Snorkeling with underwater scooter at La Reunion
If you are comfortable in the water and like new sensations, try freediving with the electric turbine underwater scooter.
What is a Zarlor ?
Zarlor is a creol word that means « treasure » !
But here, ” Zarlor ” are activities, recommendations (guided tours, sport or cutltural activities…) highlighted by the Tourist Office to discover or re discover the West part of the island.
Let’s go to Cap La Houssaye
We meet Benoit RAOUL in the parking lot facing the sea at Cap La Houssaye, easy to spot with his marked van.
The group is already there, Benoit introduces himself and checks that we are all there. He then takes out the equipment for everyone: diving suit, flippers, mask, snorkel and of course the famous electric scooter.
Preparation and brief
So we equip ourselves with the equipment. In summer they are fairly thin playsuits, in winter integrals, if you are chilly, do not hesitate to take an extra lycra. Then, Benoit briefs us on the scooter, its operation and use.
Like an electric bike, there are different speed modes (here: Free > Sport et Turbo), it’s really simple.
In the same way, you have to stand straight with your arms forward, like “Superman”, to be as ergonomic as possible. The more resistance there is, the slower you go, and the faster it wears out the battery.
Snorkeling with underwater scooters: getting into the water
Well that’s it, we’re ready and briefed. Ready to go in the water. There is a 5 minute walk to the boat launch. We go there quietly, there are a few stones on the way and sometimes it slips a little.
Once arrived, we rinse our masks with the anti-fog product, we put on our fins, and presto, here we go. The scooter floats, so no worries, we can put it in the water and then descend quietly without having anything cluttering our hands.
Learn to master the beast…
So mastering the beast may be a bit much. The scooter is taken in hand very quickly. Once immersed in water, it does not even take 2, 3 minutes to adapt to it and its speeds mode…
Besides, we were afraid it would be noisy, but no, it’s rather quiet… We don’t feel like we’re disturbing the local fauna. At the beginning, we stay rather on the surface, to test the different modes and speeds. With the PMT, we can keep our head down while advancing slowly to observe the fish below us.
Benoit of course gives us directions to follow. He holds a buoy and tells us that even if we can move away a little, the goal is to stay within a reasonable perimeter around the buoy to do the activity safely.
Snorkeling with underwater scooter and pirouette
After flying over an old cannon, pretty fish, and above all, a turtle… we head to the herbarium. It is an area where there is not particularly grass or seaweed, but quite shallow with large stones. It’s great for seeing wildlife up close and also for having fun with the scooter slaloming between obstacles effortlessly.
We see Picasso triggerfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, chestfish, Romain even spotted a magnificent juvenile emperor fish.
As everyone feels more comfortable, we start going down a little deeper with the scooter or even doing loops, forwards and backwards for Romain.
Freediving in the cave
After nearly 3/4h, we head towards a pretty cave on the way back. Not everyone tries it because you still have to know how to hold your breath a little underwater and not be too scared. But Benoit shows us the access to a small cave with pretty fish.
For him it’s child’s play… To know that at the base, he is an apnea instructor and can last more than 2 minutes underwater while swimming… we do not measure up.
After this last stop and paying attention to people jumping from the cliff, we get out of the water. And casually, we may be towed by the scooters, we’re all a little tired!
Time to go back to the van, to change and rinse off, Benoit offers us a small glass of fresh juice.
After the effort, the comfort!
Then it’s off to the Boucan Canot waterfront to enjoy a small aperitif facing the sea. With a plate of Creolities and a cocktail with or without alcohol.
If you want to try a new activity and you like everything that says snorkeling, don’t hesitate any longer, it’s a great fun time to do alone, with friends or family.
Practical Info Snorkeling with underwater scooter:
This Zarlor “Snorkeling with underwater scooter” takes place at Cap La Houssaye and Boucan Canot.
- It includes the launch with all the equipment: wetsuit, mask and snorkel fins and electric scooter as well as an aperitif on the Boucan esplanade with a plate of Creolities + cocktail with or without alcohol.
- It takes 1h30 for the activity (equipment, brief, launching).
- The price is €71 per person.
- To book your Zarlor, head to the West Tourist Office website (in french).
Remember to take: swimming suits, water, towel, sunscreen.
And to find all our activities in Réunion, it’s here !