The guy that ran our hotel, Jimmy, was just awesome at helping us plan the things we wanted to do on a tight budget. Granted he probably benefited from getting a bit of the money from the excursions he helped us plan- but the whole 5 days we knew him to me he is a kind man who was always ready to help us plan our adventures- including this one to Prison Island.
Actually called Changu Island, it got its nickname because it was used by Arab traders to keep slaves. A prison was built in the 1800’s by the British, intended to detain criminals, but instead the prison ended up being used as a place to quarantine people from yellow fever that was infecting the region. Now the prison is looking a bit decrepit, but we were able to walk around the old “prison” and then feed the extremely old (200-300 years old!), fat, depressed looking tortoises that are kept on the island. Before actually going to the island our boat anchored a ways off the coast of the island and we were able to snorkel for 45 minutes. Then tortoise/prison thing, and then after that came sitting on the white sand beach with bananas and mangos, collecting pretty shells and swimming in the crystally turquoise water.