The Manta Resort2019-09-14T09:55:40-05:00


At a Glance

  • WHO’S WHO: The Manta Family! Each and every person at the resort is wholly part of making you part of it too!
  • WHAT WE DO: Luxury island retreat

  • WHERE: Pemba Island, Tanzania

  • UNIQUE SELLING POINTS: The totally unique Underwater Room, nearly endless sea and land activities, the chance to truly relax and reconnect with nature

The Manta Resort

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. Home to the internationally acclaimed Underwater Room, floating upon the Indian Ocean with hues of blues, The Manta Resort protects a vast length of fragile coral reef while offering a multitude of activities on land and sea – including world-class diving…

Manta Resort Map

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    Pemba Island, Tanzania

    • The true definition of luxury – serene, soulful, and close to nature
    • A multitude of activities on land and sea – including world-class diving for all abilities
    • Privately owned and operated with an includible staff like family
    • Cozy thatch roof cottages, delightfully fresh and creative meals and evening ocean breezes
    • The internationally acclaimed and truly unique Underwater Room

    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.

    Home to the internationally acclaimed Underwater Room, floating upon the Indian Ocean with hues of blues, The Manta Resort protects a vast length of fragile coral reef while offering a multitude of activities on land and sea – including world-class diving for all abilities. Their cozy thatched-roof cottages, delightful meals, variety of activities and evening ocean breezes make for memorable days and nights. This is Manta, a treasured hideaway where visitors can feel the simplicity of a naturally evolved traditional Swahili island culture – and timeless peace and quiet.

    This remote island off the east coast of Africa might be as far away from civilization as a traveler might ever find themselves.

  • The Kusini Collection is proud to represent a group of like-minded businesses in Africa and Latin America, who believe in having a positive impact on our world. They collaborate with local communities and conservation organizations within their destinations with the belief that empowerment of people and place and being a voice for wildlife and natural areas will result in healthy ecosystems and communities. Here’s just a taste of what they are up to…


    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).

    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?

    About Kwanini Africa

    Founded in 2007, Kwanini Africa was established to become a leading management, sales and marketing team of small luxury hotels on Pemba Island. Their focus is on experiences of serenity, intimate encounters with nature and an excellent relationship to the local villagers. Supported by the Zanzibar government, Kwanini Africa turned 1 km of coast line into a no-catch-zone for fish – creating the Kwanini Marine Conservation Area (KMCA). In close cooperation with other conservation groups, Kwanini Africa works to preserve the Pemba Channel Marine ecosystem and to support the local population.

  • 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.

    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.

  • The Underwater Room

    Anchored in an ocean floor anomaly, the floating underwater room tops almost anything. Encapsulated within a turquoise blue 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, Swedish engineered, provides three levels, those above the water clad in local hardwood. Each one worthy of its own story.

    The landing deck, at sea level, has a lounge area and bathroom facility. A ladder leads up to the roof which has a lounging area – for sun worshipping by day and stargazing at night; wondering about time, the immensity of everything, the extraordinary clarity of the stars, planets and above all, the edge of our own galaxy – all seen without any light pollution. Sleep happily under the stars to the soft murmuring of the sea. Descending the ladder to the bedroom below is a rewarding climb to another state of being. The magical feeling of lying on a soft kingsize bed surrounded by panes of glass affording almost 360 degrees viewing is hard to describe. Located on the reef, in the middle of a conservation area, shoals of reef fish and exquisite, often rarely seen individuals will be seen visiting your windows. Some have taken up residence around the room, which provides them some protection from predation. Some just paying a visit.
    By night, the underwater spotlights on all sides of the room attract the shyer and more unusual, for instance squid. Coral has established itself on the anchoring lines and around the underwater structure. Octopus and even Spanish dancers have been seen attaching themselves to the glass panes. The reef inhabitants can simply not resist attraction, which makes for exciting watching and a truly unique experience!

    How it Works

    Your journey will start with a short boat ride to the underwater room. The room lies approximately 250m from the shore, in the crystal clear waters of our marine conservation area. On arrival at the room, along with your service fundi and boat captain, you will get shown the ins and outs of your private floating island.

    We will then leave you alone to enjoy your new surroundings. A kayak, snorkel and fins will be provided. The underwater room lies in what we call the blue hole, which has some fantastic coral heads and an abundance of marine life.

    After having sundowners on your preferred deck, dinner will be served at a pre-arranged time decided by you and your fundi. After dinner you will be left to yourselves. Breakfast will be served at a pre-arranged time. When arranging your meal times your dietary requirements and meal options can be discussed too. Check out time from the room is at 11:00.


