Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Learn how to Go to Jail Island in Zanzibar


Should you’re planning a visit to Zanzibar in Tanzania, you’ve in all probability heard of “Jail Island.” Typically known as “Changuu Island” or “Turtle Island,” it’s also referred to as the Tortoise Sanctuary.

The identify Jail Island in Zanzibar comes from its historical past as a former jail, though it was by no means used for that goal.

Changuu Island will get its identify from the abundance of fish within the surrounding waters – Changuu is the Swahili phrase for fish.

Though referred to as Turtle Island by vacationers, there are no turtles on this explicit island; solely tortoises could be discovered right here.

The principle attraction of this island is undoubtedly the Tortoise Sanctuary, the place you may see large Aldabra tortoises within the wild.

With so many various names floating round, it’s straightforward to get confused. However don’t fear! We’re right here to information you and offer you all the knowledge you might want to go to Jail Island in Zanzibar.

Associated learn: Most Common Day Journeys from Zanzibar

Right here is an outline:

The place is Jail Island in Zanzibar?

Situated within the northwestern a part of Stone City, this web site is barely 5.6 km or 3.5 miles from Stone City, making it conveniently near the town and ideal for a fast go to.

A ship experience to achieve it takes about 25 minutes, however bear in mind that the water can get tough at occasions, which may barely prolong the period of your journey.

Though the island will not be very massive, solely 800m lengthy and 220m large, it has a wealth of points of interest and experiences to supply.

Beach at Changuu Island - Prison Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Seaside at Changuu Island – Jail Island close to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

What to see on Jail Island

There are a variety of tortoises on Jail Island, and they’re undoubtedly the principle attraction.

Some folks might mistakenly name them turtles, however technically they’re tortoises. There are about 100 of them; you may stroll amongst them and even feed them. They’ve lettuce for breakfast proper on the bottom!

Should you’re fortunate, you would possibly even pet these wonderful creatures and take footage.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to do not forget that as visitors of their habitat, we should always respect their house. Don’t attempt to power them to do something or choose them up – the worst factor you are able to do is sit on them!

These Aldabra tortoises are one of many largest tortoise species on this planet; some can weigh as much as 200kg! What makes them really exceptional is that they’re believed to be among the many longest-living creatures on this planet. The oldest tortoise on Changuu Island is estimated to be a formidable 196 years previous. You’ll discover that a few of these lovely creatures have numbers on their shells indicating their age.

Initially from the Aldabra Atoll within the Seychelles, 4 of those unbelievable tortoises had been generously donated by the Governor of the Seychelles within the 18th century. Their inhabitants grew to round 200 people.

Sadly, their numbers started to say no quickly within the Sixties as a consequence of poaching. These magnificent creatures had been both stolen for consumption or stored as unique pets. Shockingly, by 1980, there have been solely 100 full-grown people left alive, and sadly, that quantity dropped drastically to simply seven by 1996.

Confronted with such an alarming decline, and with the Aldabra tortoise being listed as ‘susceptible,’ pressing motion was required by the authorities, and eighty hatchlings had been relocated to Jail Island to offer shelter for this endangered species. This shift within the island’s goal, from a spot of exile to a sanctuary for these magnificent creatures, was largely as a consequence of its geographical isolation, which offered them with a protected haven.

Along with tortoises, Jail Island can also be house to some peacocks, birds, and small, elusive duikers – tiny antelopes which might be troublesome to identify.

The second most fascinating attraction on the island is undoubtedly the jail ruins. There are benches and a bar the place you may get pleasure from a beer or espresso throughout your go to. Take into account that it could be a bit expensive, however having such a tremendous view together with your drink would possibly make up for it! The restaurant there’s referred to as the “Jail Restaurant.”

Curiously sufficient, you may go snorkeling close to Jail Island after your go to. It has change into fairly well-liked with guests in search of extra water actions. Simply ask the captain of your boat journey to take you there, as it could be not possible to achieve this spot from shore, and the water is extremely clear, providing nice visibility of the marine life inside the reef.

When is the most effective time to go to Jail Island?

The perfect time to go to is within the morning for a number of causes.

First, tortoises are keen and able to eat right now. They are going to actively eat meals out of your hand or forage for themselves.

