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Prison Island tour

Discover this gem with its spectacular coral reefs, tortoises and the history of the former isolation prison!

Important details

  • Duration: Half day
  • Price: $103 pp (2 people); price goes down depending on group size and location of hotel
  • 20 mins boat ride from Stone Town
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Additional information

Prison Island, near the coast, gets its name from the prison built to condemn Zanzibari citizens to the isolation of this island. Previously owned by an Arab to house his rebellious slaves, the prison was never actually used, and the island is now home to a tortoise sanctuary and a hotel.

It also has spectacular coral reefs for you to enjoy. Giant tortoises shuffle through the trees, with the infinite patience that old age brings. Originally believed to be from the Comoros Islands and Seychelles, some of these tortoises are thought to be over 100 years old. Stately and lumbering, the tortoises have even been known to take children on a ride.

After a trip to the tortoise sanctuary, you’re left to explore the island. If you’re feeling active, you can follow one of the hiking trails, snorkel in the crystal clear waters in search of colorful tropical fish darting through the reef or soak up some sun on the powder white beach.

Prison Island