Kelonia St. Leu Reviews
Shell of a place... Oct 12, 2011
Just north of St. Leu is a delightful turtle farm named Kelonia. Showcasing the five different species making their home near the island, Kelonia is situated right on the beach and does a first-rate job of displaying these creatures. Plenty of free parking is available after you duck off the main coastal road and prepare to go inside.
After paying admission the first section is a couple rooms filled with exhibits. Alas, everything is only in French, so I was pretty clueless about what was being presented and cannot offer any opinion on whether or not it was quality. So let’s venture to the outdoor exhibits.
Immediately beyond the doors leading to the back forty of Kelonia are a bunch of tanks widely ranging in size. The biggest tank, filled with water, is where most of the action is, holding three giant turtles and a varied assortment of tropical fish. The other tanks (just pens, really) often contained a solo turtle which looked rather bored, but in the large tank the turtles and fish were constantly on the move, lending vibrancy to the exhibit.
Once you get outside you can’t help but notice the towering observation deck on the premises. The deck is enjoyable for several reasons. Primarily because it overlooks the large tank and affords much better views than at ground level (I hadn’t really noticed the tropical fish until I peered down from above), and additionally because of Kelonia’s beachfront residence. The deck offers nice views beyond the property and it was every bit as much fun to scope the beach and para-gliders flitting about.
But venturing down below is the best spot. There is a large plexi-glass window framing one side of the large tank that you can reach by walking down a stairwell. Here you can glimpse the turtles and fish frolicking about up close and personal, a great spot for taking photographs.
Returning topside, you can go back outside to see what’s going on in the front of the farm, where they have some pens for turtles not requiring such an aquatic environment to live in. Feel free to visit the gift shop before you leave, it actually has some quality items and didn’t immediately repulse me as these venues usually do.
Part of the Running to Reunion travel blog
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