Second, as a result of it’s early within the day and never too scorching, they are usually extra energetic and transfer round a bit extra (although don’t anticipate them to run in every single place). It’s all inside tortoise limits.

To take advantage of your expertise with out feeling uncomfortable because of the warmth, leaving Stone City at 9am is ideal timing. The temperature gained’t be scorching, and also you’ll get to see the turtles at their greatest – a win-win state of affairs.

Nevertheless, do not forget that as a result of the mornings are well-liked with guests such as you, there could also be some congestion as boats dock and undock. There could also be a brief wait to get on or off the boat, however nothing too lengthy.

Learn how to get to Jail Island?

Sadly, there are not any public ferries to take you to Jail Island.

Nevertheless, when you occur to be strolling alongside one of many two seashores in Stone City, likelihood is that you may be approached by people providing personal boat charters. Most of those boats are motorized dhows, that are about 7 meters (22 toes) lengthy and recognized for his or her glossy hull design. The price of this boat journey could be negotiated and normally decreases per individual when extra folks be part of the journey. Should you’re on a good price range, it’s attainable to affix a gaggle and avoid wasting cash.

Nevertheless, warning is suggested as arranging your individual journey might lead to being cheated or ending up on an unsafe vessel.

Unauthorized guides will also be topic to vital fines, which may complicate your trip. To make sure a clean and hassle-free expertise, it’s advisable to ebook an organized tour as an alternative.

Arrival to Changuu Island - Prison Island near Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Arrival to Changuu Island – Jail Island close to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Personal tour to Jail Island in Zanzibar

You may organize personal excursions to Jail Island for 3 hours.

Throughout this time, you may study in regards to the island’s fascinating historical past and admire its breathtaking surroundings.

Embark on an pleasant journey aboard a standard dhow as you meet your information in Zanzibar or are picked up out of your lodge when you desire.

Expertise the fascinating story of how this small island acquired its identify and now serves as a sanctuary.

Value: $50 (Solely $33 on Fridays and Saturdays!)
Length: 3 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than

E-book the expertise immediately with the tour operator right here

The bundle consists of:

  • personal boat transportation
  • Entrance payment
  • Educated native information
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Refreshing ingesting water
Snorkeling near Changuu - Prison Island near Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Snorkeling close to Changuu – Jail Island close to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Jail Island tour with lunch on the sandbank

Begin your tour by heading to Jail Island, the place the journey begins.

Discover the beautiful underwater world and meet the magnificent large tortoises that inhabit this island. Swim alongside colourful fish and marvel on the awe-inspiring surroundings that surrounds you.

Later, chill out and unwind on enchanting sandbars as when you had been fortunate sufficient to find them your self.

Value: $94
Length: 6 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than

E-book the expertise immediately with the tour operator right here

The bundle consists of:

  • A scrumptious BBQ lunch
  • Handy boat transportation
  • Entrance charges are coated for you
  • An informative native information to reinforce your expertise
  • Prime-of-the-line snorkeling tools offered in your comfort
  • Refreshing ingesting water out there all through the journey
  • Tasty snacks to maintain you energized
Nice beach in Changuu Island - Prison Island near Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Good seaside in Changuu Island – Jail Island close to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Zanzibar: Changuu Island and Stone City Tour with Lunch

Embark on a customized day journey to 2 of Zanzibar’s most well-known points of interest – Changuu Island and Stone City. Immerse your self within the wealthy historical past, tradition and folks of the realm whereas having fun with a standard meal.

Start your journey with a personal boat experience to Changuu Island, the place you’ll have the liberty to discover at your individual tempo. Make the most of the chance to immerse your self within the native tradition and stand up shut and private with the island’s native turtles.

Cool off out of your adventures by snorkeling the pristine waters in quest of vibrant marine life, colourful fish and beautiful coral reefs. This refreshing exercise enhances your exploration of the island’s peacocks and antelopes.

When you’ve completely explored Changuu Island, make your method to Stone City – an East African metropolis steeped in cultural and historic significance. Marvel at its magnificent Nineteenth-century structure, with influences from Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian and European civilizations.

