aki. The ritual calls for white fowls to be slaughtered at the mountain as well as other offerings. It is when this rituals have been skipped that Aki would awaken from his rest and will shake the mountain. Though this is not the only thing that can waken Aki’s wrath, that just add more to the mystics of Aki Nabalu.  

Mountain guides are not just path leaders that shows you the way up the summit, all mountain guides lives along the foothills of Kinabalu. Most have a short and stout built, with thick and wide feet. This is because they make their living by planting crops along the mountain ridges and collecting herbs and other medicinal plants. In a way Aki is their predecessor, leading people to the summit. How mystical, right?

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How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

If you are planning a short trip over the weekend or just needed a getaway from the daily hustle and bustle of life, head over to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and climb Mount Kinabalu –  the highest peak in Malaysia. This is your guide on how to plan your Mt. Kinabalu trip in four simple steps. 

Step 1 – Book Online On Our Website.

Get guaranteed climbing permit plus no credit card fee and bank fee when you book online with us. Get more discount if you are planning to climb Mount Kinabalu as a group. Book now to get special promotion on selected dates!

While you’re at it, book your stay in Kota Kinabalu at our very own Downbelow Adventure Lodge. Dormitories and private or en-suite rooms are available from MYR35.00 per person. Our expedition style lodging is located at KK Times Square rightly adjacent to the Imago Shopping Mall with over 300 stores and food and beverage outlets.

Step 2 – Book A Flight To Kota Kinabalu.

If you are staying in the Asia Pacific, chances are  you can easily book a direct flight to Kota Kinabalu. The Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has opened its new terminal building in 2008 and it has now become Malaysia’s second busiest airport. Not coincidentally is Airasia – world’s best low cost airline making KKIA one of its most important hubs. KKIA’s strategic location makes it a popular transit for flights to the Asia Pacific regions.

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip

Step 3 – Getting Ready.

You are now almost ready to climb the mountain.

Packing the right gear is essential, sturdy shoes with a proper grip is recommended especially for the ascent to the summit. For the first part of the climb, light clothing is sufficient. Bring a refillable water bottle so you can refill drinking water at the restaurant in Laban Rata Resthouse. Also pack basic toiletries and a small towel and warm clothing for sleeping at the base. Packing light is advised, you can layer the sleeping clothes with a jacket and windbreaker for the ascend to summit. Apart from that, bring a pair of extra socks, waterproof glove and a beanie or balaclava to keep your ears and face warm for the early morning climb.

Hiking poles and headlights are available for rent when you climb with us. Check out some cool gears and outdoor essentials you can purchase at our Dive Shop

Mount Kinabalu is accessible even to novice climbers but a good level of fitness does make the hike more enjoyable! A good leg muscle strength is required before you embark on climbing any mountain, so some trainings and exercises to condition those muscle before your climb is a smart move.

Step 4 – Climbing The Mountain!

Your mountain guide will be meeting you at the park headquarters before you start the hike. He will brief you about the do’s and don’ts at Mount Kinabalu. The best tip follow is to always listen and stay close to your mountain guide. At Downbelow Adventures we have our own seasoned mountain guides to accompany your hike and they are not just any guides, these mountain people are moulded and emerged from straight from the foots of Mt. Kinabalu.

Last but not least, read our blog post on The Mystical Aki Nabalu to know more about this majestic mountain.

How To Plan Your Mt. Kinabalu Trip2018-05-12T20:42:00+08:00

August 2017 PROMOTION Last Minute Climb Mount Kinabalu

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

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

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


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

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

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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Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

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

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

Mount Kinabalu New Year Promo

Malaysia’s Tallest Mountain

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

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

Book Now!

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

Climbing Dates: 30th December 2016 – 1 January 2017

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Find a Great Thing to do in Kota Kinabalu

Outdoor Adventure Backpacking KK – Find a Great Thing to do in Kota Kinabalu

Of all of the places that you may have visited in your lifetime, none is likely to compare to Kota Kinabalu. You may not be familiar with this city, which is found on the island of Borneo, but you will find that there are great things to do in Kota Kinabalu that will be unlike any other experience you have ever had.

Try a Backpacking Adventure

One of the great activities that you can take part of in Kota Kinabalu is backpacking. The city is partly surrounded by a tropical rainforest and is also home to Kinabalu National Park, where Mount Kinabalu is located. This mountain is over 4000 meters high and can provide an amazing hiking and backpacking adventure for you, your family and friends. There are many different trails that come out of the city and lead you across the island so that you can take in beautiful scenery, or you can hike the mountain and access one of the trails going through that area.

Look for Underwater Adventures

Find a great thing to do in Kota Kinabalu

Scuba diving – find a great thing to do in Kota Kinabalu

Because Kota Kinabalu is a small coastal city on the island of Borneo, there are many number of amazing water adventures. A great thing to do in Kota Kinabalu is to try a scuba diving adventure so that you are able to see some of the unique marine life and reefs that are local to Malaysia. You may also want to try snorkeling in the area, or taking to the ocean in a sea kayak to enjoy life above the water. You will be able to see many fantastic things during this type of adventure.

