White sandy beaches and island life awaits in Mauritius, the star of the Indian ocean. Enticing blue lagoons, long stretches of pristine beach and incredible landscapes invite you to explore all the island has to offer. We all know that Mauritius is a world-class tourist destination, but there are plenty of reasons to settle down here too. A growing and attractive destination for foreign investment, expatriates and those looking to work abroad.
There is a lot to consider when making a move to another country, but the Mauritian government is incredibly open to expatriates making it very attractive for those looking to live, work and start a family. There’s plenty to love here, and we’ll take you through all you need to know.
Population: 1.4 million
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
Capital: Port Louis
National languages: French and English
Timezone: UTC +4
Dialling code: +230
Driving: On the left side
Mauritius offers an extraordinary combination of unbelievable natural attractions, a growing economic landscape, thriving foreign investment, low taxation, world-class tourism, comparative ease to residency and a comfortable tropical climate.
What’s not to love about a tropical island? There is plenty to offer here for expatriates and business investors alike. Perfect for families there are good schools, impeccable real estate investments on offer and a plethora of adventurous activities like golf, watersports, rugby, hiking, snorkelling, horse riding and much more.
The cost of living is lower than many countries where such a high quality of life is on offer, and more importantly, crime levels are low across the island-definitely a wonderful destination for those looking to retire or just a slower pace of life. But don’t be fooled by the island vibes, there’s plenty going on here in the way of foreign investment and exceptional real estate investment opportunity.
Catering for a large number of expatriates there are very good international schools on the island that offer a globally accredited education. Most notable are the Alexandra House School and the International Preparatory School. These schools are ideal for children relocating from other countries.
In terms of schooling systems, private secondary schools offer international GCSEs, International Baccalaureate Diploma and A levels. Popular schools are Le Bocage International School and Northfields High School.
There is a government-driven stimulus from primary school all the way through to university level for kids who live on the island that offers free education. However, fees are payable for all private and international schools.
Mauritian’s genuinely value education, and many locals attend both the private and international schools. This mix creates connections for your children to embed themselves into the local community and start to build a network of friends. There is a wide array of sports and extramural activities on offer like tennis, ballet, watersports, touch rugby, art, cricket and much more. The island certainly makes for a wonderful lifestyle for growing kids.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, located in Port Louis and named after the first Mauritian Prime Minister, welcomes investors, ex-pats and tourists from around the world. A mere 4-hour flight from South Africa and a mere connecting flight to the world’s major cities, Mauritius has many airline options such as Air Mauritius, Emirates, Air France, British Airways and Air India.
However, if you’re looking for high tech public transport, this is not the place for you as the primary mode of transportation is by car. This shouldn’t come as a shock as the 45 by 65 km paradise island can be traversed in around 90 minutes. There are no railways in operation, but the M1 highway connects the capital in Port Louis with the airport as well as several main towns like Grand Baie. While the M2 highway takes you north towards the Central Plateau and bypasses the busy capital.
Since getting around by car is a cinch you’ll likely be interested in purchasing one. To do this you will need to arrange a declaration. A declaration is the Mauritian equivalent of vehicle licensing and on the road tax. You will be required to pay this declaration at 3, 6 or 12 months increments, and you will need vehicle insurance for the duration of car ownership.
Tourists and those visiting for less than a month can drive using their national driver’s licence with an accompanying international driver’s licence verification. Anyone wanting to drive for longer will need a temporary permit from the Mauritian traffic department. Note that most of the roads are perfect but there are potholes to look out for when travelling to more rural areas.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the many surrounding islands just off the coast by boat. Sailing is a favourite past time here if you’re keen to try your hand or are already a seasoned sailor. If not, there are water taxis and bussing services that operate all year round for you to enjoy all the islands have to offer. Just make sure to settle on a fixed fare before hiring. Make sure to check out the island of Rodrigues. So popular it even has it’s own landing strip.
There are high-quality public hospitals in Mauritius that can be accessed free of charge for citizens and permanent residents. However, most if not all, ex-pats access healthcare at private facilities. The more popular private hospitals are Darne Clinic and the Apollo Bramwell Hospital. These private hospitals cater to a greater range of medical services, and they have better quality facilities.
So the gist is that expatriates usually carry the cost for their medical bills and must secure adequate health care insurance to offset any significant medical expenses and cover for any emergencies or more serious procedures. Most important to mention is that several specialist medical services and procedures will require transfer from Mauritius to a medical facility in Reunion or South Africa.
A note on Malaria: little precaution is needed for Malaria prevention and treatment as the island is a low-risk area. There is a greater risk of Malaria in more rural areas of the island. Vaccinations are not required for travellers, but all standard immunizations are recommended before entering the country. These include hepatitis A and B, mumps, measles and rubella (MMR), tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations.
A growing economy, forward-thinking property law, great financing options from local banks, favourable personal and business taxation are all waiting for you here. This is why the beautiful island has become an attractive destination for South African’s to holiday, invest, and retire, as well those looking to gain permanent residency. Great for investors looking to diversify and those seeking to invest early to benefit from excellent capital growth.
If you’re looking for more info on the incredible investment opportunities and real estate schemes on offer then check out our guide to buying property in Mauritius. If you’re looking to find out more about the Mauritian economy, make sure to read here for our detailed guide on everything you need to know.