The Manta Resort offers something different from most tropical islands – it’s not about five-star luxury. If it’s serenity, close encounters with nature and a staff that’s like family you crave, The Manta Resort is the place for you. Switch off the noisy, polluted electronic world and enter a completely different one – not as a tourist, but as a guest with simple needs: sunshine, fresh air, natural food, a comfortable bed and friendly company.
Sunshine, fresh air, and friendly, welcoming people. All found tucked into the edge of a primitive forest overlooking turquoise waters that hide secrets of the most exquisite kind – unspoiled coral reefs fringed by snow white sand on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This is Pemba.
Activities - Land & Sea
Activities - Land & Sea
Experience world-class diving, snorkeling, recreational fishing, and Ngalawa and dhow cruises at sunset on the sparkling Indian Ocean. Enjoy beach strolls and picnics, sundowner drinks and island exploration. Or simply do nothing at all. The Manta Resort can keep you as busy or quietly blissed out as you wish.
What makes Manta different is that we are consciously, continuously, asking the question ‘why’ – Kwanini? What does Pemba need to continue to thrive as a natural, cultural island paradise. The Kwanini approach includes knowledge transfer, empowerment and involvement to create a bright future.
Why The Manta Resort
The Manta Resort is situated on a remote island off the east coast of Africa – probably as far away from civilization as most travelers might ever find themselves. A stay offers the chance to switch off the 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. Read More
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 translate their natural unspoilt kindness and happiness into helping you in all ways to enjoy 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, your 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 Manta Resort is not a typical 5-star luxury resort and certainly different to what you might find on other tropical islands. If you’re expecting bling bling bling you will be disappointed. If you however are looking for serenity, close encounters with nature and a close knit family of people, we look forward to sharing our island with you.
Anchored in an ocean floor anomaly we call the blue hole, the floating underwater room tops almost anything. Encapsulated within a turquoise bubble, watching shoals of reef fish swim by – sometimes in three or four layers of different species – this is a truly heart-stopping, yet awakening, experience. The floating structure provides three unique levels: above the water clad in local hardwood is a lounge, bathroom below a stargazing, sun tanning bed.
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 state-of-the-art EveningBreeze cooling system provides comfort without noise or drafts. After selecting your preferred sleeping climate, cool, clean air gently circulates over the surface of your bed—carrying with it the promise of a good night’s sleep.
The Superior Garden Rooms boast a spacious and private open-plan design, with a four-posted king size bed and large en-suite bathroom. Attached is your own private garden with outside shower. Created from local materials and traditional Pemban decor with contemporary comfort. In addition a large swahili baraza lounge provides the perfect place to relax in the peacefulness of the garden.
Our Standard Garden Room is a compact, private open-plan design with a four-posted king size bed, open en-suite bathroom and private garden with outside shower. Created from local materials and traditional Pemban decor with contemporary comfort. In addition a small balcony allows guests a shady spot to relax in the garden.
Meet Matt and The Manta Resort Family
Matt Saus – Managing Director
Matt Saus is the Managing Director and co-owner of the Manta Resort and Underwater Room. He is also the architect of the Kwanini concept. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Matt grew up with a strong sense of entrepreneurship, a love for adventure and our wild world from the onset – and his passion for preserving our beautiful places has only intensified since.
In 2006, armed with a map and a driving desire to conserve our oceans, he found himself on a journey along the Indian Ocean coastline of Africa to locate an ideal spot for the world’s second Underwater Room (the first being in a lake in Sweden and the brainchild of his business partner and designer). It was then that he discovered the Manta Resort (a run-down dive resort at the time) on one of the last islands in the Indian Ocean that’s unexploited and “still real”. With a gorgeous beach and active reef – it was perfect.
It was no small feat when he gained agreement from the ministry of fisheries, Pemba Channel Conservation Area Management, local fisherman and the neighboring communities, to put into place a “no netting” policy over one kilometer of reef in front of the resort. He and his lovely Swedish wife, Carina, teamed up with their partners to painstakingly restore and revamp the property while the Underwater Room was being constructed. All the while, realizing that Manta was to be so much more than an underwater room – it’s about the island of Pemba, and the people of Pemba. It was following this vision and criteria that the Kwanini concept of understanding why they were doing this and knowing it was for the people and environment of this beautiful island came to be – putting attention on the plight of our world’s reefs is vital to the welfare of all.
Juma Bakar – General Manager
Juma began his career in 1999 with Blues Restaurant as a waiter/runner. At this time the restaurant was among the few top places to visit while in Zanzibar. Since then he worked at different hotels in Zanzibar but his career turning point was in March 2008 when he met Matthew while was managing a restaurant in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. Meeting new people and acquiring new languages has been part of Juma’s life since his teenage years. He speaks Swahili, English, German and French fluently and is currently learning Dutch and Arabic.
The Manta Family
One thing becomes abundantly clear when you stay at Manta Resort – you are welcomed by a family as described by Manta here: In objective terms you are a visitor. But from the moment you arrive you become a part of our friendly family. With respect, humility and shoulder rubbing good spirit you are guaranteed to enjoy a natural kinship with the people that work here. An unforced feeling of openness and hospitality that is part of Manta and the local culture. A true face of the human family of which we all are a part of. Meet your Service Fundi when you arrive, a member of the close knit that makes up the Manta Family. He will be the one taking care of you while you are with us. He is Pemba. Get to know him and he’ll share everything about Pemba, his village, his family and life on the island. And he’ll do anything in his power to make your stay a memorable one.
Community and Conservation
Pemba is still unexploited by tourism on a social level, but the tipping point is near and the future of the island depends heavily on the impact that tourism will have. Through the exposure of the Underwater Room project, Manta have been able to communicate the culture of responsible, sustainable tourism and what it means to this very traditional Muslim Swahili culture which they call “KWANINI” (meaning “WHY” in Swahili). Read More
Kwanini is a vision which aims to make a positive contribution to the future of Pemba Island by preserving the environment and the integrity of the Pemban people. Kwanini has become who Manta is and it is the key question they ask themselves. Why are we here? Why do we do the things we do? Why will it make a difference for the island and for future generations?
In 2007, a group of like-minded people at The Manta Resort came together to build a tourism project. In everyone coming together to build this long-term vision, we quickly realized that it wasn’t just about Manta – we were interested in Pemba and its’ future. When we started asking why we had come to Pemba, we realised that we’re here for certain reasons; it’s still a truly tropical island, it’s remote, the culture is intact, the environment is not past the tipping point and there’s real hope, chance and opportunity to keep Pemba a genuinely natural place.
What makes us different is that we are consciously, continuously, asking the question ‘why’ – Kwanini? From these beginnings, the Kwanini Foundation was born. We are focused primarily on Pemba, and what the island needs to continue to thrive as a natural, cultural island paradise. Other strong points of the Kwanini approach are knowledge, empowerment and involvement. Transferring knowledge through our education and community development projects to give the youth of Pemba an opportunity to reconnect with nature and their environment. Empowering the people of Pemba to be part of the decision-making process through taking part in our Public-Private-Community-Partnership approaches to managing natural resources and involving as many people as possible in our activities is a very big part of the Kwanini philosophy. Enabling the people to do what they need to do, to create a bright future for themselves by providing them with necessary support tools and the knowledge to use them.