Located in the south of the island and rising to over 2,631 metres, the Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, measured by the sustained frequency of its eruptions and the average volume of emitted lava. Its vast massif occupies about one third of the island.
Since its eruption in 1998, which continued for nearly six months, it has seen several eruptions a year. Access, however, is relatively easy by road from the Plaine des Sables, which leads to Bellecombe Pass, an opportunity to witness projections and frequent lava flows. Once there, a gorgeous view overlooking the Enclos Fouqué and Formica Leo opens up. The frequency of eruptions and abundance of lava flows constantly change the configuration. Though the overall landscape is set in a dominantly mineral state, once the lava eventually cools, a natural process of vegetation is established giving birth to a very active fauna and flora.
The Piton de la Fournaise has been continuously monitored since the establishment of a volcano observatory. In October 2015, the Kala and Pelé Pitons and the Kei Aki Piton came into being, following two recent volcanic eruptions.