Saint-Denis Travel Information
Local time is GMT +4.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. A round pin plug with male grounding pin is used.
French, as well as Reunion Creole and some English is spoken.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Visitors to Réunion should take precautions against mosquito bites due to illnesses such as dengue fever and the chikungunya virus. Réunion's medical and sanitary facilities are very good. Most towns have doctors and clinics, while the principal hospital is in Saint-Denis. Tap water is usually safe for drinking. Public water sources are unsafe if labelled 'Eau non potable'. There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to low-cost emergency medical treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Tipping is customary in Réunion and 10 percent or more of the bill is expected for good service.
As when travelling to any foreign destination, visitors should be vigilant of their personal belongings, not overtly display signs of wealth (e.g. mobile phones, money, expensive jewellery), or walk around alone in an unknown area at night. Réunion is, however, relatively safe. Swimmers should be aware of currents and riptides; take note of signs on the beaches and, if unsure, ask the locals. Shark attacks are a concern off the island. The cyclone season is from December to April. The Piton de la Fournaise volcano is considered likely to erupt at some point in the near future.
Broadly speaking, Réunion follows French tradition and culture, although the island is influenced by its many different population groups. There is a mix of Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam on the island and visitors should respect the different religious groups and their customs.
Business procedures are quite relaxed in Réunion. Only the most formal of occasions will require suits. French is the language of business and an interpreter should be brought along if needed, as there are few professional interpreters on the island. Business hours are generally 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for Réunion is +262. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are not necessary. Three mobile phone companies provide service, although there are not many international roaming agreements. Internet cafes are available.
Travellers from non-EU countries over 17 years of age entering Réunion can bring in the following items duty-free: either 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, as well as 2 litres of either spirits or wine, 50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette, gold jewellery not exceeding 500g, 500g coffee, 100g tea and other goods to the value of €175 per adult, or €90 for children under 15 years.
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