Canyoning in Reunion Island
Canyoning involves traversing a river, using nothing but your body.
Reunion Island is the perfect place to discover canyoning – it has beautiful rivers, without any predators, venomous reptiles or poisonous insects, and there are several companies that offer it.
Try Run' Aventures in Riviere des Roches, near the town of Saint-Benoit (pronounced “Sarn benwar”), for some canyoning.
Fellow South African Natalie Roos and I arrived for our adventure, and were joined by 10 French-speakers (as were the guides). The two guides spoke English well enough to give us a sufficient safety briefing and take us through the more dangerous parts of the adventure. But it was also one of those activities where everyone taking part could help each other without having to talk too much. When you hear "Position de sécurité!" it means "safety postion" – on your back, arms folded across your chest, eyes skyward.
Canyoning basically involves a bit of light rock climbing, swimming, tobogganing down rapids on your back, and – perhaps the most thrilling part – jumping from cliffs into the river below.
The jumps ranged from 4m to 11m, and the guides literally provided step-by-step instructions to ensure maximum safety. All canyoning guides in Reunion are fully qualified for outdoor adventure, and their skills include first aid.
See Natalie’s GoPro footage below:
And an Instagram selfie for good measure:
At the end of the adventure the guides pulled out a box of cold beers. Delighted to have some refreshment, I exclaimed, “Merci beaucoup!” (“Many thanks!”) and Mickaël, one of our guides, was amused to see that beer enabled me to speak his language.
Our canyoning adventure lasted around three hours, but longer treks are available for those with the time. Canyoning experiences start from €35 (around R500).
If you are driving to the start of the Riviere des Roches adventure, use the GPS co-ordinates (longitude: 364192, latitude: 7672407), or phone ahead if you are unsure of directions: 0262 917105.
What to take:
- Shoes with good grip, that you don’t mind getting wet
- Swimming costume
- Dry clothes and shoes for afterwards
- A GoPro for awesome footage