    A mobile phone will be provided with the contact numbers required should you need assistance with anything. The underwater room security guard will be anchored to a buoy not far off from the room. The bathroom facilities include an open-air fresh water shower, a fully-functioning advanced marine toilet system that is eco-friendly, and a small hand-wash basin. We will provide all necessary environmentally friendly, biodegradable shower products. A fully-stocked bar fridge is there for your convenience.

  • The Resort

    There is so much more to the Manta Resort beyond the extraordinary Underwater Room! This is a destination guests will want to stay longer at to experience and enjoy. Manta offers three room types on land and each of them are fully-inclusive. Simply put, your guest will not receive a bill when they leave, except for any additional excursions or diving activities they have taken part in.

    Included in the Fully inclusive plan
    – Breakfast: Pastry & Fruit platter, followed by full English Breakfast
    – Lunch: Choice of 2 options for starter and main course
    – Dinner: 3 course dinner, 2 options for starter and main course
    – Beverages: Soft drinks, Juices, Mineral Water, Coffee/Tea, Cocktails, Wines, Beers and all alcoholic beverages
    – Spa Treatments: One treatment per person, per day at the Kipepeo Spa
    – Kayaks from the beach
    – WiFi internet in main lounge area

    NOT Included
    – Airport transfers, Diving and Marine Activities, Island Excursions, Flights

    Sea Front Villas

    The six Sea Front Villas are air conditioned, spacious and private, with a centered king size bed and large en-suite bathroom. A secluded sun terrace faces a spectacular ocean sunset.

    Superior Garden Rooms

    Two pairs make up the four Superior Garden Rooms with views of the sea between the foliage. Each pair of rooms have an interconnecting door which makes it an excellent choice for families or larger groups. The Superior Garden Rooms are air conditioned with a king size four poster bed and private makuti thatch covered terrace.

    Standard Garden Rooms

    Our standard rooms are open plan makuti thatched rooms situated in our gardens. They all feature a centered king size bed covered by a mosquito net, open plan ensuite bathroom, and a comfortable veranda to relax on. These rooms offer great value. Note: They are not air conditioned, but do have a fan in the room.

    Important Info from the Manta Resort:

    Karume Airport, is situated on the Southern part of Pemba, about 1.5 hours away from The Manta Resort. This is a domestic airport, with daily flights to and from Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and Tanga. Please note guests are requested to check in one hour prior to departure.

    Arrival and Departure Time
    Arrival rooms are usually ready at 14:00. We kindly request that you vacate your room by 11:00 on your day of departure. Please advise staff, should you wish to check out of your room later and we will accommodate your request as far as possible.

    Beach Lounge
    For your pleasure we have a newly built beach lounge situated close to the swimming pool. This is an open-plan lounge area where we serve drinks, specialty cocktails and snacks throughout the day. It is tradition at The Manta Resort to serve our guests complimentary sundowner cocktails every afternoon at the beach lounge. We hope you feel free to join us!

    Bush Babies
    Please take note that our natural entertainment in the evenings are our local Lemur species, which we call Bush Babies. This is a small, almost monkey like species. They are vegetarian, which means that you have nothing to fear from them. Please bear with us if things get a bit noisy around your villa at night. This is after all their home, and we are the visitors.

    Car Hire
    There are no vehicles for hire on Pemba, but we can arrange for a taxi to take you around the island or to the airport. These are local ‘Pemban Style’ 4×4’s, not the latest models.

    Dietary Requirements
    Please inform us should you require vegetarian food or if you have any allergies and our chefs will be happy to accommodate you.

    Dress Code
    Casual throughout the day and evening. We would like you to feel as laid back as possible during your time with us. Please do respect local customs by not sun bathing topless. Also, should you happen to visit local villages and markets it is customary for women to cover their shoulders and legs.

    Our sockets are 220 Volts and international adapters are placed in each villa. Please note that electricity on Pemba is very unreliable, but we do have a backup generator which is used for these instances.

    Should you wish to explore the island of Pemba in more depth, there are a number of possibilities for you to consider. We will be happy to arrange these trips once on the island, and they range from half day Ngezi forest trips to full day island trips.

    The diving team at Dive 360 Pemba, will discuss your dive schedule on the day of your arrival. Please refer to the diving brochure for further information.

    Guest Laundry
    All our laundry is dried by the sun so we cannot guarantee it will come back the same day. Please complete the laundry list and place it together with your laundry in the laundry basket provided.

