Water activity

Zanzibar: Prison Island Tour with Lunch on the Sandbank

4.3 / 5

32 reviews

Activity provider: Zanzibar Local Experience
Water activity

Zanzibar: Prison Island Tour with Lunch on the Sandbank

Activity provider: Zanzibar Local Experience

From US$ 87 per person

Immerse yourself in the magic of Zanzibar with a visit to the history-rich Prison Island, followed by a traditional BBQ lunch. Explore the island and learn about its past. Admire the array of wild tortoises that live there and relax on the sandy beach.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Pickup optional
Outside the entrance to your hotel. The exact pickup information will be confirmed after booking.


  • Explore the history-rich Prison Island and learn about its former residents
  • Admire the island's array of wildlife including tortoises, peacocks, and antelopes
  • Snorkel in the crystal clear waters in search of coral reefs
  • Enjoy a delicious seafood BBQ on the sandbank of the island
Full description
Your Zanzibar adventure begins with a visit to Prison Island, purchased in 1893 by Lloyd Mathews, the British First Minister of Zanzibar at the time. Mathews constructed a prison complex on the island which is still visible today, however no prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever sufferers. On the island, spend some time exploring the area and discover the collection of over 50 tortoises that live here, some of which are more than 100 years old. Learn about why the tortoises call the island their home, as well as taking photos and feeding them too. The island is also home to peacocks and small antelope too. Once you’ve explored the island, enjoy the opportunity to cool off from the hot weather with a refreshing dip in the surrounding crystal clear waters. Spend some time snorkeling in the water just off the island and search for colorful tropical fish and vibrant coral reef. After you’ve worked up an appetite from swimming, relax on the sandbank with a delicious lunch including a seafood BBQ, Swahili cuisine, cheese, tropical fruit, and more.
  • Lunch
  • Boat transfer
  • Entrance fees
  • Local guide
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Drinking water
  • Snacks
  • Alcoholic drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with back problems
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

In front of the Old Fort in Stone Town, Mizingani Road, Zanzibar.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 32 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Fantastic day out, bit hectic at the start finding our guide among the hundreds of locals around but once we located our guide who I should stress had a lanyard and GetYourGuide I'd we were sized for flippers and handed over to Captain Simba. Fantastic tour and knowledge from Simba. Told us about his life which was very nice to hear. A genuinly nice guy. 45min-1h on prison Island was enough to see the turtles and look round, some reviews say there's not much to see and they are right, but it's interesting! Onto snorkeling which was again lovely, Simba kicked back and relaxed while we explored the reef for god knows how long. Seafood and chips for lunch and lots of it, the octopus was amazing! Journeyed back to shore for 2pm with enough time to catch out ferry.

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March 21, 2023

Une belle journée . Les tortues sont impressionnantes et à voir ! Belle visite de l’ancienne prison dans un décor d’océan magnifique . Le trajet ensuite vers le banc de sable pour le déjeuner est un peu long : comptez 45 minute de bateau à moteur assez bruyant Le déjeuner est servi sur le sable : très bon . Une belle baignade dans l’océan tiède . Attendez vous a ne pas être les seuls ! C’est le lieu de pique nique a la mode et toutes les barques s’y rendent …. Mais c’est une journée qui vaut la peine , … un peu chère par rapport à ce qui est proposé sur place par les locaux

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March 21, 2023

We was told to wait outside the old fort, which went well. The man who would pick us up was on time. He took us to the boat, and we got to meet our captain of the day ; Simba. An excellent guy and funny. There where just us two ladies on this tour. We went to Prison Island where Simba guidede us around the Island. Then we went to Nakupenda, where Simba put up a tent and made some fantastic barbeque for us, it just tasted wonderful. There was also snorkling included. We had an amazing trip with Simba :)

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March 21, 2023

Product ID: 271922