Geography of Réunion

Geography of Réunion

Map of Réunion
Location Indian Ocean
Coordinates 21°06′S 55°36′E / 21.1°S 55.6°E / -21.1; 55.6
Area 2,512 km2 (969.9 sq mi)
Coastline 207 km (128.6 mi)
Highest elevation 3,069 m (10,069 ft)
Highest point Piton des Neiges
Overseas department  Réunion
Largest city Saint-Denis (pop. 133,700)
Population 793,000 (as of 2007)
Density 315.68 /km2 (817.61 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Creoles, 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).



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

Réunion's natural resources are fish, arable land and hydropower. As of 1993, 60 km² of the land is irrigated. The use of the land, as of 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

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.

External links

Coordinates: 21°06′S 55°36′E / 21.1°S 55.6°E / -21.1; 55.6

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