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Prison Island

Just a 15 minute boat ride from the popular tourist attraction of Stone Town you can find the small island of Changuu, or as it is often called, Prison Island. The island is only 800 meters long and stretches over 230m at its widest point. As its name suggest the island was not always intended to be the tropical paradise it appears to be today. Prison Island was first used to house rebellious slaves, then after the abolishment of slavery the island was intended to be used as a prison. However this plan was never realized, but instead Prison Island was used as a quarantine station to help prevent the spread of diseases on to Zanzibar.

Today Prison Island is not meant to be anything other than a true paradise where you can really enjoy life at its best. On this small island you will find wonderful beaches, a restaurant, accommodation and the impressive giant tortoises that can be nearly 200 years old. Bring your snorkeling gear with you, as there are small areas of coral reef near the island, that some of the tours here visit.

When you sail to the island by boat you will first arrive at a rustic wooden pier that runs out into the blue ocean water. Once you land on the island, after a few minutes of walk you will see the old prison ruins, which are still partial preserved. A visit to Prison Island is an exciting experience, with many different facets and graceful surrounds creating an adventurous day out.



  • Prison Islands exciting history, recalled by the ruins of the old prison buildings.
  • 200 year old giant tortoises, the real hallmark of Prison Island.


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