Dive into a world of emotion
Situated on the west and south-west coasts of the island, the Marine Natural Reserve created in 2007 stretches across 3,500 hectares and borders five of the western towns, from Saint-Paul to Etang Salé. Some 80% of the coral reef is protected within this rich ecosystem. More than 3,500 species have been recorded, including 366 different hard and soft corals, jelly fish and anemones, 200 species of crustaceans and 1,305 species of molluscs, starfish, sea urchins and other shellfish.
The Marine Natural Reserve
This abundance is increased by 1,000 species of fish and five species of sea turtles. Created in 2003, the Ermitage undersea path received an award from Ifrecor (A French Initiative for the Protection of Coral Reefs, from the Ministries of Environment and Overseas Territories) in the “Education and Awareness” category. The warm water (between 23°C and 29°C) is clear all year round, and also explains why diving lovers are so passionate about Réunion. And to ensure this passion remains danger free, all safety regulations in the diving areas must be strictly respected.
From June until October, the west coast enjoys the passing of marine mammals. While respecting the whale watching chart and regulations, visitors can watch humpback whales during trips out to sea (on boats) or underwater hikes (guided diving). Visitors can also watch dolphins, and several companies organise trips out to sea in complete safety.