Changuu Island (also known as Kibandiko, Prison or Quarantine Island) is a small island 5.6 km (3.5 mi) northwest of Stone Town, Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania. The island is around 800 m (2,600 ft) long and 230 m (750 ft) 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 a 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.
The Island as seen from the Indian Ocean Contents 1 History 2 Giant tortoises 3 Changuu today 4 References 5 Bibliography History Changuu is named after the Swahili name of a fish which is common in the seas around it, though it is shown as "Kibandiko Island" on some older maps, but this name is no longer used. The island was uninhabited until the 1860s when the first Sultan of Zanzibar, Majid bin Said, gave it to two Arabs who used it as a prison for rebellious slaves prior to shipping them abroad or selling them at the slave market in Zanzibar's Stone Town.