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Changuu Island – A Must See!

Changuu Island – A Must See!

Changuu Island is a beautiful, exotic, and private island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. The small island is unique, not only because of what it has to offer for tourists but also because of its illustrious history. You can take a boat ride from Stone Town, Zanzibar, to reach the island (a 5.6-kilometre, 20 to 30-minute boat journey). However, you will need to pay a USD 4 per person entrance fee. 

The History of the Island

Changuu Island has a notorious history. The island has several names, including Kibaniko, Quarantine, and Prison Island. The island’s history dates back to the 1860s as a prison for slaves. It also used to be a coral mine.  

In 1893, Lloyd Matthews acquired the island. Lloyd Matthews was Zanzibar’s British First Minister. He constructed a prison on the island; although, the prison was never used. Instead of serving as a prison for criminals, it became ideal for establishing a quarantine centre for yellow fever. 

Later, the government, who still owns the island, decided to take advantage of its unique location, beauty, and history and began converting the island into a holiday destination. The quarantine buildings are now guesthouses, and the prison ruins are majestic tourist attractions. 

The Island Today

Changuu Island is now a popular tourist excursion. Although you can take a half-day trip or a full-day trip from Zanzibar, we recommend spending a night. The island currently has 15 cottages, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a beautiful restaurant. The sandy beaches are serene, peaceful, and private, offering you the perfect getaway from the crowded beaches in mainland Zanzibar. 

Aldabra Giant Tortoise Sanctuary

The island is now most famous for the Aldabra Giant Tortoise Sanctuary on one side of the island. These tortoise species came from Seychelles and are known to be the longest and largest living species of tortoises. The oldest tortoise at the sanctuary is over 192 years old and weighs over 200 kilograms. The average age of a tortoise is over 100 years. 

The island offers a unique opportunity to witness this majestic creature in its natural habitat. Their raw beauty and sheer size make them one of nature’s many miracles. You can even interact and feed the tortoise at the sanctuary. 

Other Things to Do

In addition to spending time with the tortoise, other things you can do at Changuu Island include:

  1. Spend time relaxing on its quiet, peaceful and private beaches
  2. Trek the island and explore its natural beauty 
  3. Walk down the iconic wooden bridge to be mesmerised by the beauty of the island
  4. Visit the prison ruins to indulge in the history of this island
  5. Scuba dive and explore the exotic coral reef

Changuu Island is the perfect place to visit to get away and enjoy a private excursion to a unique, serene, and peacefulness. So, Travel To Zanzibar This Summer With As Salaam Air and explore Changuu Island while you’re there!