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Prison Island Tour

About 20 minutes by boat from Forodhani area lies Changuu, also known as Prison Island. That name is misleading; although the once impressive building, erected in 1893 by Lloyd Mathews under orders of the British administrators, was originally intended as a prison, it never housed criminals. The island was, however, reportedly used by an Arab slave trader to contain the feistier and more troublesome slaves he had brought from the African mainland. Later it became a quarantine station - but mostly it was a conveniently located leisure spot for the wealthier townsfolk.
The old prison's crumbling cells can still be seen today; they provide shelter for the resident peacocks and the giant Aldabra tortoises that Sultan Seyyid Said brought from the Seychelles in the 1820's. Some of them are almost a hundred years old.
The island is also an ideal place for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, or simply relaxing on the white sandy beach.