Reunion Island’s Belouve Forest – a special kind of facility

Gîte de Bélouve - © IRT/ E. Virin
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Published on 15 October 2015

It was in September when the Belouve Forest became the first of its kind on Reunion Island to be accessible to all members of the public, able bodied as well as those living with physical challenges.

After outfitting the volcano walk last year with aids for even sight-impaired visitors, this recreational forest was next on the list of the regional government and the provision of access for people living with disabilities was completed last month. Already visited by more than 150,000 people a year, the added facilities will make access even easier and no doubt attract many more visitors, especially from families where one of the members lives with such challenges.

A special 250-meter long walkway has been constructed with audio guides, permitting even individuals in a wheelchair to get all information about the site. A permanent exhibition under the theme “Belouve’s history is also a legacy of mankind” was also part of the improvements to the site and now offers audio and visual aids for visitors with special needs, and the Belouve Cottage was remodeled to cater to such visitors.