Réunion is not a big island but its waters and land are home to some extraordinary, diverse animal species, which can now be seen in animal parks that will delight young and old alike !
The Réunion Aquarium at Saint-Gilles
Réunion is not only renowned for its stunning sandy beaches, its striking volcanic mountains and its friendly people. Children will love visiting the animal parks where they will be able to get up close to some fascinating animal species, some of which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. This is because the island boasts a great many endemic species, due to its isolated position in the Indian Ocean. The turquoise waters are teeming with multi-coloured fish, which we can admire without getting wet at the aquarium in Saint-Gilles. There are more than five hundred species from carangid to sharks, including seahorses and crayfish. The whole family can follow the entertaining yet educational route through the aquarium where they will also learn more about coral, a strange, complex and mysterious animal.
Other sea creatures fascinate visitors, such as the sea turtles that can be seen in their natural habitat or at the Kélonia centre in Saint-Leu. Just as intriguing and even more impressive are the crocodiles at Croc Parc, at Etang-Salé-les-Hauts. They live there in four pools where you can observe them at mealtimes and see just how powerful their jaws are! The animal park also has a botanical garden, a playground and even a water park with three slides, which - fortunately - do not end up in the crocodile pit !
Finally, aspiring entomologists will not want to miss the Réunion Insectarium based at Le Port to the north-west of the island. This is the only site of its kind in the Indian Ocean. Inside, cameras have been fitted to help visitors observe the insects. Outside, you can admire the butterfly garden and get to know the tame chameleon. A very colourful visit !