A Boat Ride to Changuu Island

It was another hot summer’s day in mid December with the sea breeze blowing away the heat as we set sail for  Changuu Island, a 30 minute boat ride from Stone Town.

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Changuu Island or Prison Island in the distance

Changuu is the Swahili name of a fish which is common in the seas around the island and hence the name. Among tourists its popularly known as Prison island. In 1893, Lloyd Mathews built the prison with the idea of sending violent criminals from the Tanganyika mainland to the Prison Island. But it was never used as a prison and instead ended up being a quarantine center, for yellow fever epidemics that once raged through the region.

Today, the government has converted the buildings into a hotel (which was under renovation at the time of our visit) and charge an entry fee for tourists. The in house restaurant is where visitors take a break after walking around the island.

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One of the old buildings which houses the restaurant

As we reached the island the deep blue sea turned a lighter shade of blue and after climbing a flight of wooden steps we could see Stone Town in the distance.

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The island houses a collection of endangered Aldabran giant tortoises which were originally a gift from the British governor of Seychelles.

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Some beautiful views from Prison Island…

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Not sure who came up with these friendly sounding names…Prison Island has neighbours such as, Snake Island and Grave Island!

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