Reunion is fairly safe, but be prepared in re: any worries. You must respect these practices:
Don't walk around alone at night in unknown or large cities.
Be careful of open displays of goods carried or worn attractive to thieves.
Most crime in Reunion is related to and within family or peer group, and linked with violence and substance use. Other most reported crime: vandalism, corruption, bribery. In some sections of some towns late at night usually around clubs, assault and armed robbery have occurred.
The major attraction of Reunion is the stunning scenery, with impressive walks on cliffs and, obviously, the volcano. Be aware that in some high altitude areas, especially near the volcano, mid-day fog may really hamper orientation making it easy to get lost; also, temperatures may drop significantly. In foggy weather, do not stray from well-marked paths! Carry layered clothing. Even on this tropical island, in high altitude locations, in humid weather, you can become ill from the effects of cold temperatures.
Reunion is having a big problem with shark attacks bull and tiger sharks resulting in a severely restricted access to nautical activities, including swimming outside of the lagoon and areas protected with nets. Previously popular areas for surfing are very dangerous and most of the time forbidden you might get fined.
In 2006, Reunion experienced an epidemic of Chikungunya virus illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever, with an acute febrile phase of the illness lasting only two to five days, followed by a prolonged arthralgic disease that affects the joints of the extremities. The pain associated with CHIKV infection of the joints persists for weeks or months, or in some cases, years.
By April 2006, 230,000 people had been infected, which amounted to almost 30% of the population. The epidemic eventually ebbed, and by the summer new cases had dropped to near zero. Travelers should still take precautions against mosquito bites.
Caution should be taken when spending time in the sun. High altitude areas may be scorchingly hot when the sun is high, and cold when it is foggy. Prepare layered clothing.
Sanitary and medical facilities in Reunion are of good quality.
As in the rest of France, French and EU residents get most of their health care costs covered by the compulsory health insurance plan sécurité sociale. This plan does not cover nonresidents, who will be expected to pay full price. Travel health insurance is advised. Full price costs significantly less than in the United States.
Visitors from European Union should bring an EHIC European Health Insurance Card - obtained in their own country before departure. The E111 form is no longer valid. Ask for details at your local health care organization.
The major hospital is in Saint-Denis, but there are various others in other cities. There are doctors in almost every village.
Tap water is usually safe for consumption. Public sources of water are unsafe if labeled with "Eau non potable" Water not drinkable.
French is the official language of Reunion, although Creole is widely spoken. Everyone understands French, but few people understand English.
French spoken with the local Reunion accent, intermingled with Creole, can be difficult to understand for native French speakers. Metropolitan French are locally nicknamed z'oreilles "ears" for their tendency not to understand and ask people to repeat.
English speakers meet every Monday evening between 7:30PM and 11:00PM including during holidays at the Moda Bar, 75 rue Pasteur, in Saint-Denis. Infoline 0692 560220. If you speak English, it is a good place to share your culture and language while meeting travelling and resident couch-surfers. The bar allows people to bring take out food.
See also: French/Creole dictionary (http://www.creole.org/dic...)
Country code: 262
Dialing within Reunion: all numbers have 10 digits. Landlines begin with 0262 and mobile phones 0692 and 0693.
Dialing to Reunion: international prefix + 262 + phone number without the first 0 this leads to dial twice 262 which is normal. If you dial from France, just use the 10 digit number.
Dialing from Reunion: the international prefix is 00.
Calling to a mobile phone is more expensive than to a landline. Number beginning in 0800 series are free phone calls. Numbers beginning in 089 are premium-rate.
Few foreign mobile phone companies offer international roaming to Reunion so double-check before leaving. Your company should provide specific roaming to Reunion as it has different mobile phone companies than mainland France.
An alternative: get a Pay-as-you-go SIM card or phone in Reunion to insure connection of calls. There are two companies offering wireless services: SRR (http://www.srr.fr/) and Orange Réunion (http://www.orange.re/).
During the cyclonic season November to April, you should check cyclone warnings shown in newspapers or broadcast by the radio or TV. There are three states of warning:
Vigilance cyclonique cyclone watch: cyclonic risk in more than 24hrs, you should buy in advance enough food and water as well as batteries and candles;
Alerte orange orange alert: cyclonic risk in the next 24hrs, schools are closed, avoid travel;
Alerte rouge red alert: cyclonic risk in the next few hours, don't leave your current location and avoid using the phone, stay calm.
Less than 20g for a postcard or letter with one or two pages in a regular envelope.
0,53€ in Europe, France and DOM-TOM consists of all French-administered territories not on the European continent, including island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, French Guiana on the South American coast, and several periantarctic islands as well as a claim in Antarctica *Area 1 *Area 1: South Africa, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania) : 0,75 €
Area 2: rest of the world: 1,05 €
The basic stamp for regular mail is red with the head of "Marianne" the Republic logo. It does not carry its value and can therefore be used even after a price increase. It is sold in all post offices, Bureaux de Tabacs tobacco sellers identified by a red lozenge and postcard vendors. The latter may also carry other common stamps.
In most post offices you will find an automatic machine yellow with a scale and a screen. Just put your mail on the scale, tell the machine French or English the destination, pay the indicated amount and the machine will deliver a printed stamp.