Unforgettable ‘Smile Wide’ Manta Resort, Pemba.
From the moment you touch down in Pemba (30 minute flight from Zanzibar), you are collected by your Manta Resort driver and transported on a mini ‘safari’ to the northern tip of the island through many bustling small villages, past Coconut Groves, Banana plantations, Clove plantations and picturesque Tropical surroundings. The locals playing football, cows and chickens everywhere… The final stretch before you reach Manta Resort as the sun begins to set, leads through the Ngezi Vumawimbi Nature Reserve Forest, everything shiny and green.
From the moment you arrive at Manta, you are taken care of. Your bags are taken to your room as you are invited to the terrace to take in the amazing view and enjoy a fresh local cold fruity iced tea. Your 'service fundi' is introduced to you and takes care of you from that moment on. (Enough time to freshen up before returning to the communal eating area where you get to choose your table and the relaxing holiday begins… taking in the environment and sounds (DON'T FORGET MOSQUITO SPRAY!!).
The food is incredible! It was great to taste local flavours from exotic spices to tropical fruits! Each meal is three course and FRESH! Service is always with a genuine smile!
The views are breathtaking, the beach is dotted with sun beds under palm-frond umbrella’s. The bar on the beach is a great place to chill and read your book while enjoying one of the famous cocktails (Also a great place to hide when the clouds burst and the short rains fall in November). The water is warm and perfect for snorkelling through the coral reef. DON’T FORGET FACTOR 50 SUNSCREEN, Sunnies and a cap/hat. - Did I mention the daily massage included!
There is enough to do, with optional extra’s which include the Ngezi Rain Forest Tour, Local Village Tour, Diving with the dive centre, Sunset cruise in an Ngalawa traditional sailing vessel (MUST EXPERIENCE THIS), Pemba Spice Farm and Lighthouse walk to name a few. Snorkelling around the new Underwater Room was fun and kayaking was a good way to see the island coastline with unlimited opportunities for the perfect photo!
I envy the management and locals who get to experience this type of paradise everyday! You can never take enough photos of the perfect ‘African Sunset’. Just after the sun goes down, the laughing Bushbabies and flying foxes appear. Keep your camera handy as you stake-out the sugar bowl that the Bushbabies raid religiously at 7pm (cheeky!).
This is a hidden gem that you will return to annually if you have the ways and means! Truly unforgettable… that Smile Wide Pemba Holiday! Hakuna Matata (“no worries”).
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE AT MANTA RESORT, PEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA