Mantigola appeared on a Dutch map in 1890 - according to the villagers.

However sometime between 1940-1950 sea pirates destroyed the village and the Bajo fled to other areas and founded villages like Sampela. In 1965 some Bajo returned to Mantigola. If you ask the older generation of Bajo around Wakatobi, most of them identify Mantigola as their hometown.

Bajo Kid - Photo by Muis Bhojest

Oldest Bajo Settlements

Today, the village is rarely visited by tourists. On occasion, students and anthropology researchers come to collect information about the origin or life of the village. This village is perhaps the most traditional among the local Bajo settlements, and for visitors it can seem like traveling back in time. The smell of the ocean mixed with that of fish and smoke is characteristic of the village. The doors of the houses in Mantigola are always open, giving the village a very familial feel. In a community as close as the Bajo, family is everything.

How to Get There

To reach the village, visitors will need to take a small boat. The path from the jetty on the mainland was destroyed, so the only way to get to the village is by hiring a small boat. It is said in the village that this way the spirits of the mainland are kept away. The small boats that visitors need to take to Mantigola can easily capsize. Therefore, tourists who cannot swim should not make the journey.

You will need to take a small boat from the area of Horuo village on Kaledupa, around 15 minutes by motorbike from Ambeua. In Horuo, small boats can be found at the end of a wooden pier that runs through a mangrove forest. The boats will take you to the northern side of the village for Rp 2.000/person. English is not spoken in the village, so bring a guide from Kaledupa.

Bajo People - Photo by Muhammad Iskandar Zulkarnain