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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Attacks by les dents de la mer (sharks) occasionally happen, and most years see a shark attack on a surfer or spear fisherman. This is no reason to be paranoid, though; the risks are statistically very low. The locals know their ocean, so it’s best to seek their advice before entering the water.

Swimmers should always be aware of currents and riptides. Drowning is a major cause of accidental death for visitors. If you’re not familiar with water conditions, ask around. It’s best not to swim alone in unfamiliar places.

Unfortunately Réunion has a bad record when it comes to road safety, which means that you must drive defensively at all times. Potential dangers include drunk drivers, excessive speed, twisting roads and blind bends.

Hikers setting out into the wilderness should be adequately prepared for their trips.

Overall, Réunion is relatively safe compared with most Western countries, but occasional robberies do occur. Don’t leave anything of value in a rental car or on the beach.

Violence is rarely a problem, and muggings are almost unheard of. Intoxicated people are the most likely troublemakers.