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Grave Island (also called Chapwani Island) is one of several very small coral islands located a short distance off the coast of Zanzibar and is accessible by privately hired water transport, a journey of 15 to 20 minutes (and usually means getting your feet wet). Take a small boat from Stone Town across to Grave Island. On nearing the island a long low white wall will be visible with steps in the centre. Land near here and climb the steps into the neglected naval cemetery. To the rear and over the boundary wall will be seen the CWGC plot complete with a central memorial to the 24 casualties who have headstones on either side.

On 20th September,1914 the German Cruiser “Konigsberg”, firing from just off Mbweni, attacked and sank H.M.S. “Pegasus”, lying in Zanzibar Harbour; 24 petty officers died on board and were buried on Grave Island the same day. Others died of wounds later and were buried in the English Cemetery at Ziwani. They were later exhumed and removed to the Commonwealth Cemetery in Dar es Salaam by the War Graves Commission.


Grave Island Tour

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