Gîte de Bélouve-Trou de Fer

Walking/pedestrian at Salazie
  • The Forest of Bélouve is located between the rampart of Salazie to the west and Monique Hill to the east, and between Trou de Fer to the north and an almost horizontal line passing through the car park of Monique Hill to the south. The Forest of Bébour is to the south of this line. The name of the forest comes from the Malagasy word Belova, "Be" meaning "great" and "Lova" "heritage". Indeed, the forest of Bélouve is made up of a tamarind forest in the natural state, a forest of coloured wood and ponds with a specific ecosystem. Crossing the Col de Bébour, we enter the fourth cirque of Reunion Island. 150 000 years ago, Bébour was deeply eroded, like the three cirques we know today. At that time, the Piton des Neiges volcano awoke and half-filled the cirque, giving it its current flat bottom. Piton des Neiges and the various eruption cones became inactive more than 20 000 years ago, giving way to erosion, favourable to the development of the primary forest characterised by a young subsoil, dense forest cover, a cool and humid climate, relatively thin soil but rich in organic matter, little developed and waterlogged. The forests of Bébour and Bélouve are one of the best preserved natural environments of Reunion Island. Classified as a biological reserve over more than 5000 hectares in 1994, part of the heart of La Reunion National Park, part of which is in the heart of a cultivated area (farming of a tamarind grove for 50 years), these forests remain a very fragile environment, jeopardised by plant pests (especially brown grapes), poachers, and a few careless hikers. Native species such as palm kernels, fanjans and some orchids all too often fall victim to poaching. At least 60 species of orchids have been recorded in this rich forest of Bébour, which is one of the last natural areas of the island to function in an original way. Apart from human activities, the threat also comes from invasive plant species such as fuschia, begonia, guava, longose and arum. Here, the ONF is combatting these species and trying to preserve, for example, a species of soapwood that botanists thought had disappeared, badula fragilis.
  • Difference in height
    273 m
  • Route interest
    From the Gîte de Bélouve viewpoint over the whole Cirque of Salazie Forest of highland tamarins and highland coloured wood Viewpoint over the Trou de Fer
  • Equipment
    Gourd, raincoat, hiking shoes, warm clothes, energy food, sunscreen, bandages, hat, detailed maps, camera.
  • Did you know ?
    Indigenous species are species that arrived on the island by natural means and were present before the arrival of man. Among the indigenous species, some have progressively changed to create new species. They are then called endemic and do not exist anywhere else in the world. Exotic species are species introduced intentionally or not by humans. Primary forests are natural environments never modified by man. The Highland Tamarind is a tree that grows between 1200 and 1900 metres above sea level in a moderate-temperature environment and abundant rainfall. Its Latin name, acacia heterophylla, comes from the fact that the shape of the leaves of the young tamarind is totally different from that of the mature tamarind: initially bipinnate, the leaves become long and flattened once mature. Another peculiar feature is the fact that the seeds of the Highland Tamarind germinate only when they have been exposed to strong heat. They can germinate several decades after falling to the ground. Highland tamarind wood is used in carpentry (shingles, and in the past for traditional canoes) and as firewood.
  • Documentation

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  • Splendide panorama !

    Une randonnée dépaysante, boueuse à l'aller, avec un superbe panorama à l'arrivée ! En se garant à proximité du gîte Bélouve, on peut faire une boucle et varier les paysages.


  • Très bonne randonnée

    Attention. Il y le sentier depuis le gîte de belouve qui rejoint le sentier le l'école normale. En passant à gauche il y énormément de boue mais moins de monde. On y était avec ma fille de 5ans et on fils de 2ans que j'ai porté 3/4 du temps. Mais un plaisir infinie d'être en communion avec la nature. Pour le retour on à prit le sentier de l'école normale. puis le sentier cavalier. C'était très facile. Quand on arrive au point de vue même si ça semble couvert n'hésiter pas à attendre un peu pour profiter du magnifique panorama. Ça se dégage en totalité d'un coup. pas en fonction de l'heure. Et Garée vous au gîte de belouve et faite une boucle c'est plus cool


  • Excellent

    Randonnée magnifique on en prend plein les yeux


  • Partez tôt

    Partez tôt avant que le brouillard se lève dans le trou de fer car ça vaut le coup.


  • trou de fer

    soyez y tôt, mais ça en vaut la peine.