Nature reserves

A voyage in the great wide open
Etang Saint-Paul - Serge Gélabert

The natural heritage of Réunion - a preserved ecosystem.

Reunion Island National Park

The core of the island has been listed as a national park since 2007. The extraordinary value of the landscapes and nature in the Les Hauts area of the island has thus been given the key to conservation, discovery and development it previously lacked, as well as the international recognition it deserved. The core of the park is marked by excellence, where the priority is on protecting the environments, animal and plant species, landscapes and cultural heritage. It is subject to a specific set of regulations.

The park harbours exceptional natural assets, rich in biodiversity and landscapes comprising more than 300 endemic plant species, original fauna and an active volcano. The beauty and unspoilt nature of the natural environments and, in some cases, their cultural and historical features, make the Réunion national park a real showcase for tourism and Réunionnais heritage.

In 2010, the Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island were classified by Unesco, alongside some of the most prestigious sites in the world, and their exceptional universal value is now recognised. The label is also a guarantee of protection for the unique animal, plant and mineral assets that are found in the 100,000 ha of the core of the national park, accounting for some 40% of the island! It includes some enchanting sites whose names are the stuff of dreams: the two volcanic massifs of Piton de la Fournaise and Piton des Neiges; the cirque de Mafate and the remparts that demarcate the interior area of the island, overlooked by the peak of Nez de Bœuf; Piton d’Anchaing in the cirque de Salazie; Piton de Sucre and La Chapelle in the cirque de Cilaos; Grande Chaloupe to the north of the island and, in the south, Mare Longue with its magnificent primary forest.

Réunion Marine Nature Reserve 

Discover the Reunion Island's Marine nature reserve, which spans 40 km of the coast from Cap La Houssaye to Saint-Paul, and Roche aux Oiseaux to Étang Salé. There is something for everyone here. To reconcile human activity with protection of the reefs, new rules were drawn up in the official order that founded the nature reserve and in prefectural decrees. More than 3,500 species have been listed, including 366 different hard and soft corals, jellyfish, anemones, 200 crustacean species and 1,305 molluscs, starfish, sea urchins and other shellfish. In addition to the rich diversity of the seabed, there are more than 1,000 fish species and five species of sea turtle. The biodiversity of this inventory has been recognised as one of the richest in all the French overseas territories.

The Etang Saint-Paul Reserve

The national nature reserve at the Etang Saint Paul lake is the only national terrestrial nature reserve on Reunion Island. Etang Saint-Paul is a marshland covering more than 400 ha. It is the biggest coastal wetland on Reunion Island. It provides highly favourable conditions for the development of animal and plant populations. It is a real natural treasure, located on the west coast of the island and open to the public all year round.