Booking Your Kota Kinabalu Adventure

If you are interested in learning more about fun and unique adventures and things to do in Kota Kinabalu, here at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures we offer a wide variety of tours and excursions and can arrange everything that you will need to make sure that your next outdoor adventure is one you will never forget.

Find a Great Thing to do in Kota Kinabalu2018-07-13T22:11:17+08:00

Climb Mount Kinabalu

Our personal fascination to climb Mount Kinabalu began in 1995 thanks to C.M Enriquez’s account of his 1925 summit ascent – The Kinabalu Expedition. Mr Enriquez was the 22nd person to climb the majestic and awe -inspiring mountain. He became obsessed, as have we !

Mount Kinabalu River View

Enriguezs objective was to collect butterflies. Ours was just to get to the top, at least that was our mission the first time. But there is something captivating about Mt Kinabalu that draws you back time and time again.

Nowadays we are fortunate to live just two hours from Mount Kinabalu in the City of Kota Kinabalu and we visit often. Sometimes for the summit climb, other times to climb only half way to Layang Layang at 2,800m. Most of the time just to walk the trails, enjoy its magnificent appearance, stay overnight in Kinabalu Park or Poring Hot Springs and admire the diverse flora & fauna in the cool mountain climate.

In the years since 1995 we have become specialist organisers of various expeditions and programs to climb and enjoy the mountain. From Military Adventure Training to Schools & University Trips, Gap Year Expeditions and shorter one or two night programs for those independent travellers wishing to climb as part of their holiday in Sabah.

Whatever your interest in Mount Kinabalu, we can assist you. We hope this website provides interesting and worthwhile information to help you plan your trip and experience Mount Kinabalu according to your wish-list. Now a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, Mt Kinabalu should not be missed when visiting Borneo!

We offer a variety of 3D/2N climbing packages & 2D/1N climbing package. Also, for the slightly more adventurous you can climb with Via Ferrata basic for beginners or Via Ferrata advanced.

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Ocean to Mountain Adventure at Downbelow

The best way to enjoy Sabah is by experiencing its wonders in the ocean and all the way to the tallest mountain in Malaysia, to climb Mount Kinabalu.

So when a petite young lady from Penang booked the Ocean to Mountain program with us, we made sure that her Borneo Adventure is an unforgettable one!

Shu Jia adventurously travelled solo to Sabah for the first time. And when she did, her decision was anything but ordinary when she signed up for a comprehensive yet challenging program by Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures.

For the week-long program, Shu Jia was first brought to our premier Dive Downbelow PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island to complete her PADI Open Water Course and get a chance to enjoy the tropical underwater world of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. What an accomplishment it was, when Shu Jia was able to become a certified PADI Open Water Diver with us!

After a day of rest, the Borneo Adventure continues at Kinabalu Park, Ranau. This time Shu Jia will need to conquer the mighty and majestic Mount Kinabalu which stands at 4,096m high above sea level. During her climb, she experienced a little bit of pain from having sprained her ankle a few weeks ago, but she persevered through it and had successfully reached the summit! Thankfully Tino the mountain guide assisted her a lot throughout the journey.

If climbing with a previous injury isn’t enough, Shu Jia pushed through with another activity – Walk The Torq at the world’s highest via Ferrata! We highly recommend this exciting activity to all our guests. The cable bridge was Shu Jia’s favourite part!

As with any adventure, a story has to come to an end. Before it was time for Shu Jia to return to Penang, she dropped by the head office and gave a cake to the island team and travel centre team each. Our Travel consultant Rachel had guided Shu Jia in her adventure every step of the way, which Shu Jia was really grateful and appreciative for. Her joy was apparent, as with the satisfaction of being able to go home with three precious certificates from her time with Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures!

So if you seek for a holiday unlike any other, we are here to cater to your travelling needs and satisfy your wanderlust. Contact our Travel Centre today and plan your adventure with us!

Ocean to Mountain Adventure at Downbelow2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00

August 2016 PROMOTION Mount Kinabalu Climbing Packages

August Promo Mount Kinabalu

Climb Mount Kinabalu in August and enjoy some late booking promotions.


MYR 1675.00 per person:  2D/1N Standard Mountain Climb: Accommodation & Full Board Meals, KK – KNP Return Transfers, Climbing, Permits, Mountain Guide, Insurance, Entrance Fees, Certificate. Ground Support Team. GST Inclusive.

MYR 1675.00 per person: 3D/2N Standard Mountain Climb: Accommodation & Full Board Meals, KK KNP Return Transfers, Internal Park Transfers, Climbing Permits, Mountain Guide, Insurance, Entrance Fees, Certificate. Ground Support Team. GST Inclusive.

Check out our website for more detail.

Contact us for BOOKING
Tel: (+6) 012 866 1935
August 2016 PROMOTION Mount Kinabalu Climbing Packages2018-02-03T00:58:17+08:00