Zanzibar Island – Prison Island (changuu)

It hardly takes half an hour driving by motorized boat to reach the wonderful west based historic island. It is originally called Changuu and was owned by wealthy Arabian merchant who used it as detention Centre for disobedient slaves during slavery. Under the Leadership of the third Sultan of Zanzibar, just after the abolition of slave trade in 1873, the prison for intending to keep recalcitrant prisoners was constructed to keep the standing name “ PRISON ISLAND“.

However, the Island was then used as the quarantine station of all of east African countries following the Out break of cholera disease along the coast of East African coast where the victims were collected in different parts before being sent to Changuu Island for further treatment. The Island was also used as an accommodation site for those prisoners obtained from the second world war. With its fantastic white sandy beach and spectacular natural forest teeming with variety of birds and small animals such peacocks and giant tortoise etc, the island is very famous for its richness in water based natural attractions hence it is among the best site for diving and snorkeling as well. Everything is still existing, although most of them have become decrepit.
prison-island

Currently, Changuu Island (also known as Kibandiko, Prison or Quarantine Island) is a small island 5.6 km north-west of Stone Town, Unguja, Zanzibar. The island is around 800m long and 230m wide at its broadest point. The island saw use as a prison for rebellious slaves in 1860s and also functioned as a coral mine. The British First Minister of Zanzibar, Lloyd Mathews, purchased the island in 1893 and constructed a prison complex there. No prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. The station was only occupied for around half of the year and the rest of the time it was a popular holiday destination. More recently the island has become Zanzibar government-owned tourist resort and houses a collection of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles.

changuu-island
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