Reunion 2008
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Despite being located next to Africa in the Indian Ocean, Reunion is a part of the European Union, a French overseas territory.
The name Mafate comes from the Malagasy word "Mahafaty", which means lethal.
Since 2010, Reunion is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers about 40% of the island’s area and coincides with the central zone of the Reunion National Park.
Town of Cilaos. Name Cilaos comes from the Malagasy word tsilaosa meaning "country you don’t leave". Nowadays, there is a way out - great Cilaos road, which has over 400 turns along a length of 30km.
Only walking allows access along the small mountain trails, or by helicopter. Cirque de Mafate.
Cirque de Mafate. The largest village, called "La Nouvelle", has just one school, no brothel and, shockingly - no irish pub! Electricity is provided by the simple stores are supplied mainly by helicopters.
The remote and inaccessible Cirque de Mafate was settled in the 19th century by slaves who had escaped from their masters. The picture shows a settlement on the edge of a cliff.
The cirque de Mafate is entirely enclosed by mountains, especially tall cliffs.
Nature is queen here. Trail, the mountains are everywhere, the pitons form unimaginable shapes, the ravines, waterfalls and forests are a feast for the eyes.
Cirque de Mafate is full of waterfalls. After all, the whole Reunion is a paradise for canyoning.
Waterfalls are on the island on almost every hill. And it's raining on Reunion. Sometimes it rains a lot. The island holds four world records for rain. For example 4,9m of rain in 96 hours.
Cirque de Mafate can be enjoyed in many ways. The least strenuous, most expensive and with the most beautiful views are flights by helicopter or ultralight aircraft.
Narrow paths, rocks, ravines and forests are a feast for the eyes. High cliffs are a suicide paradise. What a beauty.
The Salazie cirque is not only the most verdant but also the most accessible of all the cirques on Réunion.
Rivers are not always full of water and waterfalls not always rush over rocks. But when it rains, count on wet socks. For example, in 1980, over 6 meters of water rained during one rain.
One of the best fun (right after drinking rum) on the island of Reunion is canyoning. Hundreds of places of all difficulties in the middle of relatively untouched nature.
The center of Cirque de Salazie is a village with a nice name - Hell-Bourgh. Just a few tens of minutes walk begins the maze of trails through truly beautiful forests.
Hell-Bourgh is nice village. However, the vast majority of visitors head to the forests and waterfalls. And to which forests! You can slip and break your leg every few meters. Great! Forêt de Bélouve.
A relatively little known fact is that the flight from Paris to Reunion is technically the longest domestic flight in the world. Picture: Forêt de Bélouve.
Forêt Bélouve primary forest is home to many native species like the fanjan tree fern, the Hauts tamarind and a number of orchids.
There are about 250 species of ferns on the island. More interesting - 18 of them are endemic to Reunion
Some of the endemic tree ferns, which belong the Cyathea genus, produce a trunk, which can reach up to 15 meters.
As time passes, the mist invades the forest.
Especially in the afternoon, the forest is sometimes full of clouds, which is driven by the wind from Cirque de Salazie.
When stumbling through forests, the visitor can think of some interesting facts. For example - that Reunion Island was taken over by the French in 1643 and named as Bourbon. Some name. Pictured Forêt de Bélouve.
In addition to the forests, Reunion also has the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean. Piton des Neiges rises to 3069 metres. Picture: Sentier du Trou de Fer, Forêt de Bélouve.
Forêt de Bélouve is a moist forest at altitude. The vegetation is almost constantly dripping with the last rain.
Typical trail in Forêt de Bélouve. Sentier de l´Ecole Normale.
Niagara Falls at Reunion island. Nice waterfall is 25 meters high.
Niagara Fall is popular picnic place thanks to easy access by car. In times of drought, however, only a stream of water remains on the bare rocks of the waterfalls.