Prison Island - Changuu Private Island

Prison Island - Changuu Private Island

Prison Island - Changuu Private Island
4
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
About
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Haytham Abu Firas
    Qatar14,440 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feeding Tortoises
    Half an hour ride from Stone Town to Prison Island. One of the 73 islands in Tanzania. A lot of history we listened about this place by our wonderful guide Ali. Went to see 107 huge tortoises and feed them. They aged between 1-197 years. Many visitors and a great time.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 March 2023
  • Ally Abubakar
    Zanzibar Island, Tanzania3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    You can book with me as your tour guide in zanzibar
    I'm a tour guide based in zanzibar Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the main island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar. Stone Town, part of Zanzibar City, is an old trade center, with mosques and winding lanes. The 1883 House of Wonders is a former sultan’s palace with a clock tower. The Old Fort now houses a cultural center and a stone amphitheater. Underground aqueducts fed hot water to the late-19th-century Hamamni Persian Bath
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled on business
    Written 14 March 2023
  • Hermes_NL 🇳🇱
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands20,119 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic Tortoise Sanctuary
    The Tortoise (land turtle) sanctuary on Prison Island is more than worth the already enjoyable boat trip. The Tortoises are delighted to see you, especially if you bring some greens which you can obtain from the staff of the sanctuary. These are wonderful creatures to observe and can get very old - the oldest is allegedly some 200 years of age! The Island is also worthy of a stroll … the former Prison and former Resort are lind of interesting to look at.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 April 2023
  • Paulagoofy
    Sandton, South Africa176 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go see the gentle giants
    We had an amazing few hours excursion to Prison Island this week. The boat trip out was calm and peaceful as we passed some large ships on route. The beach is pretty. We got to interact with the Giant tortoises, such large gentle creatures they seemed to enjoy getting the necks and throats rubbed. The prison had a bit of a foreboding feel to it. There are also peacocks and dikdik on the island. Definitely well worth the visit
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 May 2023
  • JasonfromJoplin
    Joplin, Missouri150 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you are that close for sure go. Tortoises are AMAZING
    This is an island with some amazing history. From the name to the giant sea turtles, they all have a story. It is a 35 min ride from Stonetown, Boat ride is cool and refreshing. The island is Hot Humid and breezless. The turtles are amazing, be cautious of the paths to view them. Random stones and bricks and lots of tree roots. Lots of trip hazards.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 8 June 2023
  • Virginia D
    18 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tortoises, peacocks and tiny deer
    Our family visited Prison Island to see the Aldabran Tortoises, a gift of four tortoises from the Seychelles has multiplied to 189 tortoises, who are clearly flourishing! Our guide, Zamir of Madeira Tours and Safaris - Zanzibar showed us how to easily tell males and females apart. We were so fortunate to be able to see one of the peacocks doing a magnificent display, and then a tiny deer appeared in a dry waterhole. We fed the tortoises salad leaves and they also received a sack of eggplants. The tiny babies were in an enclosure to stop the large ones stepping on them! The Prison buildings were full of faded beauty, with shells for sale - which we Australians can't bring home. The place could be improved if the broken paths could be repaired to help mobility for humans and the tortoises. If the disagreement about having a hotel could be sorted through to have a cafe providing cool drinks and meals, everyone would benefit.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 June 2023
  • Boris L
    Sarasota, Florida200 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Touristy petting zoo for junk tourism
    Very tourist attraction, like visiting a zoo on the islands, or more like a petting zoo. Boats take you from the Stonestown area and it’s about half hour to the island when you get off they walk you around then you get to feed the tortoises which are stuffed on the island for no good reason and after walking around you jump back on your boat and go back. That’s pretty much it there’s really no conservation here or love for animals. ThThe tortoises are Perfectly healthy and probably should be free but like I said, it’s mostly a petting zoo to make money for the locals. And they both, they mention a little history, but you won’t see any relics from the past just a tortoise and some walkways, and a great view of the water.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 July 2023
  • Guide48822446354
    Stockholm, Sweden11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    TWICE
    I was here twice and would go again next time when i come back to zanzibar.beautiful place ,great fun interracting with the cute big tortoises.the history was interesting and the tortoise are unique. there are some beautiful peacocks too and small dik dik . beautiful photos of the wooden bridge.very well organised private boat tour by our guide suleiman.+255 756 983 368 well worth a few hours visit.The island itself is a paradise.very unique experience.bring with you some swimming costume.the beach is great for swimming
    Visited June 2023
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Odyssey666652
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stone Town and Prison Island
    We did a combined trip to Changuu Island and Stone Town. On Changuu (Prison) Island, you find the Giant Tortoises Sanctuary where you can feed the Tortoises and interact with them. You can also visit the prison and see the cells where the slaves were incarcerated. There is a small cafe and restaurant. Stone Town has some interesting buildings (Freddy Mercuries birthplace) an amphitheater and nice shops. Our trip was well organised by Ali di Zanzibar (+255 67 257 6425). The car was new and we had a good driver, the female guide was very kind and our whole family enjoyed the day very much.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 August 2023
  • Alia A
    Burbank, California484 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good experience
    Review: Persion Island is definitely worth a visit, offering a unique experience. However, it's important to note that there isn't a lot to do once you arrive, especially if you're taking a private boat. If you decide to go, consider a budget of no more than $30 for the round trip, or alternatively, opt for a shared boat to reduce costs. The entire tour, including transportation, should ideally not exceed $50 per person. Even if tour contains 2 more islands there is nothing there to do snd you can finish fast .This cost covers everything, including access to the island and the opportunity to observe various animals. While the island may not have extensive activities, it provides a peaceful and serene environment to enjoy nature and relax.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 7 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles4,422 reviews
Excellent
1,636
Very good
1,507
Average
830
Poor
225
Terrible
224

Rebecca G
Banstead, UK60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
I had read previous reviews and almost didn’t go as I was worried about the poor tortoises being mistreated but this was not the case. The baby tortoises were kept in a large purpose-built round enclosure with lots of fresh food. Some of them are very tiny and need to be kept away. These tortoises have been reduced to tiny numbers through poaching (just 7 left in numbers in 1996) and need protection. I saw no one riding them or mistreating them at all- visitors were respectful and lots of space for them to escape from visitors should they wish.

