Reunion Island is a mere 4 hour flight from Johannesburg on Air Austral and, although French owned, South African passport holders do not require visas to visit this tropical paradise making it the perfect destination of choice for South African travellers.
Located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 kilometres southwest of Mauritius, the island is a region of France and is known for its volcanic, rain-forested interior, offshore reefs, beaches and Creole culture.
Geography and Climate
Covering an area of more than 2500km² and the largest island in the Mascarene archipelago, Reunion Island is a destination you don’t want to miss out on. The island enjoys a fair tropical climate, resulting in lush vegetation, abundant greeneries with nearly half of the total area of Reunion Island classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The island is by far the greatest natural open-air museum where intense nature sways.
Adventure on the Island
Reunion Island is beaming with adventures waiting to be discovered. Hiking trails, diving, helicopter flights and paragliding, there is no end to the activity list that is yours on your arrival. Jet Skiing, Kite surfing, paddling or simply some good surfing is yet another way in which Reunion promises to thrill the adventure seekers. Big game fishing, sailing or simply swimming in the ocean makes sure that there is something for every visitor.
Reunion's Delicious Food
Gastronomical pleasures are of great importance on the island, and the Réunionese have a wide range of culinary traditions which they love to cook. Take French culture as a base, add a pinch of Malagasy customs, a zest of Chinese know-how, a bit of Indian savour, and you'll get a unique exotic recipe.
The Intense Heritage
The rich history and strong heritage of the island tell of tales gone by. Few countries can boast of the multicultural heritage which is as vast and old as that of the Island of Reunion. It is this ethnic richness, the kaleidoscope of cultures and religions, which has earned its 800 000 inhabitants the perfectly apt title of "the rainbow nation". Its history has added to the culture of this island, and its people, add a living soul to the 'intense isle'.
The Surrounding Nature
Dominated by two towering volcanic peaks, massive walls and three cliff-rimmed cirques, the island is made up of a variety of rugged terrain and impressive escarpments, forested gorges and basins creating a visually striking landscape. It is the natural habitat for a wide diversity of plants, subtropical rainforests, cloud forests and heaths that create a remarkable and visually appealing mosaic of ecosystems and landscape features.
Planning a Trip? Here's What You Need to Know:
- Air Austral offers direct flights to Reunion Island between Johannesburg and Reunion Island three times a week. Visit Air Austral www.air-austral.com for details
- South African passport holders do not require a visa
- The currency used on Reunion Island is the euro (€)
- French is the official language of Reunion Island, but communicating in English is possible
- Browse a range of accommodation options on the official tourism site
- The average annual temperature on Reunion Island is 24 degrees Celsius
- There is no malaria, and no travel vaccines are required
- Reunion Island time is two hours ahead of South Africa
- All plug points on Reunion Island are two-point – take adaptors with you