Expedition Borneo are ‘thrilled’ with Padas River!

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The adventurers’ of Expedition Borneo are ‘thrilled’ with Padas River – the adrenalin of white water rafting its rapids was intense!

Padas River is located in Beaufort, and where our group of 10 participants experience one of the most awesome adventure activities in Sabah! Rated at an International River Difficulty Level III/IV, the group are accompanied by experienced guides, because navigating the river needs expert and skilled maneuvering. This 1-day program, tailored by our Downbelow Travel Centre, is just one of the many adventure activities the group experience in Sabah – they will also be touring the Kinabatangan River for a wildlife safari, jungle trek the Salt Trails, learn SCUBA on the PADI Open Water Diver course and climb the iconic Mount Kinabalu!

Contact our travel experts for more details on a personalised program to explore Sabah for your group travel!

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Cardiff University are back with Downbelow Marine & Sabah, Borneo for a tropical ecology field trip, and this time with students of the following academic year!

To experience Borneo’s ecology is valuable for students and professors alike. The rich biodiversity found in South East Asia is paradise for both the budding marine biologist and the seasoned teacher; and Borneo lies within the ‘Coral Triangle’!

Many Schools and universities visit our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre to learn the practical skills required of them during their degree courses, which they will then put into practice once their education is complete and they are working in the field. The skills workshops are conducted by resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and his team of PADI professionals using various specialised equipment for example quadrats, tape measures, fish sizing charts and more …

Changes within the reef over time are witnessed by our team who are always working within the same environment, this makes them Project AWARE & reef ambassadors, and their expertise assists the students to best understand data collected from their underwater surveys.

Go PRO internship candidates completing professional courses, such as the PADI Divemaster or the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) will also benefit when assisting our team of PADI Instructors to organise dive logistics for the students.

For more information on group travel or specialised educational programs with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures, get in touch with our Kota Kinabalu HQ, where our experts will create a suitable program to explore Sabah, Borneo!

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Wildlife spotting in Sabah is exceptional on the eastern coast of the state, and is an experience always best in the wild!

Downbelow’s Expedition Borneo program, for our adventurers’ who have just arrived in Kota Kinabalu not even a week ago, is a 30-day experience program in which time they will gain an appreciation for the natural beauty in Sabah, Borneo. Ecotourism is our chosen form of responsible travel and tours, and each of the adventure activities of our Expedition Borneo program, are conducted with this as a priority for our clients to appreciate their global footprint is reduced as much as possible!

Along the Kinabatangan River, participants have the opportunity to spot rare and endemic animals, such as orang utan, proboscis monkeys, macaques, crocodiles, and if they are incredibly lucky there are Bornean pygmy elephants (though a very slim chance, because of their low population!)

Boats used for the river cruises do not have a roof, so when Sabah Travel Centre Manager Alice delivers the presentation on their wildlife safari activity, they are encouraged to visit our KK Dive Shop (only next door!). They are advised to invest in a rashguard in particular, which they can use for ALL of their activities – from learning to scuba dive on the PADI Open Water Diver course to climbing Mount Kinabalu!

Get more information on a program we can personalise for your travelling adventure group to explore Sabah, Borneo, when you contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ!

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The second wave of international school students is eager to become marine activists, now that the 50-strong group has experienced the positive impact of their contribution to environmental conservation on a day of snorkel safari at our Gaya Island beach house!

On Gaya Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre will host their 1-day snorkel safari activity, with our dedicated and full-time PADI Instructors conducting the program.

The objective is for our young adventurers’ to expand their knowledge base on environmental conservation by experiencing positive contribution in the paradise setting of our tropical marine environment!
During each session of snorkeling, our young adventurers’ are encouraged by their PADI Instructor guide to assist in the collection of marine debris, particularly plastic waste!

After 2 sessions of snorkeling at different coral reefs and a hearty buffet-style lunch, our island staff team organizes a beach clean-up project of our Gaya Island shoreline.

Underwater clean-ups and beach clean-ups are our most popular conservation projects, because in a large group there’s fun camaraderie to motivate one another, and there’s no minimum requirement to participate (volunteers needn’t be a certified diver!)

