Traveling Luck for Reunion

Reunion, Africa

Reunionese flag

Travel advice for Reunion

Reunion is located in Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.

Land in Reunion is mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast.

Reunionese land covers an area of 2517 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Rhode Island

As for the Reunionese climate; tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April).

Reunionese (singular and plural) speak French (official), Creole widely used.

Reunionese National Map

Reunionese Map

Regions of Reunion

The Portuguese discovered the uninhabited island in 1513. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration, supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Malabar Indians, gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.

The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, but services now dominate. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which amounts to one-third of the labor force. The gap in Reunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas minority groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrated the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.

Reunionese natural resources include fish, arable land, hydropower

this mountainous, volcanic island has an active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise; there is a tropical cyclone center at Saint-Denis, which is the monitoring station for the whole of the Indian Ocean

Reunionese religion is Roman Catholic 86%, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist (1995).

Natural hazards in Reunion include periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April); Piton de la Fournaise on the southeastern coast is an active volcano.

Travel Advice on Reunion

Reunion

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Health section.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Réunion is a French Overseas Territory.  There is no formal British diplomatic or consular representation.  The General section of this travel advice gives you more information.

  • You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Although the risk from crime is also low, it does exist and you should take normal common-sense precautions.

  • A few hundred British nationals visit Réunion each year.  Most visits are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance is for replacing lost or stolen passports.

  • The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus continues to affect Réunion although recently only a very few cases have occurred.   However, the authorities believe that   the number cases will rise again as the summer and  rainy season approach.  See the Health section of this Travel Advice for further details.

  • The cyclone season in Réunion normally runs from December to April.  Please see the Natural Disasters section of this advice for further details.

  • We strongly recommend that comprehensive travel and medical insurance is obtained before travelling to Réunion.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

NATURAL DISASTERS

The cyclone season in Réunion normally runs from December to April. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the French Weather Service site http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/La_Réunion for more detailed information inRéunion.  You can also access the International Cyclone Centre website at: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/ for updates. Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information and advice should you be involved in a cyclonic situation.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please:  What We Can Do To Help.

There is no resident British Diplomatic Mission in Réunion and routine consular matters are handled by the British Consulate-General in Paris.  In cases of emergency, please contact the Honorary British Consul in La Réunion, 237 Chemin Dubuisson, 97436 Saint-Leu, La Réunion: (tel/fax 00 262 (0) 262 347576).