underwater hotel

Switch off the noisy, polluted electronic world and enter a completely different one

Twilight Zone trips take you to unique destinations right out of your imagination!  
Explore creative accommodations, culture, history, food and wildlife as well as each experiences' own unique environment.


Want a different location, length or type of experience? We usually have other options available and would love to work with you on customizing your vacation! Click here for more options. Thanks!  


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CONNECT

See the world a little differently with each of our Twilight Zone experiences.

Connect with nature and marvel at accommodations that allow you to experience a world not easily seen.

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Love

The Shamba:

While at Manta Resort, feel free to wonder through and perhaps even pick some veggies for our kitchen.

(more info in the Resort/Package FAQ section)


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.

Elevated and crafted along an idyllic island beach, The Manta Resort offers privacy, romance, adventure and water sports on East Africa’s finest island sanctuary.

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 underwater room. The floating structure, Swedish engineered, provides three levels, those above the water clad in local hardwood, and each an experience in itself.

UNDERWATER ROOM

THREE LEVELS
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 lounging 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.

THREE HUNDRED SIXTY DEGREES
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!

UNDERWATER SPOTLIGHTS
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!

HOW IT WORKS
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.

Enjoy an all inclusive 7 night stay at the Manta Resort with 1 night in the Underwater Room (more nights are available at your request). 

Consider pairing this stay with a land or SkySafari in our Royal Zone!



Day 1: Arrival

  • Private transportation from Chake Chake Airport to the Manta Resort
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 2: Pemba Island Safari

  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 3:Free Day

  • Optional activities tailored to your interests
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 4: Free Day

  • Optional activities tailored to your interests
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 5: Free Day

  • Optional activities tailored to your interests
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 6: Free Day

  • Optional activities tailored to your interests
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 7: Stay in Underwater Room

  • Optional activities tailored to your interests
  • B, L, D, Drinks
  • 1 spa service per person

Day 8: Departure

  • Private transportation from Manta Resort to the Chake Chake Airport

(We suggest pairing this vacation with one of our safaris in the Royal Zone!)


ACCOMODATIONS

Underwater Room
The one and only. 

A private floating island with your bedroom four meters below the surface. It is yours to enjoy while sunbathing and stargazing on the top deck, lounging and dining on the water deck and sleeping surrounded by a tropical marine environment.

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
The 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 Room
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 Room
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 en-suite bathroom, and a comfortable veranda to relax on. These rooms offer great value and are part of our Fully Inclusive product.

They are not air conditioned, but do have a fan in the room.



What ELSE Do I Need To Know? 

Pemba Island Info

Weather:
The weather on Pemba Island is predominately determined by the monsoon winds. These blow from the north east from December to April, and from the south west from May to September. The beginning of each new season brings rains. 

The heavy rains arrive between late April to early June. 

The light rains are in November but usually are brief showers between large stretches of sunshine. 

The hottest season is January and February but there is usually a refreshing sea breeze. Daytime temperatures usually vary between 79 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Money & Insurance:
The local currency, the Tanzanian Schilling, fluctuates daily against the US Dollar. It is not available in Europe. US Dollars are recommended for the best rates of exchange. We accept Visa and MasterCard at the resort, note that an extra charge of 5% will be applied for this service.

Trip Insurance can be purchased through Zone Travel. Just let us know if you would like to include this with your package (we highly recommend it).

Visa:
A valid passport with a Tanzanian visa will be required. Tanzanian visa’s are 50 USD / person and paid in cash at the international airport.

Electricity:
The Manta Resort is connected to the Pemba electricity grid. The three pin UK style plugs are the norm.

How to get to Pemba Island:
Pemba Island is accessed via most airports in East Africa via Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam. Pemba island can also be accessed with direct local flights with several charter airlines that operate smaller aircraft. The most frequent route is Zanzibar – Pemba, and is serviced by these airlines: Zanair,Coastal Air, Auric Air.

Health:
If you are on a direct flight from Europe to Tanzania no obligatory health inoculations are required. 
If you come from, or transit through, any other African country, a yellow fever vaccine card will be requested at border crossings. 
You will not be able to enter Tanzania without one. 

