African Retreat Tours & Travels Ltd
Windsor House, 5th Flr
Muindi Mbingu St, CBD
P.O. Box 7362-00100, Nairobi - Kenya
Changuu Island (also known as Kibandiko, Prison or Quarantine Island) is a small island 5.6 km north-west of Stone Town, Unguja, Zanzibar. The island is around 800m long and 230m wide at its broadest point.
The island saw use as a prison/gaol for misbehaving slaves in 1860s and also functioned as a coral mine.
It is fringed with a beautiful coral reef, ideal for snorkeling, and has a lovely white beach for sun-bathing.
It is also home to a family of giant tortoises, imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century. This island is ideal for a day-trip with refreshments available throughout the day. It also has a small restaurant where you can enjoy freshly caught fish.
The British First Minister of Zanzibar, Lloyd Mathews, purchased the island in 1893 and constructed a prison complex there. No prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. The station was only occupied for around half of the year and the rest of the time it was a popular holiday destination.
The island has now become a government-owned tourist resort and houses a collection of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles.
Changuu Private Island Paradise (Prison Island) has been described as a Small Paradise on Earth, with its private white beach surrounded by the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean. The islet lies 3 ½ miles to the northwest of Zanzibar Stone Town, and it is oblong in shape, about ½ a mile and 250 yards wide at the broadest part. Getting there after a comfortable 20-minute boat drive from Stone Town by a traditional dhow (fishing boat) takes you to the most unique experience in life.