    Internet, E-mail
    We do have island speed wi-fi available in the main lounge area. This is a complimentary facility. Simply activate your wireless connection on your laptop.

    Kipepeo Spa
    The Kipepeo Spa is situated next to the main dining area, overlooking the Indian Ocean. For more information please refer to the treatment menu at the Spa.

    This historical building is situated a mere 25 minute walk from The Manta Resort. This walk is a very interesting cultural experience, as you will be passing through our local village called Mnarani. Alternatively, please have a chat to us about the tide times and have a walk to this building along the beach. This structure was built in the early 1900’s, and offers a breathtaking view, for a small donation towards the lighthouse’s conservation.

    Please be advised that we are situated in a malaria area and we recommend that all guests speak with their local physician. For divers we recommend taking Malarone not Larium . Insect repellent is available in each room. Please apply insect repellent twice daily around sunrise and sunset.

    Meal times
    Meal times are flexible and are normally served during these times:
    Breakfast between 07:00 and 10:00.
    Lunch between 13:00 and 15:00.
    Dinner between 19:00 and 21:00.

    Medical Services
    We do have basic medical facilities at the clinic in Konde and Chake Chake.

    Mobile Phones
    We do have limited cellular coverage and you can roam with your mobile network. The best area to make calls is at the main arrival area in front of reception.

    Ngezi Forest
    One of the world’s oldest rain forest can be found only a couple of minutes from The Manta Resort. Forest walks can be arranged once at the resort.

    We accept Visa and Mastercard. We also accept Euro, US Dollar as well as Tanzanian Shillings. Please have a chat to us about the latest exchange rates offered for these currencies.

    PECCA (Pemba Channel Conservation Area)
    Please note that for every day that you dive or snorkel on a trip there is a €5 fee that goes directly to PECCA. They strive to keep the reefs of Pemba healthy for future generations.

    Please note that The Manta Resort cannot be held responsible for the loss of any guest items while at the Resort. Please hand any valuable items in to the manager on duty for safekeeping.

    We ask that guests refrain from smoking inside the guest villas. Ashtrays are available on the guest balconies as well as at the main lounge areas.

    Special Occasions
    Please share your special occasion with us. Please note that we offer a private Beach Dinner, or Sandbank Dinner, depending on the weather and tides. The meal consists of a delicious seafood platter for two, including lobster, as well as a bottle of wine. Please feel free to request this with the manager on duty.

    Swimming Pool
    Our pool operates on a chlorinated system. Your service team will refreshments should you require this service. We do place towels on the sun loungers throughout the day. For additional towels please ask any member of staff or check with the dive centre.

    Please be advised that the tap water is not drinkable. We have supplied your villa with bottled water. All bottled water is served complimentary during your visit.

    As The Manta Resort is located very close to the equator the temperature and climate is very stable. The western Indian Ocean is dominated by two monsoon winds. The KazKazi comes southwards from December till April. Then the Kusi arrives in April and blows back north till October. Then we have two mini seasons between these monsoons when the wind blows very gently as
    the seasons change. The light rains are in November but usually are brief showers between long stretches of sunshine. The beginning of each new season brings rains. The heavy rains fall between late April and early June. The hottest season is January to March but there is usually a refreshing sea breeze. Daytime temperatures usually vary between 26 and 32 degrees centigrade.

    Star gazing
    As you will notice on a moon-free night on The Manta Resort- there are more stars in the sky than you ever imagined. For the best experience, ask us to arrange some star gazing on the beach. Simply an unforgettable experience.

  • Activities: Land & Sea

    If you can pull yourself away from resting with a cool drink and taking in the view – there are so many activities to choose from! These can all be booked while at the resort – in fact, we encourage this. Part of the Manta experience is being able to relax and let go of schedules and responsibilities – to ebb and flow with the Indian Ocean tides. Even diving can be scheduled upon arrival to ensure best tides and clarity. Following are a few of the activities on offer to add to or fill your days with…

    On Sea

    The Sandbank Trip
    At low tide a sandbank protrudes to offer a walk on the purest white coral sand. The perfect beach to relax on surrounded by azure blue waters. This excursion relies heavily on the tides, currents and weather conditions and is not always possible. This will require some planning between you and the resort management. A cooler box of fruit and refreshments is brought along. This is a 10 minute boat ride from the resort on the northern most point of Pemba island. $30 per person.

