Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar

Prison Island also known as the Changuu Island lies about 30 minutes by boat from the Zanzibar Island. The prison thereon was never used to house prisoners. The Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar will take you there.

The island was once used by an Arab slave trader to contain the more troublesome slaves he had brought from the African mainland to prevent their escape before shipping them to the Arabian purchasers, or for auctioning in Zanzibar slave trade market. The slaves were dumped on the island.

prison island tour zanzibar

What the Trip Includes

Itinerary Basics

Attribute Itinerary
Schedule 09:00 to 12:00 (time flexible)

13:30 to 16:30 (time flexible)
Starting point Stone Town Waterfront
Termination point Stone Town Waterfront
Key activities Sightseeing, snorkeling
Memo Do not ride the tortoises

Visit Lloyd Mathew's Architecture

In 1893, Lloyd Mathews built the prison. The prison idea was to send violent criminals from the Tanganyika mainland to the Prison Island. The Prison Island ended up being used as a quarantine center, instead of a prison, for yellow fever epidemics that once raged through the region. Prison Island remained in the ownership of the government which converted the newer quarantine buildings into a guest house.

See the Giant Tortoises

The old prison still remains standing, providing shelter for some of the giant tortoises which can now only be found on this island, and the cells.

prison island tour zanzibar


After the tour there's a snorkeling option for those who'd like to get wet. All part of the budget by default.

Prices for the Prison Island Tour (to December 2022)

Categories Standard Premium Premium+
Adult US$35 US$50 US$60
Child (5-10) US$30 US$43 N/A
Baby Free Free Free
Group from 5 US$26 US$38 US$45
Single supplement US$5 US$5 US$5
Price inclusion
Entrance fee
Life jacket, mask and flippers
Boat charter and skipper
Transport waiting charge
Bottle of mineral water
Soft drinks N/A
Alcoholic beverages (adults only) N/A N/A
Lunch N/A
Return transport* N/A N/A N/A

*Transport is not included in the above costs. It is charged separately depending on your pickup and drop off locations.

Book your Prison Island Tour