Pemba is a malaria zone, and it is recommended that you consult your doctor or a registered travel clinic before departure. It will usually end with a recommendation to take a malaria prophylaxis. Larium is commonly prescribed. Please note that we do not allow diving if you are on this drug. 
The best way to avoid malaria is not to get bitten – so remember to bring a good mosquito repellent (We recommend Sawyer's Picardin lotion 19% or above)
We, of course, will provide nets for your bed.

Sun protection:
Sunscreen for tropical sun is essential. Bear in mind that The Manta Resort is very close to the Equator. Other good protectors are good sunglasses, sun hats and natural fiber clothes.

Religion and Clothes:
Islam is the main religion in both Pemba and Zanzibar, historically being influenced by the Arabian states. One of the considerations, in practical terms, means ladies need to dress sensibly, covering your shoulders and knees, when not on the beach, in the sea or in the resort. A simple wrap around does the job. All islanders are friendly and welcoming.

Activity Info

Pemba Safari
The Pemba Safari is a day trip with several different stops. 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.
Included in your package

Spice Farm Tour
The Zanzibar archipelago Islands are know 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.

The Fish Market
Depending on where on the island you would like to visit, there are a few options for fish markets on Pemba. These are local markets where fishermen come to sell their catches daily, an interesting insight into the Pemba shopping experience.

Mkama Ndume
The fortress. This historical site shows insight through the architectural history showing Arab, Swahili and a Portuguese influence (all of that you can see on Google.) Locally, there is a different significance. As local legend has it, the house belonged to a very wealthy man, who kept two wives on either side on a large wall separating the house. The wives lived there without the knowledge that the other existed.Chake Chake
This bustling arena of people, ox wagons, dhala dhala’s (local taxi) and business men makes Chake the big city of Pemba. As the capital city it is also very central being near to the airport and the ruins.

Flying Foxes
Are the largest species of bat in the world, that can be found in huge groups of up to 850 bats per roost. They have a wingspan of 1.6 meters, with fox like faces and are endemic to Pemba island.

Chwaka
These are the ruins of an 18th century town thought to be the capital at the time. The Mazrui family remains lie in six tombs. The family were overthrown in the 19th century and the town fell into decay. Locally this place is thought to have been a sanctuary to a local man named Sharif who was both loved and hated by the people of Pemba.

Land Excursions
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. 

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.

Kipepeo Spa
Breathe in. Breathe out. Embrace a new pace. Leave your everyday worries behind you and focus on You for a change. Relax and recharge your batteries. Our trained therapists welcome you to our Kipepeo Spa for a daily treatment of your choice. Soothing expert hands will coax you into perfect relaxation – to the sound of rustling palms and breaking waves on the beach below. All spa treatments included in our rates. 
One free spa treatment per day is included when staying with us.

  • Back neck and shoulders massage - Soothe away tension and fatigue of the long journey with the Back Massage.
  • Aromatherapy relaxing massage - This full body pampering massage uses aromatherapy oil blends to relax and rejuvenate through rhythmic touch. A jet lag reliever.
  • Deep tissue massage - This full body massage uses specific pressure points in the body to stimulate circulation using a stronger pressure.
  • Swahili head massage - This exotic Indian massage of the neck shoulders and scalp relieves soreness and tension, promotes hair growth and induces sleep.
  • Pampering facial - Restores the natural radiance of your complexion using Botanical products. Cleansing, gentle exfoliation, toning and moisturizing is accompanied by a rejuvenating massage of the face neck and shoulders. Includes a rejuvenating eye treatment and a moisturizing hand massage.
  • Pedicure - Pamper your feet to perfection – file shape, cleanse, scrub, massage and polish – a complete foot treatment. Definitely a post Kilimanjaro foot reviver.
  • Manicure - A complete hand treatment finished off with classic or French polish.


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 at 26ºC and the best visibility of East Africa of 30-40 meters almost every day!

In addition to our 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!

We have nine sites we dive on a regular basis. 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-off’s and vibrantly healthy shallow reefs. Hard and soft coral gardens support a proliferation of reef and pelagic fish and other marine life. 
If you are interested in more information about the individual dive sites, just ask! 

Marine Excursions


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. 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. 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. 

$25 per person with boat. $20 per person with Ngalawa. 

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. 

Snorkeling for Conservation
Our house reef, directly in front of the resort, lies within our conservation area. Hundreds of species of marine life and crystal clear tropical waters make this a must for all nature lovers. 

