This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Mauritius • Cavadee 2020 / Reunion (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Reunion Island. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.


00:12 • Introduction: Réunion, a volcanic island

02:20 • the volcano • Piton de la Fournaise

03:06 • the  Plaine des Sables

04:10 • Commerson crater

04:47 • the lava route

05:00 • L'Enclos du Grand Brûlé

05:50 • Piton Sainte-Rose • Notre-Dame des Laves

07:41 • the Grand Galet waterfall

09:17 • the Bois Court belvedere

10:11 • the road to Cilaos

13:21 • the Cirque de Mafate • seen from the Maïdo

14:55 • the Cirque de Salazie

17:07 • Hell Bourg

18:06 • Saint Benoit

18:30 • Petit Bazar temple

18:50 • Cilaos

19:41 • Sainte Anne

21:04 • the Rivière de l'Est suspension bridge

21:42 • Saint Pierre • the market

22:48 • Saint-Pierre • Atyabul Massadjid mosque

23:24 • Terre Sainte

24:00 • Saint Pierre • Narassigua Péroumal temple

24:32 • Saint Paul • the market

25:55 • Saint Paul • Siva Supramanian temple


Mascareignes: Mauritius and Reunion

Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is part of the Mascarene archipelago with Mauritius and Rodrigues. Formerly called Ile Bourbon, Reunion is a French overseas department.

Geographically close to Mauritius, Réunion does not look at all like its sister island. Both are of volcanic origin, but while the last volcano in Mauritius has been extinct for 10 or 15,000 years, Réunion still has one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, the Piton de la Fournaise.

And the three large circuses that are Cilaos, Salazie and Mafate present impressive reliefs due to ancient volcanoes that are certainly inactive and whose caldera has collapsed. Compared to Maurice's Trou-aux-Cerfs, they look like youngsters.

Reunion Island is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, while Mauritius mainly attracts tourists in search of calm and fine sand.

Reunion Island

If the island of Reunion was formed by volcanoes, one of which is still very active (the Piton de la Fournaise), the charm of the island is not limited to its geological origins.

In addition to the natural wonders that Reunion has to offer, its wealth is also found in the warmth of its extremely welcoming population. The history of Reunion has left behind a very diverse population.

History of Reunion

The first inhabitants of Réunion settled in the middle of the 17th century. Discovered by the Portuguese, it first bore the name of Ile Mascarin (after the name of the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas) before becoming Ile Bourbon under French domination. The Compagnie Française des Indes Orientales made a stopover on the long road between Europe and the Indies and soon after the island became a plantation colony, in particular of coffee and exchanges with the Indian trading post of Pondicherry grew. Sugar would supplant coffee at the start of the 19th century.

The sugar and coffee plantations were labor intensive, and what labor is more profitable than the imported African slaves to perform heavy agricultural tasks without any compensation ...

As in all the colonies whose economy was based on slavery, Reunion would soon face the rebellions of fleeing slaves (brown slaves) who found refuge on the inhospitable heights of the volcanic circuses of Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos.

Faced with this situation and also with the growing opposition to the slave system in Europe, the Reunionese planters called on an Indian workforce who was going to receive a pittance. Relations with Pondicherry greatly facilitated this immigration.

This is how the current population of the island was formed, a mixture of Europeans, Africans and Indians.


Reunion Island is a paradise for spice lovers. Turmeric which grows on the heights as well as vanilla have the reputation of being the best in the world. The markets offer all kinds of spices to delight the taste buds but also that of the eyes.



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• Disclaimer: As traditional music is often subject to copyright (claimed by major music distribution groups), the musical illustration of this film "Reunion: the volcano, the landscapes and the people • Reunion Island (EN)" does not use typical music of Reunion Island but is borrowed from a collection of royalty-free music. Despite the painstaking care given to the musical choices in this film, some people may regret this choice, but it is the price to pay for not incurring unnecessary lawsuits. This decision was difficult to take, but it's the only viable solution, unfortunately. •

What's the weather like in Réunion?


Spoken comments in the film: 

Time and time again the lava from Piton de la Fournaise has made its way to the ocean, destroying everything in its path.


There have been historical exceptions such as this church of Sainte Rose which was spared during the dramatic eruption of 1977.

But as always, life takes back its rights even after a major trauma like a lava flow.

The following photos were taken on the RN2 which has been repeatedly cut by lava. The first plants emerge again from the cooled lava after a few years.


March 24 marks the beginning of a catastrophic eruption of Piton de la Fournaise which would last until April 16. The lava flow did not follow the usual course and crossed the village of Piton Sainte Rose twice.

On April 13, the lava flow destroyed thirty houses in the village and spared (miraculously?) The village church.

If some speak of a miracle, how can we explain that the gendarmerie also escaped this destructive flow.

The church was renamed "Notre-Dame des Laves".

The gendarmerie remained "National Gendarmerie" .... but was rebuilt a little further.


But the volcano is not only a source of desolation and destruction ...

It has given birth to a multitude of breathtaking landscapes, creating more magnificent sites than the others.

It is the meeting of fire and water that we owe these extraordinary coastal landscapes, even if they are not to the liking of beach goers.

It is also a very ancient volcanic activity that the cirques of Salazie, Cilaos and Mafate with their steep reliefs and their remarkable waterfalls must exist.


The Bois Court belvedere is a promontory on a very deep valley in the foothills of the Cilaos cirque. The villages at the bottom of the gorge (including the Grand Bassin islet) are several hours' walk from the first shop ... It is therefore better not to forget something when shopping.

Fortunately, a freight elevator system has been put in place to facilitate the provisioning of a few dozen inhabitants.


But Reunion is not just marvelous landscapes shaped by the volcanic activity of the island during the last 100,000 years.

It is also a very warm island with its extremely friendly inhabitants who live in villages full of charm.

History also shaped the island with happy and other more controversial periods such as this episode of slavery which lasted until the end of the 19th century. It is moreover slavery and especially the fierce desire for freedom of the victims (maroon slaves) which is the source of the habitat in the inaccessible circuses of Cilaos and Mafate.

The Cirque de Salazie is home to one of the most beautiful villages in France, Hell Bourg.

Gastronomy is also part of the culture of Reunion with the wonderful spices sold among others on traditional markets ...

Reunion island, near Salazie
the village of Hellbourg • Reunion Island
the village of Hellbourg
Pas des Sables • Reunion Island
Pas des Sables
Cirque de Cilaos • Reunion Island
Cirque de Cilaos
Cirque de Mafate • Reunion Island
Cirque de Mafate

Reunion Island