Réunion

Réunion

Use Normal Level of Caution

Réunion is an island located in the Indian Ocean and east of Madagascar. The island was a French colony until 1946 when it became a department of France. Réunion is governed by French law, and the local elected official is a president of the Regional Council. Although the official language is French, Réunionese Creole is widely spoken. The population is about 720,000 people, and the area of the island is about 970 square miles (330 square kilometres).

Colonization of Réunion began in 1665 with 20 settlers sent by the French East India Company. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, Africans, Malays, Chinese,and Malabar Indians settled the island, and today the population is ethnically diverse.

Réunion was struck by a major chikungunya epidemic in 2005 and 2006 (see Sitata Diseases for information on this illness) that required an aid package from France of about 36 million Euros and a deployment of French troops to help eradicate mosquitoes.

Visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches and tropical climate. For the adventure tourist, there is trekking, hiking, paragliding, horseback riding, mountain biking, and surfing. Coral reefs provide good scuba diving.

Currency EUR: Euro
Language French
Capital Saint-Denis
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Réunion. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Réunion through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Réunion.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Réunion, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever outbreaks have occurred in Réunion.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk for yellow fever transmission. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Réunion.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for Réunion, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in Réunion through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk for yellow fever transmission. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Réunion.

None required.

Safety and Security in Réunion

Emergency Numbers

112
17
15
18

Personal Safety

The crime rate is very low in Réunion, and most travellers do not experience any safety or security risks. When travelling in general, be aware of personal security and ensure your personal belongings and travel documents are kept safe.

The major cause of deaths of tourists in Réunion is drowning. Visitors should be cautious when swimming or engaging in water sports in unfamiliar waters.

Due to a surge in shark attacks, in October 2013, authorities banned surfing outside of lagoons, with penalties of a fine and possible jail time. Before surfing, check local authorities for updates.

Exercise caution when driving. Drivers in Réunion do not always practice safe driving, i.e. drinking and driving and speeding. Twisting and turning roads can also be a driving hazard.

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