You need a bit of fresh air and creole mood? Let’s go to “Plaine des Cafres” and the cabaret Pat’Jaune !
La Reunion is known for its wonderful coastline, nice beaches, amazing natural waterfalls … But let’s not forget the heights of the island! To not miss anything from Reunion Island and especially to immerse yourself in the authenticity of Creole life, do not hesitate to spend some time in the heights.
Information about “Plaine des Cafres”
Plaine des Cafres is a plateau of the Reunion Island’s heights. It is located between Piton des Neiges and Piton de la Fournaise, the 2 most famous volcanoes in La Reunion. But only the Piton de la Fournaise is active.
The Plaine des Cafres takes its name from the “cafres”. The black slaves of Reunion who took refuge there in order to escape the sad fate which was reserved for them. Today it is a rather cool and humid breeding region. Most of the milk and cheese from Reunion Island is produced there. And of course, it is not uncommon to see cows while riding up there.
Besides, between the pastures, the cows, the pines and the mountain chalets that we come across … hard to say that we are on a tropical island. But more the feeling of traveling in Alpine countries!
What activities in Plaine des Cafres?
So, what can you do here?
To begin, the Plaine des Cafres’s road is in itself a complete change of scenery. As we said above, we leave palm trees, beaches and deckchairs by the sea for a one-way trip in a Swiss canton!
Be careful, as often in Reunion, if you want to take full advantage of the landscapes, plan to leave early. Indeed, as soon as you drive high, it is not uncommon for the clouds to come around noon. Yes, enjoy the wonderful landscapes of Ze Caillou (Reunion Island) needs a bit effort!
Let yourself be carried away by the peaceful way of life that emanates from the place.
If your passage through the Plaine des Cafres does not only consist of crossing the city to head towards the Route du Volcan, take off your watch, switch off your mobile phone and let yourself be carried away by the peaceful way of life that emanates from the place.
The village is a good start for 2 really nice hikes:
- Grand Bassin, a must do of the island.
- Piton de l’Eau which is even nicer in september / october when the arum lily (flowers) around are blooming.
Another must-see in the area to better understand Reunion, the Cité du Volcan. The museum is pleasant to visit, especially since it reopened after 4 years of works in August 2014. (Dedicated articles on these 3 activities to find soon in our travel blog).
But we, we will rather tell you about a real artistic and musical must see and listen: the famous cabaret Pat’Jaune!
Pat’Jaune, who are they? What is it?
Pat’Jaune is a Creole music group from the Plaine des Cafres.
Originally created by the 3 Gonthier brothers, it was quickly joined by a new partner, Claudine Tarby.
The influences of Pat’Jaune are diverse, even if the group generally draws its inspiration from traditional Reunionese music and dances of yesteryear (waltzes, polkas, scottish or quadrilles imported by the first settlers) that were aired in the former balls.
Pat’Jaune is a pure product of the Reunion Yab culture!
You said, a “Yab”?
Yabs are the white Creoles of the island. They are the descendants of the 1st settlers who landed in Réunion in the 17th century. Little by little, the land bequeathed over the generations has been fragmented, no longer allowing a favorable agricultural exploitation.
Yabs then decided to colonize the heights of the island, considered as inaccessible until that. They found a pleasant climate there, as well as new land to cultivate and farm.
Pat’Jaune relate in their songs the history and the daily life of today’s Yabs, with great humor and derision. Moreover, the term Pat’Jaune is one of the many pictorial nicknames given to Yabs, in reference to the color of their feet. Due to work in saffron fields and in dry grass.
Cabaret Pat’Jaune, music, but also spectacle!
The group quickly stood out for their scenic performance. Indeed, it is really on stage that Pat’Jaune reveals all their talent and their madness! We can therefore only recommend a nice and fun dinner / show in the purest Creole tradition of the cabaret Pat’Jaune.
Ready for the « pestac’ »
As soon as we arrive, the 4 members of the group came to welcome us personally and warmly.
All dressed in their “uniform” (brown felt hats, white shirts, visible suspenders and black pants), they invite us to sit in the “pestac” room as they call it to give us a little introduction.
We then learn that the meal will be punctuated throughout the evening with musical interludes.
We are then invited to the dining room to share a Creole aperitif / starter.
The members of the group are very friendly. They stroll between tables to chat with their guests, tell anecdotes, talk about their many projects or even to serve you directly!
Would you like another slice of smile?
During the musical interludes, we enjoy slices of Creole life, interpretations of colorful characters, and mastery of the instruments. The relaxed atmosphere mixes with the cultural in a striking mix works the whole room.
Then return to the dining room for the main dishes.
And on the plate, the dinner is as good as the show. A little delight of local dishes cooked by young (or not so young) from the area who come to get their hands dirty!
The dinner continues, always interspersed with epics “Yabesques” and good humor is there. The atmosphere permits people togethere, whether with your table neighbor or the person by your side during the show …
As you can see, from 7:30 p.m. to around 12 a.m., it’s hard not to find a face with a “papaya slice” smile as we say here (in creole: sourire tranche papaye)!
Do you speak kréol?
It is true that if you don’t speak Creole, or even french, you won’t understant the lyrics and the sketches. But if not, don’t worry, the old cabaret atmosphere that the Pat’Jaunes exalt will transport you to a creole festive universe where the barriers of language do not exist.
After this magical moment, then we return to calm. Let’s go to the hotel “Les Géraniums” for a night in a very pleasant and warm room, essential in the area!
« Les Géraniums » hotel, our bed for the night
We arrive at “Les Géraniums” hotel during the afternoon and enjoy a nice sunset on the Piton des Neiges.
We also enjoy the garden itself, playing on the swings with a nice view. Back to adolescence guaranteed before leaving for the famous cabaret.
The next morning, we wake up and have an good local breakfast for a face to face with the mountains. For a 1st sight of the new day, quite simply! Just what you need to get motivated and go visit the surroundings!
Cabaret Pat’Jaune: 53€/person (diner + spectacle)
Phone: 0692 85 81 14
Address: 39 Rue du Père Favron, La Plaine des Cafres 97418, Ile de La Réunion
Better to book early because the places are popular and the cabaret is very often full weeks in advance!
Hôtel les Géraniums** :
Normal prices: Single room: 79€ – Double: 96€ – For 3: 124€
There are preferential rates if you spend the evening at Cabaret Pat’Jaune. Inquire when making your reservation (ex: in march 2020 the double room at € 60, breakfast included instead of 96€).
Phone: 0262 59 11 06
Address: RN 3 – PK 24 – Bourg Murat, La Plaine des Cafres 97418, La Réunion
We hope that you liked this article and that it made you want to take a bowl of fresh air at La Plaine des Cafres. Do not hesitate to write to us if you have tested the Pat’Jaune cabaret or if you have any questions.
Other articles that’ll give you fresh idea to enjoy a weekend in the heights: