Visit the lava tunnels without a guide?

Entry Lava Tunnel 2004 Jocelyn Profundo (4)

Visiting the lava tunnels without a guide is permitted

A visit to the lava tunnels can be likened to a trip to the caving. Caving is the scientific exploration and study of underground cavities (caves, etc.). Caving is a legal outdoor sport open to all. Access to the caves is therefore open to anyone who wishes to enter, except on private land.

So the question is not about authorising exploration of the lava tunnels, but rather theability and experience to do it.

That's right, this activity may involve certain risks for those affected, but also for the natural environment created by the lava tunnels.

Exploring the lava tunnels without a guide does, however, have certain prerequisites:

  • The right equipment

Even if you don't need ropes to explore Réunion's lava caves, like any other mountain or caving activity, you'll still need to be able to climb them, appropriate equipment and specific personal protective equipment. Personal lighting must be appropriate and functional, even when humidity levels are high.

  • Topographical knowledge of the site

La knowledge of the site being explored and its network of galleries is also essential. The network on the 2004 coulee is the 5th longest in the world, at 6.5 km. Underground, there is no mobile network, so there is no way of reaching another person outside. In the event of an accident or other problem, you won't be able to alert emergency services without leaving the tunnel.

  • Knowledge of the natural environment

The lava tunnels are located in the heart of natural environments. Exceptional witnesses to the activity of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, they are fragile in places. It is important to know how to evolve in and around them, while preserving them.

Visiting a lava tunnel with a guide: the advantages

Explore a lava tunnel with a guide is a good idea for anyone inexperienced in cavingor anyone who wants to find out more about Réunion's special natural features.

With a guide and instructor specialising in caving, you'll be on the move in safety So there's no risk of getting lost and much less risk of injuring yourself when you come across a narrow passage, an obstacle or a difficult-to-reach area!

Visiting a lava tunnel with a guide does not preclude the risk of injury - there is no such thing as 0 risk - but the advantage is that you are insured by the manager. Indeed, the Speleology is a sporting activity that is not generally covered by general insurance. It requires specific insurance to cover any incidents that may occur.

Lava tunnel at La Reunion - Profundo - Jocelyn Michel

Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of the environment, you will have access to the most beautiful parts of the lava tunnels walls covered in silver/chocolate, lava stalagtites/stalagmites, rocks in shades of yellow, orange, red and purple, large rooms or "secret" passages, ancient lava waterfalls....

You can also learn more about the geology and volcanic activity of RéunionYou'll also be able to learn more about the surrounding flora and fauna, and the natural history of the region, so you can enjoy your experience to the full.

As for the impact on the environment, local guides are generally very aware of environmental conservation and can help you to minimise your impact on the places you visit. They will ensure that you leave no trace of your visit and that you comply with local regulations.


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Profundo, by Jocelyn Michel

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