PRISON ISLAND | CHANGU ISLAND
Changuu Island (also known as Kibandiko, Prison or Quarantine Island) is a small island 5.6 km northwest of Stone Town, Unguja, Zanzibar. The island is around 800m long and 230m wide at its broadest point. The island saw use as a prison for rebellious slaves in 1860s and also functioned as a coral mine.
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.
Zanzibar became a British protectorate following the 1890 Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty with Germany, this resulted in the appointment of a British First Minister, Lloyd Mathews, in October 1891.Mathews purchased Changuu from its Arab owners on behalf of the Zanzibar government in 1893 with the intention of building a prison upon it.