A really long beach
Published/Last edited or updated: 23rd November, 2016
Seven kilometres of wide empty white sand beach and clear blue reef edged waters? Yes please!
Mananga Amba Beach, or sometimes Mananga Aba is what this little piece of heaven is locally called, however some signage refers to it as Pantai Kita (Our Beach). Word is, the new name has been given by developers as it sounds similar to the popular Kuta Beach in Bali. But the name is where the similarity ends — no crowds here, and though we did notice some rubbish, it’s not a garbage dump.
The soft and silky sand stretches from the water’s edge to a sparsely grassed area for 30 to 60 metres, depending on tides. A motley collection of trees dots the coastline, but they provide little shade — bring an umbrella, or rig up a sarong shelter if you plan on staying for a while.
Mananga Amba hugs the north coast of West Sumba starting about 20 kilometres from Tambolaka airport between Oro Beach and Katewel. For now the only building in sight is the imposing Mario Hotel and Cafe, although sections already have signs announcing new developments.
It’s possible to snorkel the reef, and some areas are deep enough for diving. Mario Hotel has plans to open a diving business, but for now you must bring your own equipment. If you’re lucky you may see the occasionally pod of dolphins along the coast here.
You’ll have to visit Mananga Amba Beach by private transport, and if you pick a spot far from Mario Hotel and Cafe you’ll need your own food and water too. An ojek from Waitabula is 50,000 rupiah one way — arrange a pick up time back, as there’s not much of a phone signal. Set a good example and pick up a bag of rubbish while you’re there (maybe drop it in at the local government office in Waitabula).
At the far eastern end of the beach, traditional salt making in the village of Katewel makes an interesting detour. Along the road leading to Mananga Amba Beach you will pass the intriguing bamboo buildings of Sumba Hospitality Foundation’s school — a Belgian-funded NGO offering vocational education in hospitality – see http://sumbahospitalityfoundation.org for more information.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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