As part of our commitment to the Project AWARE movement, the unique education our 50 students receive will raise their awareness about the plights that negatively impact the marine environment and the benefits of protecting it!

Get more details on how to join the Project AWARE movement of marine enthusiasts when you contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ! One of our experienced travel experts will create a detailed itinerary to include a uniquely tailored educational program to learn more about marine conservation!    

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Exploring and learning about the marine environment in Sabah has been an incredibly valuable experience for our 43-strong group of international school students who spent a night camping at our Gaya Island beach house too!

A dedicated PADI Instructor from our full-time team will present the AWARE Coral Reef Conservation course to discuss the benefits of protecting our marine environment. This is followed by an organized beach clean-up to collect marine debris from the islands’ beaches and experience actively participating in a conservation project!

Marine debris is the biggest hazard to the environmental health of our local area, and integrating active volunteering opportunities for the students to participate offers a unique learning perspective.

The adventurers’ walk along tended jungle trails in the rainforests of Gaya Island to explore the terrestrial life that can be found, such as macaques and hornbills.

For the second day of their program, our popular snorkel safari program is conducted for the students to then explore the marine environment and the colourful shallow reefs of Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park. Each session, the group will be visiting a different snorkel site for a varied day, and their PADI professional guides will encourage them to collect any marine debris they may find whilst snorkelling too.

For more information on a program to include unique education for an adventure group, small or large, contact our Head Office to discuss a suitable itinerary with an emphasis on responsible tourism!

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Everytime Mont Kiara International School students of SEASFiRE visit, our Downbelow crew has such amazing fun!

The group of young marine enthusiasts’ previously visited our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre a year ago, and we are delighted they return to continue their dive adventures…and with new SEASFiRE members joining too!

Newest participants learn the sport of scuba diving on the PADI Open Water Diver course, and conducting their course are PADI Instructors Mel, Along and Pablo. The experienced three will also include the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty to allow their students to exercise their new dive skills and demonstrate care for the environment.

Students qualified as Open Water Divers the year before, continue their dive education on the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course taught by our resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann.

As an elite member of PADI, Instructor Trainer Richard knows all too well the value of continuing dive education to improve diver confidence! Combined with the Advanced Open Water course, the lucky students learn the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty, which is a great passion of Richard’s, and no doubt he will share his years of experience to inspire them to keep diving!

A few members, who certified as Advanced Open Water Divers the previous year, now qualify as PADI Rescue Divers with dedicated PADI Instructor Vic and logged in several fun dives afterwards visiting a handful of the 49 dive sites available in the protected marine park!

Spontaneously, during a dive to complete the PADI Digital Underwater Photography skills, the eager students helped their Instructor Richard and his certified PADI professional assistants to free a patch of fragile coral in the shallow zone of the reef from an illegally discarded fishing net.

Both SEASFiRE and Downbelow teams are passionate about conservation, and wholly support the Project AWARE movement to protect and preserve the underwater marine world by educating through unique learning experiences!

We can hardly wait for another year to dive together again!

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Suffice it to say that Borneo will immerse travellers in the beautiful co-existence of so many different tribes, cultures, traditions and beliefs, and on our Expedition Borneo! program, we choose Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah as the perfect all-round destination to broaden our adventurers’ minds!

This month, Sandakan welcomes another adventure group from Denmark to visit the landmarks in the former state capital, such as the Puu Jih Shih temple that overlooks Sandakan town. Steps cascade from the front entrance of the temple to offer a large balcony to view the panoramic vista of the gorgeous blue waters of the Sulu Sea!

After touring Sandakan, the group adjourns to their lodge along the Kinabatangan River where they will overnight in dormitory-style accommodations and explore the rainforests of Bilit Village! Each morning is an early start at dawn to join scheduled river cruises for the chance to spot rare and endemic Borneo wildlife, such as orangutan and proboscis monkeys, or if they’re really lucky, maybe pygmy elephants!

Discovering Sabah in its amazing entirety needs some thoughtful planning, of which our Head Office team of helpful travel experts are experienced in creating an itinerary for a small or large group! Contact us to get more details on your Borneo adventure!

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