Tour snapshot

2 ~ 3 hours
Safari Type
Beach Holiday
Can be Tailor-made:
Free Cancellation
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Walking / Hiking
Snorkeling / Swimming
Historical Visits
Giant Tortoise Watching


The Prison Island, also known as Changuu Island which is located on the western part of Zanzibar Island, just off Stone Town and bordering three islands namely Grave Island, Snake Island and Bawe Island. It takes around 25 minutes by local boat riding from the Stone Town beach. The island’s main attraction is the popular Giant Tortoises, who can live up to 200 years.

A prison built in 1892. It was never actually used as a prison and currently an attraction for tourists as it is known as a famous place for the giant tortoise. 

Island was used as a penitentiary for rebel slaves by the sultans from the 1860s until the end of the slave trade. After which the British began building a prison on the island under the guidance of First Governor, Lloyd Matthews. This was completed in 1894. However, the ‘prison’ was only ever used as a quarantine Centre for possible yellow-fever victims.

There you will be able to see the giant tortoises that were imported from Seychelles in the 19th Century. Also beautiful marine creatures, coral reef and it’s also a best site for doing Snorkelling. Once on the island, you have the opportunity to feed and pet the tortoises, some of which are over a hundred years old. If you have time you may also like to take a stroll through the forested interior where you will see a wide variety of birds, colourful peacocks, bats and beautiful butterflies.

Things to Do in Changuu Island

1- Chill at the beach: the sandy beach on the island is a perfect place to relax, enjoy the tranquility, and have a sunbath.  

2- Snorkeling: it is an activity that you should not miss. The boat will take off shore to enjoy the deeper water level with a small area of coral.  

3- A walk: having a walk to look back at Changuu Island at the end of the wooden bridge is charming and rewarding. 

94% of travelers recommend this experience
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