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Located on idyllic Pemba Island, The Manta Resort is a peaceful retreat fronted by sandy beaches and turquoise seas and backed by lush forest. On this remote East African island, the emphasis is all about the experience and the hosts aim to provide their guests with a truly serene Swahili stay.
Accommodation ranges from Standard Garden Rooms, which are in Makuti thatched bungalows dotted amid the gardens, to Superior Garden Rooms and Seafront Villas, which have the added benefit of air-conditioning and half or full sea views respectively. All of the rooms are tastefully and simply decorated, featuring neutral colours and natural materials to emphasise the natural beauty of the island.
For a truly unique stay, The Manta Resort's Underwater Room makes for a once in a life time experience. Floating 250 metres off shore and accessed by a traditional wooden boat, this 'room' is made up of three levels; an underwater bedroom submerged four metres below the surface, an above-water and open-air lounge and bathroom, and a top level sundeck. With underwater spotlights and windows on every wall of the bedroom guests can lie in bed and fall asleep spotting all manner of marine life all around them.
Meals at The Manta Resort are served on the main veranda, overlooking the ocean. Locally sourced, fresh seafood features heavily on the menu, as it should for any island retreat, though a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes are also available and are cooked with full African flavours. Guests can also enjoy fresh fruit juices and coconut water straight from the tree at the Beach Lounge, or sample the signature Lemongrass Ginger Sling for something a little punchier.
Relaxation is easily achieved in this tropical paradise, with the sun loungers surrounding the pool and the powdery sands on the beach both inviting guests to lie back and enjoy the sunshine. However, as one of the pivotal dive spots off the East African coast, scuba activities feature highly on the menu for most, and this is the ideal spot to learn to dive at the PADI dive centre. With untouched colourful coral in all shapes and sizes, a balmy water temperature of 26 degrees, and visibility frequently up to 40 metres the diving around Pemba Island is world class whatever your ability. Across the nine dive sites expect to see; big pelagic, turtles, red tooth trigger fish, white tip shark, squid, octopus, Eagle rays, Napoleon's, Barracuda, lion fish and giant frog fish. For the non-divers, other activities available include fishing (catch and release), snorkelling, island hopping, Dhow trips, and trekking in the Ngezi Rainforest.
Why we love it
It doesn't get much more original or 'Original' than sleeping submerged underwater!