The Manta Resort

Pemba is a remote island off the east coast of Africa, and probably as far away from civilisation you might ever find yourselves. 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 family of staff 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.

Pemba Island has been separated from the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar for decades, leaving an untouched and pristine island of great beauty and fertility. The mosaic of forests, swamps, mangroves, hidden beaches and lagoons is scattered with the ruins of mosques and tombs mostly reclaimed by the forest. These eerie sites date back to Arab domination when Pemba Island was seized by the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) in the 17th century. Manta Resort is a treasured hideaway where you can feel the simplicity of a naturally evolved traditional Swahili island culture. You will become part of the Pembian family, the local staff, trained to translate their natural unspoiled kindness and happiness into helping you in all ways to enjoy the low-key modern comforts here. From the moment you arrive, your every conceivable activity and service during your stay will be fully Inclusive (with the exception of diving and outside tours). You will have your own service fundi, a member of staff assigned to assist you personally and even perhaps to take you to his village to meet the relatives.

Surrounded by lush vegetation, unspoiled coral reefs, this tranquil and exclusive resort features a spa and wellness center, restaurant and sun terrace. The accommodations range from makuti thatched Standard Garden Rooms, spacious seafront villas with a secluded sun terrace to a private floating island with underwater bedroom. Imagine yourself encapsulated within a turquoise blue bubble, watching shoals of reef fish swimming lazily by, sometimes in three or four layers of different species above the reef floor. This is the heart-stopping experience that awaits you in the unique underwater room. The floating structure provides three levels, those above the water clad in local hardwood, and each an experience in itself.

Most meals are served on the verandah overlooking the Indian Ocean. The cuisine consists of seafood, local and vegetarian dishes. Cocktails and drinks can be enjoyed at the bar.


The Underwater Room (1 room)

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 by night you can lie back in the starlight and wonder at the extraordinary clarity of the stars, planets and above all, the edge of our own galaxy – the wonderful Milky Way – all seen without any light pollution. Sleep under the stars to the soft murmuring of the sea.

Then downstairs – the magical feeling of lying on a soft double bed surrounded by panes of glass affording almost 360 degrees viewing – watching the shoals of reef fish and exquisite, often rarely seen individuals visiting your windows. Some have taken up residence around the room, which affords them some protection from predation. For instance, three bat fish and a trumpet fish called Nick who is always swimming around and seemingly looking in!

By night, the underwater spotlights beneath each window around the room attract the shyer and more unusual, for instance squid. Coral is already establishing 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!

Your journey will start by boarding a traditionally crafted wooden boat to take you out to the underwater room. The room lies approximately 250m from the shore, about a 2min boat ride over the crystal clear waters of the Manta house reef. 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. Once settled in, a light tropical lunch with cold drinks will be ready for you to enjoy at your leisure. 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.

Seafront villas (6 rooms)
The Seafront Villas boast a spacious and private open-plan design, with a centered king size bed and large en-suite bathroom.
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 Room (4 rooms)
The Superior Garden Rooms boast a spacious and private open-plan design, with a four-posted king size bed and large en-suite bathroom.  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.

Standard Garden Room (7 rooms)
The Standard Garden Rooms is a compact, private open-plan design, with a four-posted king size bed and open en-suite bathroom.  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.

At Manta Resort you will find a private beach area and an outdoor pool. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including diving, hiking and kayaking, village visits and traditional dhow sailing excursions. 

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.   

Some of the dive sites around Pemba are simply spectacular. 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-off’s and vibrantly healthy shallow reefs. Hard and soft coral gardens support a proliferation of reef and pelagic fish and other marine life.

Sandbank Excursion
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. The 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, all excursions are booked and paid for at the resort. A cooler box of fruits and refreshments is brought along. This is a 15 minute boat ride from the resort on the most northern point of Pemba Island. $35 per person with boat. $25 per person with Ngalawa.

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 $60 per person. All excursions are booked and paid for at the resort.

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. All excursions are booked and paid for at the resort.

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. $25 dollars per person booked at the resort and paid directly to the local fishing captain.

To see on The Manta Resort click HERE

To see videos on The Manta Resort click HERE

The Kwanini Foundation

Communities + Conservation

The Manta Resort's Kwanini Foundation has a clear vision – to make a positive contribution to the future of Pemba Island by working alongside local communities to help them conserve the natural world on which they depend. One of the Kwanini Foundation’s very first activities was to set up a Marine Protected Area adjacent to the Manta Resort, which has resulted in a pristine coral reef for guests to delicately explore. This was done with the support of the community and in partnership with the local fishermen’s committee.

Why Kwanini? The Foundation believes in the power of questioning everything we do and recognizing the impact of our actions not just on humankind but also on the animals and plants with which we share our planet. 


Honeymoon Special
Free private sunset cruise with a bottle of bubbly
Free daily spa treatment (One per person)
Free private sandbank trip
Romantic beach dinner
Star gazing

Pemba Explorer Special
Stay 7 pay 5 or Stay 10 pay 7
50% discount on the following excursions:
Rainforest walk and birding safari,
Spice tour and rainforest walk,
Sandbank sailing excursion,
Local school visit,
Njao kayak safari

All specials cannot be combined with any other discounts and are for new reservations only.