Trip to Turtle Island and the Prison in Zanzibar

Turtle Island in Zanzibar, also known as Changuu Island (Prison Island), is one of the most gorgeous locations that I have discovered. The turquoise blue water is crystal-clear, and the sand is white and velvety. The landscapes are breathtaking and unforgettable, causing me and many others to dream of coming back again and again. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular destinations today. What amazed me most on this trip was the encounter with huge yet gentle sea tortoises, which you can pet and feed while enjoying this one-of-a-kind opportunity to get so close to nature in a beautiful setting. Below is everything you need to know about taking a trip to Zanzibar.

Sights to see on Turtle Island

Zanzibar is a spectacular archipelago opposite the shores of Tanzania, and Turtle Island is one of its lovely islands. The island is not very large, and it is covered with thick greenery and white, sandy beaches. It is especially famous for its exotic animals, including giant sea tortoises, who can be seen warming themselves in the sun or swimming in the clear waters, and which you can pet and feed. There are many other types of wild animals on the island, including dolphins, fish, and colorful birds. Access to the island is permitted for leisure and tourism purposes only, so it does not have any stores or local residents. However, what it does have is an abundance of tortoises that you can feed and enjoy, and clean, transparent water where you can dive in and swim. On the island, you will also find a small vacation site that offers a range of activities for guests, including snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing.

What else is worth seeing in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is most famous, as we mentioned, for its attractive beaches, but there is so much more to see on this magical island. There are monkeys and wild forests that you can explore when you visit Jozani Forest, the home of the rare Columbus monkey. There’s the spice farm, where you can learn all about the different spices that grow on the island and even taste them. You can sail to the islands and admire the intricate coral reefs under the water. There are also ancient palaces that you can tour, and if you’re already in the area, it’s worth visiting Zanzibar’s ancient city, Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features many palaces and historical sites. In Stone Town, there are also quite a few cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy the unique local cuisine.

What to eat in Zanzibar

The tantalizing kitchens of Zanzibar are so well loved thanks to their special spices, exotic fruits, and fresh seafood. Visitors to the island must try a few of the local flagship dishes, such as Kachumbari (a chopped tomato and onion salad), Urojo (a traditional soup), and Pilau rice (a dish made of rice, spices, and meat or vegetables). Of course, no trip to Zanzibar is complete without tasting Zanzibar pizza, which is made on a thin and crunchy base and topped with a range of seafood, meats, and vegetables. For those with a sweet tooth, there is also a selection of tasty desserts, including Mahamri (fried balls of dough coated in syrup) and Halva (a nut and spice dessert with a fudge-like consistency).

Is traveling to Zanzibar considered safe?

In the past, trips to Africa in general, and to Zanzibar specifically, were considered to be relatively dangerous, due to political instability and terrorism. However, over the years, Zanzibar underwent significant changes and today, it is considered one of the safest places to travel in Africa. Not only is it safe, most tourists actually report that the locals are some of the nicest people they’ve met. At the same time, I recommend participating in an organized tour, like the trips offered by Rachel Levy, who knows Zanzibar like the back of her hand! Traveling with a guide like Rachel will ensure that you stay at the best places and experience the real highlights of Zanzibar. In addition, she will organize your flights and accommodations from A to Z (there are direct flights and flights with stopovers, and hotels ranging from three to five stars, depending on your preferences). She can also take care of special requests such as dietary restrictions or the like. Whether you’re a family looking for an unforgettable vacation, a couple dreaming of a romantic getaway, religious tourists, senior citizens, and more – Zanzibar is definitely the perfect destination.