Hiking in the cirque of Mafate

Hiking in the cirque of Mafate

During my stay at the CIRAD de la Réunion, as part of a research mission in agro-ecology (more info ici), we organized several long walks with colleagues.

With its 140km of hiking trails and rugged terrain, the cirque of Mafate is a privileged and unmissable site. That’s why we undertook to walk around it, so 3 days of walking.

Here is an overview of our journey

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Information on the Mafate cirque

Mafate cirque took shape, 12 000 years ago, during the collapse of the magmatic chamber of the former Piton des neiges crater (3070m) . This event also led to the appearance of two other cirquees, Salazie and Cilaos. Each of the cirquees is about 1000m deep and 10km wide, and their configuration resembles clover leaves.

Heavy rainfall and rock instability have favoured erosion shaping their very steep relief.

The cirque of Mafate remains the most inaccessible of the 3, its access can be done only by pedestrian paths and by the areas. It thus remained very sparsely populated, only a few plateaus (“ilets”) shelter populations.

Recommendations for books on this theme:

Forestry Trailers of Reunion Island… On foot: 25 walks & hikes

L’île de la Réunion

76 hiking: waterfalls & La Réunion Island>/a>

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