About Prison Island

Travel to Prison Island, known locally as Changuu, for a beautiful tour of this tropical wonderland! The island's most famous inhabitant, a 192-year-old tortoise, wanders on the island and may be available for a photo session. After meeting some friendly reptiles, go for a swim or snorkel in the warm waters. As you travel through the crystal-clear sea, learn all about the history of the island, which was never actually used as a proper prison. When the island comes into view, be sure to look down and spot the sea creatures hanging out in the reef below. Land on the soft, white sand and make your way to the island's jail, which was built in 1893 with the hope of housing prisoners. Break free from jail and discover the island's freewheeling Aldabra giant tortoises, who slowly stroll across the island in search of tasty vegetation. Prison Island is now home to the only sanctuary dedicated to saving these remarkable creatures, and you have a chance to chat with the foundation's passionate preservationists. Once you get familiar with the shelled wanderers, reach down and feed them some of their favorite greenery. Venture over to the beach and grab some snorkel gear. Float above the coral reef to see some of the 400 species of fish, including the rare lionhead cichlid, which calls these shallow shores home. Relax and get sunkissed before you head back to Zanzibar city!

Must See

  • See giant land tortoises of different species and types
  • Swimming, snorkelling, and other water activities in the warm waters
  • View the scenic and sunkissed beaches


How to reach

  • Walk for 20 minutes or take a 6-minute taxi ride from the city center to Stone Town
  • Take a boat ride from Stone Town which needs 20-30 minutes to reach Prison Island


  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • No wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • Bring towels and swimming suit
  • Snorkeling gear will be available
  • If you cancel at least 4 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel within 3 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Visit Time

Sunday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Monday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Tuesday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Thursday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Friday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Saturday : 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Time Icon

Waiting Time

You may have to wait 5 minutes to buy tickets to Prison Island


Entrance Fee Icon

Entrance Fee

  • The fee for a boat costs about $30 – $40 USD round-trip and can accommodate up to about 10 passengers
  • $4 USD island entrance fee
  • $2 USD for snorkel rental 
Read more


Time you can spend Icon

Time you can spend

2 to 3 hours


Weather Icon


Few Clouds 23.32°C


Local Services in Zanzibar (Contact directly)


No threads yet!

Be the first one to start a thread.

Top Attractions in Zanzibar

Top Cities in Tanzania