Be taught extra about Stone City by visiting notable landmarks such because the Outdated Slave Market and the Metropolis Market after studying about its nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site. Work together with locals as you store for quite a lot of items that actually seize the essence of East Africa.

Absorb the appeal of Stone City by exploring fascinating websites such because the Palace Museum, the Home of Marvel (Beit-el-Ajaib) and Freddie Mercury’s childhood house. To finish this enriching expertise, take a second to go to the Pure Historical past Museum (Nyumba ya sanaa) and the Peace Memorial (Mnara wa amani).

Value: $92
Length: 6 hours
Free cancelation as much as 24 hours earlier than

E-book the expertise immediately with the tour operator right here

Your tour consists of:

  • Admission Charges
  • Information charges
  • Refreshing ingesting water
  • Scrumptious lunch
  • Comfy boat switch
  • Educated native information
  • Snorkeling gear in your enjoyment

Boat and security on water

Many of the boats out there are lengthy motorized boats with a solar shade. They will not be essentially the most comfy, however they’re ok for the brief journey to Turtle Island.

Getting on and off the boat is straightforward, as most have a small ladder, and when you’re fortunate, you gained’t even get moist. Nevertheless, folks with bodily disabilities might discover it a bit difficult and require extra time.

As talked about above, the water can get uneven at occasions, inflicting some bouncing. It’s essential to notice that life jackets are required on all boats, so please inform the captain when you desire to put on one.

Generally, the journey doesn’t take lengthy and is comparatively protected. These captains sail this route a number of occasions a day and are very conversant in it.

A useful suggestion can be to take some footage of your self aboard the boat as you method Stone City or Jail Island.

Boat to Snorkeling to Changuu - Prison Island near Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Boat to Snorkeling to Changuu – Jail Island close to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

How a lot does it price, the place to pay and what are the opening hours?

The associated fee for native guests is 15 USD or 3000 TSH, whereas the entry payment for Minai Conservation is 6000 TSH.

There are two cost cubicles which might be straightforward to identify. First it’s important to pay on the reception desk and then you definately get your tickets at hand over to the ticket collector, which is about 10 meters away. It’s important to have these tickets as they permit entry to the turtle sanctuary.

Youngsters as much as the age of eight are admitted freed from cost, whereas these over eight pay the identical worth as adults.

Bank cards are usually not accepted right now, however there are rumors that they are going to be within the close to future.

Hours of operation begin at 9:00 am and finish at 5:30 pm.

Staying in a single day on Changuu Island

For individuals who wish to maximize their expertise right here, spending an evening in one of many resorts on Changuu Island might be an fascinating choice.

You’ll get to get up with none vacationers round and revel in all this distinctive location has to supply.

The Changuu Island Lodge affords facilities like swimming pools and various kinds of rooms to go well with completely different preferences. The lodge affords 27 room choices divided into two classes.

There are 15 luxurious deluxe cottages discreetly located alongside the ocean line on the northwest facet of the island. These cottages supply the utmost in privateness and seclusion whereas being constructed with native supplies and conventional thatched roofs to create a snug temperature all through the day and night time.

Inside these spacious lodging, you will discover elegant decor and en-suite bogs in your consolation.

As well as, every cottage has a personal outside veranda dealing with the ocean, permitting you to benefit from the ocean’s breathtaking views and soothing sounds totally.

On a distinct word, there are additionally 12 charming normal rooms positioned in Stone City’s former quarantine space constructed again in 1931. Situated on the southwest facet of the island, these rooms supply magnificent views of Stone City itself. As with the opposite lodging on the lodge, every room has its personal en-suite rest room.

Pool at the Changuu Island Lodge on Prison Island, Zanzibar.
Pool on the Changuu Island Lodge on Jail Island, Zanzibar.

Switch in Zanzibar

As a substitute of the inconvenience and expense of calling a taxi initially or finish of your journey, select this handy and quick various. You might have two selections.

You may make the most of a personal airport switch to Stone City, which is reasonably priced, protected, and cozy.

Alternatively, you may select the personal switch choice to journey between any level on the island of Zanzibar. Whether or not from the airport to a seaside lodge or out of your lodge to wherever else on the island, you’ve gotten full freedom to determine the place you wish to go.



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