Every morning by Ngalawa at 7am. All revenues are donated to the local Marine Conservation Area Committee and wardens. Further donations are
very welcome and appreciated. Our conservation boxes can be found at the diving center and main lounge area.
 

$15 per person. 

Snorkeling Trip
Experience the vast numbers of marine life and reefs through the clear blue waters of Pemba Island in our chosen snorkelling spots. You will be taken out with a
guide and shown the colourful, vibrant life, lying just under the surface.
 

Near Reef $30 per person. Far Reef $60 per person. 

Kayak Safari
Discover a remote mangrove wilderness by kayak safari. We will take you and kayak on a sail south along the coast line. 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 bountiful picnic, on a secluded beach, after the exercise is of course also included. You may even bump into a pod of spinner dolphin on the way.

This 3-4 hour excursion is tide and weather dependent.
 

There are 2 options, either go by boat at $60 per person or by Ngalawa for $30 per person. 

Kayak
You are welcome to make use of the kayaks on the beach. Venture out and enjoy reefs and vibrant marine life below.
Paddles can be found in the dive centre. 
 

No cost.


Fishing Excursions


Deep Sea Fishing
Enjoy a big day out with a deep sea fishing experience you will never forget. Lunatic is a 34 foot sport fishing boat. Captain Bob will take you out to the fishing grounds, where a wide range of game fish species await under the clear blue waters. You will enjoy refreshments throughout the day.
Up to four people can enjoy this excursion at once.
 

Half-day (approximately 5h): $770
Full-day (approximately 9h): $1050
 

**An hourly rate, if not in conjunction with half-day or fullday
fishing trip, will be charged at $295 (first hour) and $145 for every hour thereafter, for up to 8 hours. 
 

**Additional hours on any regular trip is $145 per hour.
 

The fishing charters must be arranged before arrival andpaid at the resort. All our fishing is catch and release. 


CASUAL FISHING OPTIONS

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 dhow 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.

RESORT/PACKAGE INFO

What to expect:
Just to be clear: This is a remote island off the east coast of Africa, and probably as far away from civilisation you might ever find yourself. The Manta Resort is not a 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.

Island History:
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 – sites that date back to Arab domination when Pemba Island was seized by the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) in the 17th century. He loved the Spice Islands and established his court in Zanzibar and ruled Muscat from there.

Where is everyone?
How can such a beautiful place be so devoid of visitors? On an island with a population of 300,000 there are rarely more than a couple of dozen foreigners. It is as though the people of Pemba have a secret that they refuse to share. Traveling in Pemba is discovering untouched territory. Villagers are eager to talk to anyone who passes and small children will give you their biggest and whites smiles as the yell “bye-bye!” as you pass them by. You will be called over in markets by the stallholders to sit you down to try their fruits, waiting patiently for your reaction.

THE SHAMBA
These farmers have been given land to cultivate and harvest fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables for The Manta Resort and in time to be sold at the local market for additional income. The farm has enabled us to employ five local farmers. We have watermelon, sweet potato, tomatoes, peas, spinach, pumpkin, baby marrow, and a selection of herbs planted. While at Manta feel free to wonder through and perhaps even pick some veggies for our kitchen.

What's included in the package?

  • Accommodation (choose either Seafront Villa, Superior Garden Room, Garden Room)
  • One night in the Underwater Room
  • All meals and snacks
  • All drinks and cocktails
  • One spa treatment per person per day at our Kipepeo Spa.
  • Pemba Safari for each traveler 
  • Round trip airport transfers


What's NOT included in the package?

  • International and domestic flights 
  • Diving, Marine Activities & Excursions.
  • Airport departure tax of 5,000 TSh is charged on departure for local internal flights. An aviation safety fee of 1,000 TSh is also charged.


TRANSFER FROM PEMBA AIRPORT TO THE MANTA RESORT:
The taxi transport from Chake Chake Airport to the resort is handled by a third party, and the quality of the cars are not of western standards, so be prepared for a bumpy ride. We will organize this service for you so that a taxi will be waiting for you upon arrival.

Communication:
Mobile phones have changed everything, even in Pemba. Your mobile will work as long as it has a roaming facility and will work on the island in most parts, although there are areas that the signal will not reach. There is Wifi available in the main area of the resort.

The Manta Resort