DISCOVER REUNION ISLAND
General Information on Reunion Island.
Reunion is a volcanic island of Indian Ocean situated in the archipelago of Mascareignes, in 800 km from
Madagascar and 200 km from Mauritius.
It aroses from two major volcanic events: The emergence of the Piton des Neiges (3072m) and the formation of Le Piton de la Fournaise 380,000 years ago which is always in service. It shelters also three cirques; Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos, dug by the erosion. Its surface is of 2512 Km2. Its capital is St Denis and the people speak French and Creole there.
Desert during its discovery by the Westerners, the island presents an original mixture of pomulation. Near a quarter of the inhabitants of Reunion are native of the Indian sub-continent. The island also counts minorities’ native of China or descendants of Africa. Approximately 6% of its population is constituted by French from France. The biggest community is the Creoles (40%) descendants of family most formerly implanted on the island. The population represents 800,000 inhabitants today. Reunion Island is a real Garden of Eden, with many endemic plants and animals. In spite of human activity, 30% of the natural environments of Reunion Island have remained intact Reunion Island is an explosion of colours and scents in every respect. The bird life has twenty indigenous species, of which six are endemic. The typical endemic species is the “Paille-en-queue”, that is settled at the cliffs and can be seen in the sky every day. The diversity of the climates of the Reunion Island creates different micro-regions with different Eco-systems. The most beautiful plant is undoubtedly the orchid of which the island offers more than 100 species such as the vanilla orchid, the unique edible orchid which gives many dishes an irreplaceable taste. At Reunion Island you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of terrestrial and marine wildlife, such as the ‘tangue’’ (a hedgehog species originating from Madagascar), the ’’zourite’’ (an octopus which is a delicacy at Reunion Island) and many others... The best way of experiencing the flora and fauna of Reunion Island is hiking. There are many many possibilities to go hiking for beginners and advanced learners.