Geography of Réunion

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Map of Réunion
LocationIndian Ocean
Coordinates21°06′S 55°36′E / 21.100°S 55.600°E / -21.100; 55.600
Area2,512 km2 (970 sq mi)
Coastline207 km (128.6 mi)
Highest elevation3,069 m (10069 ft)
Highest pointPiton des Neiges
Overseas departmentRéunion
Largest settlementSaint-Denis (pop. 133,700)
Population793,000 (2007)
Pop. density315.68/km2 (817.61/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsCreoles, French, African, Tamil, other Indians, Malagasy, Chinese and Vietnamese

Réunion is an island in Southern Africa, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is an overseas region of France. The total area of the island is 2,512 km², of which 10 km² is water. The island has a coastline of 207 km. The maritime claims of Réunion include an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22 km). Reunion is geologically situated in the Somali plate.


The climate in Réunion is tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation. The weather is cool and dry from May to November, and hot and rainy from November to April. The terrain is mostly rugged and mountainous, with fertile lowlands along the coast. The lowest point is the Indian Ocean and the highest is Piton des Neiges at 3,069 m.

Natural resources[edit]

Réunion's natural resources are fish, arable land and hydropower. In 1993, 60 km² of the land was irrigated. The use of the land in 1993 is described in the table below:

Land use
Use Percentage of Area
arable land 17
permanent crops 2
permanent pastures 5
forests and woodland 35
other 41

Natural hazards[edit]

Local natural hazards include: periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April), and Piton de la Fournaise (2,631 m) on the southeastern coast is an active volcano.

Enlargeable, detailed map of Réunion

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°06′S 55°36′E / 21.100°S 55.600°E / -21.100; 55.600