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Is Reunion Safe?

Reunion is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates. However, be vigilant against petty theft in crowded areas. The island's volcanic activity poses a potential natural hazard, so heed official warnings. Tropical cyclones can strike between November and May, disrupting travel. Adequate medical facilities are available, but some vaccinations may be recommended. Respecting local customs and dressing modestly can help avoid unwanted attention.

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Safety & Security

Reunion is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, but it's still important to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks.

  • Petty Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secured.

  • Civil Unrest: Occasional strikes and protests can disrupt transportation and cause road blockages. Monitor local news and avoid demonstrations.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, fake tour guides, and rental car scams. Only use reputable companies and negotiate prices upfront.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorism is low, but cannot be ruled out entirely. Exercise caution in crowded public areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Natural Hazards: Reunion is prone to natural hazards like cyclones, floods, and landslides during the rainy season (January to March). Check weather advisories and follow instructions from local officials.

While Reunion is generally safe, it's advisable to take standard precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night, securing accommodations, and being aware of your surroundings. Exercising common sense and staying vigilant can help mitigate potential risks.

Health & Medical

Reunion is generally a safe destination for travelers in terms of health risks, but there are a few important considerations. Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika are present, so using insect repellent is advisable. Travelers should also be up-to-date on routine vaccinations.

  • Mosquito-Borne Illnesses: Dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes in Reunion. Use EPA-registered insect repellents and take steps to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including those for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, and your yearly flu shot. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines are also recommended for most travelers.

  • Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Reunion are generally good, but serious cases may require medical evacuation to France or elsewhere. Comprehensive travel health insurance is advisable.

  • Water and Food Safety: Drink only bottled or disinfected water, and avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Thoroughly cook meat and fish, and peel fruits and vegetables.

While no major outbreaks are ongoing, being prepared and taking preventive measures can help ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip to Reunion.

Natural Disasters

Reunion, a French island territory in the Indian Ocean, is prone to certain natural disasters that travelers should be aware of. While the island's tropical climate is generally pleasant, it can also bring about extreme weather conditions.

  • Cyclones: The cyclone season runs from November to May, with the peak occurring between January and March. These powerful storms can cause significant damage, flooding, and disruptions to transportation and utilities.

  • Volcanic Activity: Reunion is a volcanic island, and although the last major eruption was in 2007, the Piton de la Fournaise volcano remains active. Travelers should stay informed about any volcanic activity and follow official guidance.

  • Landslides and Flooding: Heavy rainfall, particularly during the cyclone season, can trigger landslides and flash floods, especially in mountainous areas and coastal regions.

  • Earthquakes: While not as frequent as in some other regions, Reunion does experience occasional earthquakes due to its location along tectonic plate boundaries. Most are minor, but stronger tremors can occur.

Travelers are advised to monitor weather forecasts, heed any warnings or evacuation orders issued by authorities, and follow the advice of local officials and tour operators. Purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers natural disasters is also recommended.


Reunion boasts a well-developed transportation system, making it relatively easy for travelers to navigate the island. However, road safety remains a concern due to winding roads and reckless driving.

  • Public Transportation: Reunion has a reliable bus network operated by the CAR (Compagnie des Transports de la Région Réunionnaise) that connects major towns and tourist destinations. Taxis are also widely available, but can be expensive.

  • Rental Cars: Renting a car is a popular option for exploring Reunion at your own pace. However, exercise caution on the roads, as many drivers tend to be aggressive and disregard traffic rules.

  • Road Safety: The island's mountainous terrain and narrow, winding roads pose a significant risk, especially for inexperienced drivers. Proceed with caution and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions that can affect visibility and road conditions.

  • Pedestrian Safety: While major towns have designated pedestrian crossings, exercise vigilance when walking near roads, as drivers may not always yield to pedestrians.

  • Alternative Transportation: For a more leisurely experience, consider taking the scenic train (Le Petit Train de l'Île) or hiring a guided tour to explore Reunion's natural attractions safely.

Cultural Norms

Reunion is a French overseas territory with a rich cultural tapestry influenced by its diverse population. As a traveler, respecting local customs and traditions is essential for a harmonious experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Dress Code: While casual attire is generally acceptable, it's advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing that may be considered disrespectful.

  • Religious Observances: Reunion has a significant Hindu and Muslim population. Be mindful of religious festivals and ceremonies, and avoid disrupting or photographing without permission.

  • Local Etiquette: Greet locals with a friendly "Bonjour" or "Salut" and observe basic courtesies. Avoid public displays of affection, as they may be frowned upon.

  • Creole Culture: Creole traditions, music, and cuisine are an integral part of Reunionese culture. Embrace opportunities to experience and appreciate these aspects respectfully.

  • Environmental Awareness: Reunion takes pride in its natural beauty. Respect the environment by properly disposing of waste and avoiding activities that may harm the island's ecosystems.

  • Local Festivals: Participate in local festivals and events, such as the annual Abolition of Slavery celebration, with an open mind and respect for the cultural significance.

By embracing and respecting the local customs and traditions, travelers can enrich their experience and foster a positive cultural exchange during their visit to Reunion.

Emergency Services

Reunion has a well-established emergency services system in place to assist travelers in case of emergencies. The island's emergency services are generally reliable and of good quality, with trained personnel and adequate resources.

  • Emergency Medical Services: Ambulance services are available and can be summoned in case of medical emergencies. However, response times may vary depending on the location and traffic conditions.

  • Fire and Rescue Services: The fire department is equipped to handle various emergencies, including fires, accidents, and natural disasters. They have trained personnel and modern equipment.

  • Police Services: The police force is responsible for maintaining law and order and can be contacted for assistance in case of criminal incidents, accidents, or other emergencies.

  • Tourist Police: Certain areas with high tourist traffic have dedicated tourist police units that can assist travelers with language barriers, lost documents, or other travel-related issues.

  • Emergency Shelters: In case of natural disasters or civil unrest, emergency shelters may be set up by local authorities to provide temporary accommodation and basic necessities.

It's important to note that while emergency services are generally reliable, language barriers and cultural differences may pose challenges for some travelers. It's advisable to familiarize yourself with local emergency procedures and carry contact information for relevant services.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Reunion safe for tourists?

Reunion is generally safe for tourists. However, petty crimes like bag snatching and pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas. Exercise caution, especially at night, and avoid isolated areas. Natural disasters like cyclones and volcanic eruptions are also potential risks.

Is Reunion safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers can feel relatively safe in Reunion, but should take standard precautions. Avoid walking alone at night, dress modestly, and be cautious of unwanted attention. Harassment, while uncommon, can occur in some areas.

Is Reunion safe for families?

Reunion is a family-friendly destination with plenty of outdoor activities and attractions. However, be mindful of potential risks like strong currents at beaches and hiking trails. Childcare facilities and family-friendly accommodations are available in major tourist areas.

Is Reunion LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are legal in Reunion, and the LGBTQ+ community is generally accepted in urban areas. However, public displays of affection may draw unwanted attention in some places. Same-sex marriage is recognized, but non-binary gender recognition is limited.

Do you need a visa to go to Reunion?

Citizens of most Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is required for all visitors.

Can you drink tap water in Reunion?

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Reunion, as it is treated and meets international standards. However, some visitors may prefer bottled water as a precaution, especially in rural areas or during heavy rainfall.

What is the currency in Reunion?

The official currency in Reunion is the Euro (€). Major credit cards are widely accepted in tourist areas, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and rural areas.

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