Reunion Island is a tropical haven. The pristine sands are white, and coconut trees fringe the beautiful beaches surrounded by dramatic volcanoes and lush rainforests. But danger lurks in the warm Indian Ocean – and those taking a dip are also dicing with death.
This might sound a little theatrical, but the hazards here must not be underestimated. Sharks patrol Reunion Island’s waters in great numbers, and fatal attacks are far from uncommon. Indeed, in the five-year period between 2011 and 2016, more than 16% of all shark-related deaths on Earth occurred here.
The reason? Located east of Madagascar, Reunion Island lies on the so-called ‘Shark Highway’ that runs between Australia and South Africa. Passing sharks often settle in the waters here, attracted by the diverse ecosystem and abundant coral reefs. This makes the island – an overseas French department – a perilous place. Given its clear waters and tropical climate, Reunion Island beckons those keen to snorkel and explore the marvelous exotic marine environment. Tempted to take a dip? Take our advice and stick to hiking instead.
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