The restaurant had amazing views, the toilets were very clean and the beach was beautiful.

We paid $30 for a family of four return and a $3 conservation tax + $12 entrance fee each. We had no guard as the museum on the island boards told us all we needed. We used BooEddy on the beach and he was great. The hotel wanted $40 each and I would have be aggrieved to have aid that but felt we had value for money
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sarah b
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
A short boat trip from stone town.The island is very beautiful with beautiful turtles aged upto 200 years.we had a beautiful day tour with Atif +255 756 983 368.The beach was amazing for swimming.We also visited the ruins and learnt the history and why the place was named prison island/quaranteen centre.
Written 12 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katy
Chester, UK141 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Went here today with my boyfriend! I wish I hadn’t! The tortoises are not being looked after at all. It is a sad, dirty place and should not be supported! The only thing in prison here are the poor tortoises 🐢
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

graham e
Birkenhead, UK564 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
It's a 20 minute boat ride from Stone Town to this small island.
Surrounded by clear blue waters, this once fever hospital now attracts tourists to marvel at its old ruins and to see the giant tortoises who now inhabit its shores.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nahir kaisaa
Zanzibar Island, Tanzania1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Business
Prison island or changuu island is number one island in Zanzibar for vacation, knowing the history of slave, good for travelers
Written 8 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James M
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
There is nothing here, most of the island is private, if you are unlucky with boat times you're stuck for a while, the "museum" is just a few wall boards with information that might as well be from Wikipedia and if you get unlucky with a guide then you'll be finished in about 10 minutes. But don't worry, there are several overpriced tourist trap shops on the island, an ovepriced bar and an overpriced restaurant. There are also several abandoned buildings that the "museum" advertises as a hotel. Only enjoyable bit was the Giant Tortoises and even then you can only watch tortoises for so long.
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sk
London, UK5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
Awful, the conditions that the tortoises are living in are shameful. This was part of a tour that I booked, had I known before I would have boycotted this place, yes a beautiful island but so sad to see such them living like this. For the money they charge to enter the island & the amount of daily visitors there is no excuse. Even had the cheek to ask for a donation for food for these lovely creatures.
Written 20 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philsgonemissing
Bristol, UK304 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
So I booked this tour even though my head said I shouldn't and I should have listened to myself. I paid $25 for my boat ride over to the island and back, then had to pay $3 government tax and $12 to get on the island. I believe the price of entry on the island changes depending on whether there is a cruise ship in port as the day before I went, it was $4 to get on the island and there was no cruise ship! Got picked up at my hotel by a guide and was taken to the boat. The guide then had to haggle to get us a ride over, so we sat at the dockside for 45 minutes waiting. When we finally got on the island, we were taken to see a few buildings, which were the old prison. Our guide explained nothing, so we just wandered around on our own. There is a bar and restaurant in the prison walls surprisingly! We then went to see the tortoises who were being mobbed by lots of wannabe instergramers who were more worried about their photo rather than the tortoises welfare. People are pushing and shoving so they can touch and poke at the tortoises. None of the tortoises looked healthy or happy! The baby tortoises were in a cage no bigger than 3 x 2 metres, and there must have been 50 or so in there, climbing over each other in filthy conditions. They then try and con you out of a donation for the tortoises welfare even though you've already paid to visit them. After having enough, we then went back to get our boat, which had gone, so we were waiting around for an hour trying to get back. Whilst waiting, I got chatting to people who had been charged stupid money for the same trip we did, some paying as much as $100 on the promise of a lobster lunch, which didn't happen. This is just a massive tourist trap con, where everyone is trying to make money out of you.
Tortoises welfare is not their priority. Making money from tourists is their priority.
Please don't support this trip
Written 18 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

afonso antonio
Mozambique13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
i have been here twice .Excellent place to feed the tortoise.Great u interracting with the tortoise.The only negative part was the fees which rised 2times.The fees they chqrge 15usd per person apart from the boat and the guide.This short trip has become more expensive than before.All the fees goes to the government and the place is stil not well taken care of.
Written 16 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FunkyMarshmallow
Bournemouth, UK308 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Approximately 600 people per day (as per their information boards), $15 each, that's $9000 a day not being spent on the tortoises in anyway other than a bit of limp cabbage and the have the cheek to ask for an extra donation on the way out. This place is a disgrace, it's rundown, old, the conditions the tortoises are kept in is beyond revolting, smaller tortoises penned in a space no more than 3m x 2.5m. We read the reviews which are conflicting, we regret supporting this business. They say the prison on this island was never actually used as a prison, I beg to differ, these tortoises are in a dirty horrible faeces ridden prison. So sad. The bar was very smart, the shop was very smart, shame they haven't dignified the tortoises with the same facilities.
Written 15 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Prison Island - Changuu Private Island - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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