Where on the island do you call home? We live in Grand Baie on the northern side of the island. It’s outside of the main hubs of Port Louis and Ebene, which makes for less traffic congestion, but it’s still a quick drive to the airport and business districts.
What are the pros and cons of living in Mauritius? The island is relatively safe — violent crimes are almost unheard of, although petty theft does occur. The lifestyle is relaxed, and the children are exposed to a host of cultures and languages. I have been amazed at how quickly they picked up French.
As a family, we love the outdoors and are spoilt for choice with paddle boarding, mountain biking, hiking, and beach picnics right on our doorstep. And peak-hour traffic is virtually non-existent.
There is a very large expat community living on the island — not just from South Africa, but from across the world. People are friendly and engaging.
On the downside, because it’s an island, everything is imported and, therefore, choice is limited. It’s not as easy as popping into your local pharmacy or grocer to pick up your favourite moisturiser or ingredients for the evening dinner. Luckily, friends and family often come to visit and get lists of what they need to bring.
How do living costs compare to South Africa? One pays about 30% more for usual groceries and household items. School fees at an international school are about double those in South Africa. But the quality of schooling is excellent, with an emphasis on parental involvement. To rent a mid-level three bedroom, two-bathroom house or apartment in Grand Baie will cost about 100 000 rupees a month (about R42,413). Eating out is also expensive compared to South Africa, unless you know where the locals eat. Dinner for two in a nice restaurant will cost about 3 500 rupees (R1,484), with about half of that going towards the bottle of wine.
How long do you plan to live on the island? Mauritius is our home now. I have no intentions of moving anywhere else soon!