Reunion Island Travel Tips

time

GMT : +2 hours

climate

Hot tropical climate. Temperatures are cooler in the hills, occasionally dropping to freezing point in the mountains at night. The cyclone season (December to April) is hot and wet.

languages

French is the official language. Local Creole patois is also spoken.

public holidays

Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Apr 17 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 8 1945 Victory Day
May 25 Ascension
Jun 5 Whit Monday
Jul 14 Bastille Day
Aug 15 Assumption
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Nov 11 Remembrance Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day.

health / immunization

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age arriving from infected areas. A cholera vaccination certificate may be required from travellers arriving from infected areas.

medical facilities

There are several hospitals and out-patient clinics. The French national health scheme is in force and there is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK (as per France). Facilities are limited and full health insurance is advised. Water is safe to drink.

visas and entry requirements

All visitors are required to be carrying a passport valid for at least three months beyond visitors last day of stay. No visa is required for UK/EU passport holders for a stay up to 3 months.

money

Since January 2002 the Euro has been the official currency for the French Overseas Departments (Departements d’Outre-Mer), including Réunion. US Dollars are also accepted in some places. All major currencies can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change. American Express, Diners Club and Visa are accepted. MasterCard has limited acceptance. Cards can also be used in ATMs. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. Travellers cheques are accepted in most places, and may qualify for discounts on luxury items. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Euros, US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

road travel and public transport

Roads are fair and there are over 2680km (1665 miles) of roads, 345km (214 miles) of which are main roads. Speed limits are the same as in France. The main road runs on a north-south axis. The island can be easily crossed by bus, taxi or hired car. Car hire is available throughout the island. Further details can be obtained from the Comité du Tourisme de la Réunion.

bus

Two types of buses operate on the island: urban buses mainly serve the Saint-Denis area; yellow buses connect main towns. Services are excellent, with very comfortable vehicles. Buses stop by request.

taxi

Taxi ranks can be found in city centres. Taxis can be hired by telephone (telephone numbers can be obtained from the information points at the airport). There are likely to be extra charges after 2000 Mon-Fri, on Sunday and Bank Holidays.

car hire

Available from the airport and from car hire firms in Saint-Denis. Petrol prices are similar to those in France. Avis, Budget and Hertz are among the many car hire companies that are represented at the airports. Documentation: An International Driving Permit is recommended, though not legally required.

safety / security

Most visits to Réunion are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus continues to affect Réunion with the number cases reported as increasing as summer and the rainy season approach. Travellers should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisation for the latest travel advice: British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Tel: 0845 850 2829, website: www.fco.gov.uk

tipping

In general, restaurants and accommodation establishments do not include a service charge in their bill. Depending on the standard of service, normally 10 - 15% is applied as a basis for tips.

Africa Collection : Portfolio House, Field Place Estate, Byfleets Lane, Broadbridge Heath, W Sussex, RH12 3PB, UK. Office Hours: 09h00 – 17h30 - Tel - + 44 (0) 1403 256655, Fax - + 44 (0) 1403 253325

Africa Collection after hours/emergencies: + 44 (0) 7785 344648 OR + 44 (0) 7904 324368