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Dive Review of Manta Reef Lodge in
Africa/Pemba Island, Tanzania

April, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by J. Allen, NY, USA
Report Number 479
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bali, Sulawesi, Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
0   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
3   to 1    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]Note--no rating of corals, fish, etc., as they could not be
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
1 stars    
I do not recommend diving at Manta Reef Lodge.  The owner gave highly
misleading information about the dive conditions and facility during our
exchange of several dozen rather detailed emails.  Based on that exchange,
I decided on a dive package of 10 dives, to include 2 night dives, and I
prepaid for the package to avoid a surcharge for payment upon arrival. 
Upon arriving I was told that my dive package would not be possible and
that it might not be possible to dive at all. At best, due to the tides,
one dive per day might be possible, though not daily.  Night dives, and
even night snorkeling, were out of the question. The hotel staff and the
dive master said that I would have to wait, day by day, to see what might
be possible.  Staff was unaccomodating and the dive master was rather new.
Dive master told of going out in a boat a few days before and having great
difficulty, due to the surge, getting a young and able couple out of the
dive boat, which is kept in the bay.  Dive master also told of taking a
diver out recently to see whether something could be seen in the water only
to find that it was necessary to hold on to the anchor line or be swept
away, and that almost nothing could be seen due to sand and mud particles.
When I told the key staff person that waiting day by day to determine
whether it might even be possible to go out in a boat to consider diving
where there might be zero visibility was scarcely the stuff of a dive
holiday, much less the conditions of my dive package, he responded that one
can dive in 1 meter of water and with zero visibility and that he was not
responsible for my arrangements with the owner. In our correspondence the
owner had stated that visibility on Pemba is "fairly consistent"
with "50/100 feet minimum."  This patently is not true. The owner
refused to speak with me while I was at the lodge and later sent an email
in which he refused to reimbuse me.  According to the taxi driver with whom
I, along with four snorkelers who were similarly disappointed and who felt
that the conditions at the lodge had been misrepresented, road to the
airport after staying only one night, there has been a turn over in dive
staff at the lodge and many people leave early. Now, I have missed a dive
vacation, I am out payment in full for the dive package, and I must wait
for Visa or my travel insurance, Travel Guard, or the Tanzanian Embassy to
intervene. I might add that PADI has contacted the lodge to remove its PADI
logos and list of PADI courses, since the lodge is not currently certified
by PADI.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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