You love hiking, rugged scenery, white sand beaches, black sand, pebbles, get your brogues out! Reunion Island offers an exceptional playground for mountain lovers: a mountainous landscape (Piton des Neiges culminates at 3069 m altitude), authentic cirques free from civilization, a spectacular volcano, fascinating primary forests …
The far-flung volcanic Reunion Island, with its intriguing mix of African and French cultures, rises to over 3000m and its rugged interior boasts a network of walking trails which would not look out of place in Nepal. Three vast eroded cirques, Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos, dominate the centre of Reunion Island and provide the backdrop for this surprising walking adventure holiday. Walking through forest and farmland, our trekking takes us across high passes, descending to spend time in and explore friendly villages. Luxuriant vegetation, exotic bird species, towering waterfalls and hot springs to are all part of the scene on the endearing paradise of Reunion Island.
Why take a hike in Reunion?
The island of Reunion is full of diverse and varied landscapes, and some places, such as Trou de Fer, are only visible at the cost of a few hours of hike. Of course you can still opt for the helicopter ride… but are you sure to fully enjoy the lush surrounding? It will never be the same…
During a hike, there are many things to do and see. Here are some sightings and experience you will enjoy while hiking in Reunion Island:
– vegetation, sometimes endemic, otherwise very varied;
– wild animals: some unique birds, spiders on their webs, birds singing – to listen without moderation;
– breathe healthy air: the higher up, the more it is cool, and the air is fresher and healthier too;
– touch the clouds: and yes, mind you, some rides take place in thick fog and even, in some places, you have to cross the clouds hung on the mountain path leading to the hike;
Some simple tips to enjoy a hassle-free hiking!
You want to hike in Reunion but you don’t know where to start… how to prepare… what to do? Here is a simple list of things to think about:
1. Create a Walking Group
You create a walking group: family or friends, form your group and then determine the level. With children or elders, you will opt for a flatter and shorter hike. On the other hand, among fellows and bawdy in shape, you can choose more demanding courses.
2. Plan your route
Plan your route in advance: sites and guides abound on the subject. If you find the right person, he might help you choose your route, estimate the time required, and even provide a bed for the night. But be careful to take into account the composition of your group. The time estimated for hikes are often established for hikes with an average walking pace.
3. Equip yourself with good shoes
If certain rides are on flat and clean land, this is not the case for every route. And although Reunion island is known for its sun, rain is often present in the upper lands and forests. So, you easily come across passages with mud and pebbles, which can sometimes be slippery, so a good pair of shoes remains a must for hiking in Reunion.
4. Think snack!
You can either plan on a picnic or go to a restaurant. As I said earlier, the island of Reunion has equipped many of its numerous hiking paths with dedicated spaces for picnics. For those who opt for the light bag, several restaurants are known and listed on the routes of some rides. Do not forget: the garbage bag is a must! At the risk of sounding preachy, I make a special point on the garbage bag. Certainly, for some, it’s natural. But you realize, unfortunately, that this is not the case for everyone. And many hikers are still unconcerned about nature! Shame on them!
5. Start early!
Especially if you are targeting a particular viewpoint, better head off on your journey early. In general, the climate of a hike roughly follows this pattern: good weather and sun until noon, then the clouds come to cover the high, finally, the mist settles. Of course, there are days when it’s sunny all day, but if in doubt, it is better to get up early to go walking. Another advantage is that it will make you a great excuse to take a nap in the afternoon.
6. Do not forget your camera!
The camera is also a must! Disposable or other compact model, any camera will be useful to keep a souvenir of this hike. Mobile phones also make the case, certainly, but then think about passing in airplane mode. In the ups and open forest, the networks are almost impossible to capture. If your smartphone should act as camera, on airplane mode, it will keep its battery much longer.
7. Tell a friend of your course.
Without thinking the worst, it can be easy to get lost or get hurt. Since networks are often non-existent on the hiking trail it is better to inform a friend of the course you will do. It might prove helpful, you never know.
8. Do not forget your First Aid Kit!
A slide, a small sprain- an accident can happen quickly. And, especially with children, small injuries can easily take enormous proportions, especially when a small drop of blood appeared on the small scratch … Some dressings, few disinfectant pods, a cold pocket, and you have enough to survive the most urgent.
9. Wander quiet!
Take your time: you went hiking to enjoy it, so take your time, and enjoy! Nature, animals, landscapes … Wander quiet!
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and would complement many other useful tips. Do not hesitate to share your own tips in the comments!
Have a good Hike in Reunion Island!