Monday, February 8, 2016

The Manta Resort - Pemba Island

If you Google "the most amazing hotels in the world " or "most unique hotels" you will find several lists and articles of such. On these lists you will find, The Manta Resort! 

Disconnect from your busy, hectic lifestyle and bury your feet in the powder white sand of one of the most beautiful beaches in Africa. 


Photo from my husband, Moses Msuya
Staying at The Manta Resort has been one of my most memorable moments so far in East Africa. Located on Pemba Island, at the northern tip of the island you will find this breathtaking "all-inclusive" hideaway. 

Driving from the airport to the resort I quickly noticed that Pemba Island is much hillier than Zanzibar. Many crops and farming are spread from the south to the north of the island. Pemba Island is still the world's largest clove producer, about 70% of all cloves are farmed and exported from Pemba. Locals also farm rice, bananas, coconuts, cassava (like a yam or sweet potato) and red beans. Pemba is acclaimed for its rich fishing grounds. The Pemba Channel is one of the most profitable fishing grounds for game fishing on the Swahili Coast.

Pemba is known as "The Green Island" and is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The island lies 50 kilometres north of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar Island) which is the largest of the archipelago. The island is known to be less "touristy" and a fantastic option for travellers who are looking for a more "off the beaten track" beach experience. 

Adding a few nights or a week on Pemba Island is a great way to finish off your safari experience or the perfect way to recoup after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

To reach The Manta Resort you can expect a one and a half hour drive from the airport. The drive provides a glimpse of the way of life on the island as you pass through towns and the major city on the island, Chake - Chake. The last leg of the journey takes you through the Ngezi Forest, one of the world’s oldest rain forests. Hikes through the forest can be booked as an extra excursion while visiting the resort. 

Arriving at The Manta Resort you are warmly greeted by the islands friendly staff. You will be assigned a service fundi (personal waiter) who will take care of you for your entire stay.  We had the pleasure of staying in a SeaFront Villa as well as the "once and a life time experience" underwater room, sleeping with the fish! 
Photo from Manta Resort
Boat ride to the underwater room
If booking the underwater room you will depart around 2pm from the main resort. Just a short boat ride from shore to the unique floating aquarium room where you have all the freedom of the world at your fingertips. It really was like being inside a fish tank, except we were the "fish"!! As soon as we climbed down into the underwater bedroom, a school of hundreds and hundreds of silver fish came to greet us. 



My favourite were the bat fish that hung around the room all night and were still there when we woke the following morning. 


Photo from Manta Resort


Moses swimming down to say hi while I'm in the underwater room

Trumpet Fish were hanging around with the bat fish

Watching the glowing sunset while gently swaying with the waves was spectacular. Followed by the most delectable seafood platter dinner with; fresh lobster, prawns, calamari, octopus and king fish. It was a pure delight for this seafood lover!


Sipping our morning coffee from the middle deck of the underwater room, we watched the locals who were busy working their fishing lines. 




Back to land with the C-Kayak in tow. 



The options for accommodations at The Manta Resort all offer a comfortable nights sleep. With only 17 rooms in total (including the underwater room) the resort offers a genuine personalized experience. 

Choose from the spacious SeaFront Villas....

Photo from Manta Resort
The Superior Garden Room
Photo from Manta Resort
The Standard Garden Room
Photo from Manta Resort
The Spectacular Underwater room
Photo from Manta Resort
Photo from Manta Resort

The fresh meals during our stay were as equally wonderful as the courteous service. The all-inclusive plan is truly that! The daily massage at the Kipepeo spa is just what my body and mind desired. Here's a list of what's included in the all-inclusive plan. 


Breakfast: Pastry & Fruit platter, followed by 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 

Laundry 

WiFi internet in main lounge area

The fresh seafood was my personal favourite, particularly on our last evening when our service fundi arranged a private seafood dinner on the beach, under a sky peppered with millions of stars. What a special way to end our holiday!

Besides the beautiful Manta Resort, diving is known to attract tourists to this tranquil Island. Located on site you will find the PADI certified diving centre, offering 9 dive locations and 24 dive sites. The untouched coral reefs that surround Pemba Island makes for some of the best diving in the world. 

Thanks to all the staff at Manta Resort for making our visit a wondrous and unforgettable one! Here's a video taken by my husband, Moses. 




Contact Amanda to book your holiday at The Manta Resort. 





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