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“Worth going for the boat ride and the tortoises”

Prison Island - Changuu Private Island
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$40.00*
and up
Prison Island Half-Day Tour from Zanzibar
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$129.00*
and up
Full-Day Stone Town and Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar
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$400.00*
and up
Full-Day Zanzibar Island Tour from Dar Es Salaam
Ranked #2 of 42 things to do in Stone Town
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed September 20, 2013

I was not that impressed with the island and for some reason they have closed off a lot of it and only made it accessible to people staying in the hotel that is based there. The hotel was not open when we were there but still you could not go into their parts of the island. The food ad drink at the cafe is also well over priced, so take your own drinks and snacks.

The boat ride out there and the little sand bank on the shore were both great, as were the giant tortoises. You can snorkel near the Island but there are much better places to do this as in this location there seemed to be very few fish and the reef was not that interesting.

Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,087 - 1,091 of 2,486 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2013

We had a short visit to Prison Island. We arrived just as they were feeding the giant tortoises. There is one as old as 155 years! After having had a walk around, two of our friends went snorkeling. They saw the most amazing coral and colorful fish! A visit to Prison Island is a 'must do'!

Thank Win_V2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We were in Stone town during our last full day in Zanzibar when we decided to accept the offer of a local with a boat to take us to Prison Island.

When we got to Prison Island we were pleasantly surprised
.
The island has an old prison which was interesting to see, as well as a hotel and restaurant. But by far the most interesting to see were the tortoises.

One tortoise was 187 years old. You are allowed to approach all the tortoises and touch them. The highlight was learning that you can reach under the shell to give them massages.

As soon as you start massaging the turtle they start lifting their legs in pure ecstasy, and when you stop they slowly lower their legs. They look like they are enjoying it something which I never expected from a reptile.

On our way out we also took some pictures of a really cute little beach. We both agreed that if we ever came back to Zanzibar we would have to stay on this island for at least 1 night.

Either way it is well worth a day trip and it was the best activity that we did in Zanzibar!

Thank Toman K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

There is a tortoise zoo made from dirt and concrete, these animals should not be put into captive like this. Another classic zoo where you can't help but feel for the 'prisoners'.

There is a closed down hotel/resort which gives the island a really 'ghost' feel.

Then there is the little prison, which has a bar to buy some drinks, a toilet, and that's about it. If you are looking to see a prison with cells etc that will give you a real shock, then don't expect this. It was incredibly boring and a big let down.

2  Thank JarrodFromSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Beautiful beach but nothing much to write home about. The park has big and very old tortoise. There is nothing much in the prison to see.If you are pressed on time i would suggest that you skip this visit

1  Thank Ceropal2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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