Du Sud Savage.
Nature is in charge in The Wild South, where the Indian Ocean beats relentlessly against black volcanic cliffs and the Langevin River ends its journey to the sea.
The Aqua Hiking adventure starts in the mountains, nine kilometers inland at 980 meters above sea level, in a small informal car park on the side of the narrow road.
Aqua Hiking allows you to immerse yourself in the elements and become one with the river. For safety, a full wet-suit, heavy duty plastic pants, a helmet and takkies are the prescribed outfit for this activity. Bring your own takkies, everything else is provided by the operator.
This adventure begins a few hundred meters from the car park at the jaw dropping Grand Galet Falls. A swim in the pool at the base of the cascades and a few practice jumps off small boulders are the introduction to the river, and then the adventure gets real.
Paddling feet first into the current, the river takes you on a ride under and around boulders, down waterfalls and into rocky pools. Moss covered cliffs tower skywards on either side of the river, tangled vines and boulders worn smooth with time are navigated on foot, and at times you will take a leap of faith from 9 meters high into the dark depths of the pool below.
The only sounds are the bird calls and the backing track of water in continuous motion. At the final pool you swim to a small ledge behind a waterfall and dive through it. The current propels you along the last bend and spits you out onto the river’s edge. For a detailed account of this experience, click here.
Explore the Wild South
After this adventure, drive back to the town of Langevin on the coast and visit Cap Bas at La Marine Langevin. Climb along the rocks to the blow hole where the ocean sends up spay through fissures in the volcanic rock.
Then take a drive for nine kilometers to Cap Mechant, to truly understand the Wild South.
An ordinary car park of brown sand, some odd looking trees, and the sound of the sea, what’s the big deal?
And then you walk towards the trees and onto the path and you are in another world.
Pandanus Utilis or Screw Pine trees rise up on thin trunks, their palm frond leaves look like they have been stuck on upside down, and in places their roots twist and stretch out around their base like a nest of snakes. Bright green grass and moss lines the gravel path and black volcanic stones add contrast.
The sound of the sea grows louder, salty spray drifts on the air and the path leads you to cliffs of molten lava. The endless fight for dominance is raw and powerful as the waves grow from deep blue, gathering momentum as they approach the solid wall of rock, and rise up, displaying for seconds the most magnificent turquoise before breaking in a crash of brilliant white against the impenetrable volcanic rock. The rhythm is steady, like a dance to the death, as in tiny fractions, the ocean beats a tattoo on the rock and shapes it to its own design.
Nature shouts out in loud colours and forceful sounds in this mesmerising place in the Wild South of Reunion Island.
For more information on this wild and exciting Indian Island, visit http://bit.ly/LaReunion-TheRoamingGiraffe
Air Austral operates scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Reunion Island and South African citizens do not require a Visa to enter the country.