Paradise lost? Fear not, this place is what your inner visions are made of. Close your eyes and dream. This is what will appear. If you are familiar with Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” you will instantly and emotionally connect with Manta Resort and Pemba Island just off the coast of Zanzibar Island, Tanzania. If not – make sure you read and digest it. You long to take the road less travelled, you (like most people) often think about it. But rarely do. Pemba is a rare gem. A remote tropical and pristine island off the east coast of Africa, untouched by mass tourism. Home to compassion, simplicity and time. But simplicity does not necessarily exclude luxury. Or as we call it – “real luxury”. The Manta Resort is situated at the northern tip of the island.
Switch off your noisy, pressurised, polluted electronic world and enter a completely different one – not as a tourist, but as a sentient human being with simple needs – sunshine, fresh sweet-smelling air, natural food, a pristine comfortable bed and friendly company to care for you and yours. All to be found folded into the edge of a primitive forest and set on rising land overlooking the purest, most turquoise waters that ever caught your breath – these waters hide secrets of the most exquisite kind – coral reefs unspoilt – and they are fringed by snow white, delicately soft sand on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
This is Manta, our treasured, remote island hideaway where you can feel the simplicity of a naturally evolved traditional Swahili island culture – and timeless peace and quiet. Feel part of our Pemban family, our local staff, trained from the go-to to translate their natural unspoilt kindness and happiness into helping you in all ways to enjoy the freedom and low-key modern comfort. A group of good people who proudly endeavour to make Manta the special place it is. From the moment you arrive, every conceivable activity and service during your stay will be all-inclusive and private (with the exception of diving and outside tours). You will have your own service fundi – a member of staff assigned to assist you personally – even perhaps to take you on visits to his village to meet relatives – if you so wish.
- The Underwater Room – Submerge yourself
Within our Conservation Area lies the Underwater Room. A private island surrounded by coral. A place to submerge yourself in the Indian Ocean. You will experience the fascinating shifting lights of the water, the ebb and flow of the tide and be subject to the curiosity of the fishy inhabitants of another world.
- The Seafront Villas – Relax and unwind to the soothing sound of lapping waves.
The Seafront Villas boast a spacious and private open-plan design, with an extended balcony and plunge pool. The villas feature a perfect blend of traditional Pemban decor with contemporary comfort. In addition, our newly installed state of the art EveningBreeze cooling system provides comfort without noise or drafts. After selecting your preferred sleeping climate, cool clean air will gently circulate over the surface of your bed—carrying with it the promise of a good night’s sleep.
- Superior Garden Rooms – In the peacefulness of the garden.
The Superior Garden Rooms boast a spacious and private open-plan design, with a four-poster king-size bed and a large en-suite bathroom. Attached is your own private garden with an outside shower. Created from local materials and traditional Pemban decor with contemporary comfort. In addition, a large Swahili Barraza lounge provides the perfect place to relax in the peacefulness of the garden.
- Standard Garden Rooms – Find comfort in our Pemba Island garden.
Your Standard Garden Room is a compact, private open-plan design, with a four-poster king-size bed, an open en-suite bathroom and a private garden with an outside shower.
Created from local materials and traditional Pemban decor with contemporary comfort. In addition, a small balcony allows our guests a shady spot to relax in the garden.
Activities & Excursions
- Breathtaking Diving
The diving around Pemba Island, Zanzibar is nothing else but breathtaking. The untouched coral reefs surrounding the entire island make Pemba one of the top dive sites in the world. Pemba, Tanzania is the perfect place to start your dive adventure with one of the healthiest coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, a water temperature averaging 26ºC and the best visibility in East Africa of 30-40 meters almost every day!
Our Dive Sites
Some of the dive sites around Pemba are spectacular by any standards. The deep Pemba channel rises dramatically towards the island’s west coast in near-vertical walls along many of the reefs. Diving in this region is characterized by exceptionally clear, blue water drop-offs and vibrantly healthy shallow reefs. Hard and soft coral gardens support a proliferation of reef and pelagic fish and other marine life.
1. THE SWISS REEF – 3 DIVE SITES
System of sea mountains running parallel to the wall on a platform 25 m down. The mountains have different profiles; from just a few meters up to 100 m long. The thing to do here is drift dive over the system from one mountain to another, discovering the amazing reef life. Good chance of seeing big pelagic and turtles. Recommended for: Experienced divers.
2. SHIMBA HILLS – 2 DIVE SITES
The last corner of the Shimba Wall breaks into two and forms a valley at 12 m depth with the sand bottom with lots of barrel sponges and anthias, red sea sweetlips, fusiliers, red tooth triggerfish, etc. Recommended for: Novice Divers
3. SHIMBA WALL
A gentle sloping wall, starting at about 6 m and runs parallel to the island for about 500m. connecting with Shimba hills. The max depth of 25 m makes this suitable for Advanced divers. Noted for its red tooth triggerfish, nudibranchs and leaf fish to name but a few.
4. THE EDGE – 5 DIVE SITES
Just west of the north-western peninsula. This is the last wall before Pemba island drops into the Pemba channel The wall starts at 30 meters and falls down steep! On the top of the wall, huge barrels sponges and spirals corals grow up to two meters high. This is a great place for encounters with Napoleon fish, potato grouper, cubera snapper, big pelagic, turtle and even white tip shark. Recommended for: Deep divers certificate apply. Strong currents occur.
5. POLE POLE MOUNTAIN
Mountain of coral that lumens from 30 m to 16 m, the base of the mountain is scattered with smaller hills of coral, with lots of spotted sweet lips, nudibranchs and turtles, this site is for experienced AOW divers and above, and can only be dived at slack tides.
6. SCORPIONS’ SECRET
Situated a 2 min boat ride from the resort a gently sloping wall starting at 5 m down to 18 m. Clear visibility and gentle currents make this site perfect for novice divers (DSD and OW) and snorkelers alike, as well as night dives. Well-known for its camouflaged scorpionfish. Leaf fish, lionfish and giant frogfish.
7. HOUSE REEF
Right on the entrance to the manta resort coming from the ocean, an open patch of sand at 5m with superb visibility, flowing into big coral bommies filled with tropical fish and nudibranchs, is perfect for snorkelers and divers of all levels, as well as night dives, Keep an eye out for large eye squid and octopus.
8. NJAO GAP – 5 DIVE SITES
A 30 min boat ride from the resort, Njao Gap which separates Njao island from the main island, you will find 5 different dive sites (Coral Garden, North Wall, South Wall, Slipstream, Jahazi Reef)ranging from 5 m to 40 m with sheer walls, mountains and coral gardens. This site focuses on good visibility, a massive variety of hard and soft coral, strong currents and a healthy vibrant range of marine life, for example, Titan triggerfish, Napoleon wrasse, green turtles, giant trevally and dogtooth tuna, to name but a few, on the deeper dives we have been known to see white tip reef sharks, the sites are suitable for divers and snorkelers of all levels.
9. FUNDU GAP – 5 DIVE SITES
Situated South of Njao island about a one-hour boat ride from the resort Fundu Gap separates Fundu island and Njao island. The 5 dive sites (Mandela Wall, Pinnacle, Coral Garden, Crack, South Wall) at Fundu range from 5 m to 40 m and allows for clear visibility, strong currents and large coral formations. These sites are better known for their larger fish species such as Eagle rays, Napoleon’s, GTs and Barracuda. The deep drop-offs and cooler waters allow for amazing soft coral growth such as Gregorian sea fans and anemone cities. The Macro life on these softer coral gardens is phenomenal and is suited for all levels of diver and snorkeler, U/W photography is a must.