    Ngalawa Sunset Cruise
    An Ngalawa is the traditional sailing vessel used by fishermen on the island. Leaving from the beach at around 5:00 pm, you will cruise along the shoreline over the reefs enjoying the sunset, the thrill of the sail and a refreshment. $15 dollars per person paid directly to the local fishing captain.
    Dhow Cruise
    Experience the islands’ waters on our traditional sailing dhow. Handmade and carved from mango wood this dhow provides the opportunity to experience Pemba through the strong cultural heritage of this local vessel. Sailing up and down the west coast on different excursions is a must. No cost.
    Snorkeling for Conservation
    Pack your snorkel gear (available at the dive shop) and a picnic and enjoy a half day boat excursion down to the islands of Njao or Fundo. Fins, snorkel and mask included in price. 60 usd /person.
    Vumawimbi Beach Picnic
    This trip is a short drive away and offers a secluded beach shared only by local fisherman. Here you can enjoy a snorkel and picnic lunch. $15 per person.
    You are welcome to make use of the kayaks on the beach, paddles can be found in the dive center. No cost.
    Kayak Safari
    Discover a remote mangrove wilderness by kayak safari. We will take you and kayak on a sail south along the coastline. Once we reach the mangroves at Njao Gap, your kayak adventure begins along the thick mangrove forests and inlets. Discover this unique mangrove environment, habitat to exotic bird and marine life. A refreshing picnic, on a secluded beach, after the exercise is of course also included. You may even bump into a pod of spinner dolphins on the way. This 3-4 hour excursion is tide and weather dependent. $30 per person.
    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 at 26ºC and the best visibility of East Africa of 30-40 meters almost every day! In addition to the excellent natural water conditions Dive 360 Pemba Dive Center has everything you need, including a great training pool in two levels, professional dive instructors, and guides to help you with all your diving needs!  Read More Here

    Casual Fishing
    Option 1: Enjoy a casual cruise along the reef line in our dive boat while trawling lines and hoping for a strike. If you happen to catch a tuna, dorado, kingfish or wahoo we will cook it up for dinner.
    This 2-3 hour excursion is tide and weather dependent. $75 per hour. Max 8 persons per boat.

    Option 2: Local Ngalawa hand line fishing: Fishing tradition runs deep to the roots of Pemba’s culture. Not only will you enjoy sailing the Ngalawa, but you will also learn how to fish with the local experts. This 2-3 hour excursion is tide and weather dependent. $30 per person. Max 3 persons per boat.

    Deep Sea Fishing
    Enjoy a day out deep-sea fishing on the 34 ft sport fishing boat, Lunatic, an experience you will never forget. Captain Bob will take you out to the famed North Pemba Channel fishing grounds, where a wide range of game fish species await under the clear blue waters (Striped Marlin, Black Marlin, Blues, Sail fish, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and more). Your fishing adventure will start minutes from the mooring in front of the Manta resort and continues right up to your return. No time wasted running out and back. All fishing tackle / gear is provided, and refreshments/snacks will be provided throughout the day.  Up to four anglers can enjoy this excursion.

    Short trip (3 hours): $500
    Half Day (5 hours): $770
    Full Day (8 hours): $1,050

    Hourly rate can be arranged. Prime fishing season mid-July to mid-April. Best time for Striped Marlin December to mid-April. We actively promote catch and release of all Bill Fish species.

    On Land

    Lighthouse Walk
    This walk takes approx 20 mins. You will be accompanied by your service-fundi. No charge except for a $5 dollar entrance if you wish to climb the lighthouse and get the tour by the operator in charge.

    The Pemba Safari
    The Pemba Safari is a day trip with several different stops – think spice farm, fish market, and Pemba Flying Foxes. Pick and choose what you would like to include in your safari, and how much
    time you would like to spend. If you do it all it will take you a good 8 hours starting at 8.30 in the morning. $75 per person

    Spice Farm and Rainforest Tour
    The Zanzibar islands are known as the ‘spice islands’, with 70% of the world’s cloves coming from Pemba. A visit to the spice farm will have you experiencing the true tastes and smells of Pemba Island. This is followed by a walk through the Ngezi Rainforest for about 45 minutes. A protected reserve home to endemic bird species, vervet and black colobus monkeys, the forest ranger will also point out all the protected fauna and flora. Cost $50 per person.

    The Shamba – Organic Farm
    Visit our new Kwanini Initiative. This community based project not only provides our kitchen with organic fresh veggies and fruits but also contributes its produce to the local community, who are also employed to run the farm. No cost.

    And so much more!!!


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