Group Programs in Borneo

 Conservation, Adventure and a Genuine Service to the Community.

Downbelow Adventures specialise in customized group programs in Borneo for schools, universities, registered charities, military groups, corporates & clubs. We have been organising and conducting these programs since 2005.

At Downbelow we are passionate about education, conservation, community service and adventure. Our program duration is tailored to the clients requirement, the majority being anything from a one day CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program to a 30 day gap year adventure and everything in between. Our most popular programs incorporate conservation awareness, adventure challenges and a genuine service to the community.

Gomantong Caves

We specialise in scuba diving, marine biology, jungle trekking, tropical ecology, mountain climbing and wildlife encounters. We can also incorporate mountain biking and white water rafting day or overnight trips.

What makes us different is that we build things. Owning a construction business in the UK means we have the expertise to build structures for schools, animals and communities as part of a program.

Salt Trails Jungle Trekking

Our Local Connections mixed with International Expertise

Established in the UK since 1999 and in Sabah, Borneo since 2005, we have developed deep local knowledge and connections giving us unique access to local people, the environment and culture as well as insight into the challenges they might face. Combine this with our valuable international expertise we can provide you with unparalleled athentic cultural & adventure immersion.

Marine Biology Field Trip

Marine Biology Field Trip

Many formal Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degree qualifications require field trips. Our PADI 5 STAR Career Development Centre is the ideal location to conduct such a program together with Universities & their professors.

Typical field trips include a PADI Open Water Diver Course & Peak Performance Speciality Course (two PADI qualifications). After completing these courses the program focuses on teaching the skills required to conduct marine research. The average duration for such a program is 8 days.

With direct access to confined & open water, plus primary jungle we are a biologists candy shop !

Program Highlights

• PADI Courses
• Reef & Biodiversity Surveys Using Quadrats
• Reef & Biodiversity Surveys Using Transects
• Fish Size Estimation Training
• Fish Counting Training
• Reef Mapping with Compass
• Sea Grass Survey – Snorkelling

School University Expedition Program Borneo

PADI Courses & Conservation

Learning a new adventurous activity is often the highlight of a trip, combine this with service to the environment through a conservation program and you have a very rewarding experience that will remain for a lifetime.

At our PADI 5 STAR IDC & Career Development Centres we have endless possibilities when it comes to putting together such an experience. We combine PADI Scuba Diving Courses, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, AWARE Shark Conservation, Coral for Life and more. Our Conservation Awareness section will provide more information.

Expedition Borneo

Our Expedition Borneo program is designed for young adults aged 18 years and above. Endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, this one month adventure showcases the best of Sabah’s marine, wildlife & adventure. Our Expedition Borneo & Adventure Activities section will provide more information.

PADI 5 Star IDC Centre
Cultural experiences

Jungle Trekking the Salt Trails & Build Projects

The Salt Trail in Sabah’s Crocker Range Mountains is a jungle trekking route that was traditionally followed by village traders. At regular intervals they journeyed to the tamu (markets) of towns on Sabah’s west cost to barter with their fresh produce for 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, particularly those near the upper part of the Papar river and near Tambunan.

At a steady pace the Salt Trails requires 3 nights in the jungle, making use of the hospitality of villagers or staying in structures with basic facilities along the way. Officially, the jungle path is 34km long, which consists of some serious jungle trekking across mountain peaks, through river valleys and some dense Borneo jungle.

The Salt Trail jungle trekking adventure is ideal for small groups who want to enjoy rugged, Borneo jungle and experience the beauty of nature.

Its one of the toughest treks in Sabah and requires a very good level of fitness and mental commitment. With the appropriate preparation the Salt Trails are a great challenge and very rewarding.

Schools In Need

Our building expertise is a valuable asset for organisers who wish to incorporate build projects into their program. From Kinder-gardens to animal shelters we can facilitate your fund-raising cause. Our local connections enables us to seek genuine causes and permissions for projects

Conservation Projects
green-star-award

Corporate Social Responsibility Days

Beach clean ups are a routine job for our island teams. Sadly ocean trash is an increasing problem world-wide and if, like us you are blessed to be based on a beach, you will see the plastic tide daily. More than eight million tonnes of plastic is thrown away each year and washed out to sea.

