Changuu (Prison) Island lies 4km and a 20-minute boat ride from Stone Town. The island received its name from the prison for violent criminals that was built in 1893 under orders by Zanzibar’s British administration. The buildings were never used for that purpose and instead became a quarantine centre for several decades (for Yellow Fever). The ruins are still somewhat intact and the cells can be visited. A protected colony of giant tortoises (some over 100 years old) live on the island and are easily viewed. A number of rare bird species may also be seen on the island. The beach is superb and the crystal-clear waters excellent for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and diving.
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