It takes centuries to break down. It’s eaten by marine creatures and it’s in our food chain. Scientists can’t say how dangerous plastic is to human health, but it’s clear the effect on wildlife is devastating. Fish, whales, dolphins… hundreds of species have eaten plastic.

Some seabirds and turtles have been found to have so much plastic in their stomach they can no longer eat the food they need to survive. This affects their ability to migrate, mate and raise their young. Inevitably, they eventually die.

Discarded fishing gear is also killing marine wildlife, with one report estimating that 308,000 whales and dolphins die every year because they get tangled and drown.

Be An Ocean Hero – swap out single use plastic from your life.

Conservation projects, such as our beach and underwater clean-up events, aid to raise awareness about the health of the natural environment. We show people the results and effects of excess rubbish in our oceans and explain how everyone can make a difference.

One of our experienced PADI Instructors delivers a PADI AWARE Coral Reef Conservation presentation, followed by a beach clean-up organized by our island staff team for participants to appreciate the value of contributing to ocean conservation. Part of the day will be spent collecting trash from the beaches, mangroves and coral reefs. We will document the trash for local and international statistics and raise money for Project AWARE.

Overall this is a very rewarding day in terms of the time given to the environment & we guarantee it will change your view on the use of plastics.

Project AWARE 100% AWARE
PADI Green Star Award

Some Examples of Our On-Going Projects 

Marine Conservation

Marine Conservation

  • Marine Debris – Beach & Underwater Clean-ups
  • Underwater Fishing Net Removals – Ghostnets 
  • Coral For Life 
  • Project Aware 

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sun Bear Rehabilitation Centre 
  • Animal Welfare
  • Tree Planting at the Kinabatangan River
Animal Welfare Cat Shelter SPCA Kota Kinabalu

Building Projects

Building Projects

  • SPCA Animal Shelter

Safety First 

Working with youth groups takes on a whole new degree of responsibility. When parents entrust us with looking after their child or young adult we become a guardian. Despite outward appearances young people are more vulnerable to physical and emotional forces than adults, they are more impressionable and less aware of the ways of the world.

Our Youth Protection Policy & Teaching Children Workshops are key to ensuring the safety & welfare of this enthusiast and fun age group. In addition our Risk Assessments & Emergency Assistance Plans are in place to highlight, reduce & prepare for risks & provide effective emergency assistance in the unlikely event it is required. Our RA’s have been accepted by numerous international schools, universities, organisations and governments and are available for inspection.

At Downbelow we operate all our services in-house. We own and operate our logistics network including speedboats and road transportation vehicles. Our team are full time and the majority have been with us for many years. We own and operate our own adventure lodge. We own and operate our own PADI 5 Star IDC & Career Development Centres, travel centre & dive shop. We follow PADI Standards & Procedures and British HSE guidelines for diving at work.

Open Up a Whole New World Of Opportunities

We have been in the business of organising and conducting group programs for two decades. If you are a group leader, destination manager, faculty member, professor or advisor looking to coordinate or lead an international group program, Downbelow Adventures can partner with you to facilitate a trip tailored to your specific vision. We take care of the logistical details, leaving you free to focus on your goals for the trip, whether that is embarking on a new adventurous activity, academic field work, cultural exposure, or service learning. We take care of the complexity so you can focus on the experience, contact us for more information.

What Makes Downbelow Different ?

  • Customised Itineraries To Save Money & Maximise Time
  • Genuine Focus On Conservation & Outreach Community Programs
  • TWO Full Service Island Based PADI 5 Star IDC Centres – Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
  • Own and Operate Our Adventure Lodge Accommodation – KK Times Square
  • Fully Comprehensive Quality Control Standards and Procedures
  • TWO Resident PADI Course Directors – In House and Full Time
  • Gained International Awards for Excellence, Education and Experience
  • Awarded the PADI Green Star Award for Environmental Practices to Reduce our Environmental Footprint
  • Hassle FREE – airport to airport service all under one company
  • Dedicated experienced travel consultant for planning your trip, during your trip and post trip support
  • Approved British Ministry of Defence Commercial Dive Centre
  • Company Profits Support Welfare & Marine Conservation