Cost of living in Mauritius
Cost of living in Mauritius
I get this question a lot... In fact, it all depends on your own lifestyle:
· Your situation: Family / single / retiree / couple?
· Your accommodation: owned or rented?
· Your car: to buy or rent long-term?
· Food: Super U or local shop?
· schools: private or public?
· Health insurance?
· Service at home: nanny / housekeeper?
· Your region: North - South - West - East?
· Boating every weekend?
In this article, I will try to be as objective as possible and give you price ranges!
Life in Mauritius is not free... Saying that it is dirt cheap would be a lie. In fact, as I said, it all depends on how you live. Personally, I have live in a villa with two cars and 4 children going to an international private school – so I don't have the cheapest possible life, for sure!
Do I need a car?
The answer is yes! Compulsory – there are no sidewalks here, nor small towns you can walk around in.
The problem: cars are very expensive 20 to 30% more expensive than Europe. Roads are not always paved/asphalted and we damage our cars a lot driving through the cane fields – yes, yes, we are in Africa. Prices for a small second-hand car start around Rs 300,000 (€7,000). Of course, you can find cheaper but I do not guarantee the condition of the car. Here we drive to the left of the road (same as in England). I know what you're thinking: "I'll just bring my car" - forget it! Between shipping costs and taxes it may work out even more expensive – and you may have the steering wheel on the wrong side. For long-term rental count at least Rs 20,000 per month (430 €).
As is the case everywhere, prices have exploded this year: my 7-seater car (4 children) costs me 90 € every 2 weeks, yes, we drive a lot. Everything is close-by, but we drive everywhere. Now, when I drive for 15 minutes, I find it far away.
In the North, which is very sought after by expatriates, prices have risen. Having said that, I have friends who rent their two-bedroom for 400 € per month. But for a 4-bedroom villa with swimming pool, count 2,500 €. You'll find cheaper, obviously, but it will be older, I just don't want you to believe that life is free here.
Personally, my first year was during the pandemic, I lived on the beach in a modern 3-bedroom house for 2000 € per month (but that was pandemic prices).
Super U or Echoppe?
Vast topic, before arriving I did not understand the real estate ads: most of them said "close to Super U". Yes, especially in the North, it is the center of retail activity in the region.
Of course, you will have understood that the Super U where almost everything is imported is 10 times more expensive than the local shop! Having said that, it is true that some French biscuits or a Camembert is worth it from time to time.
The best thing is to do a little bit of both. You can live on Rs 8,000 (€200) per week of groceries for a family of four. But will have to do a little of both because a full cart at the super U will cost you Rs 15,000 (350 €). Of course, my Mauritian friends fill up a cart at Super U for only 150 € (and it lasts them a month). Don't ask me how they do it, I've never managed to do it!
Water, electricity and internet?
Water is not expensive at all Rs 500-1,000 per month (10 – 20 €)
Electricity: depends on whether you are in summer or winter. In the summer, electricity can go up to Rs 12,000 (€300) per month because of the air conditioning
and pool pump in the case of a villa. In an apartment it will be between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6000 (65 – 140 €).
Internet: the island has home internet packages ranging from 20 Mbps to 1 Gbps which will cost between Rs 800 and Rs 5 800 (20 – 120 €) per month.
For Private Schools?
You have a choice between public (free) or private schools.
On a very large part of the island (NORTH, WEST AND CENTER) you have French or International private schools. Yes, most expatriates choose private education for their children for equivalence with their country of origin; and the academic level is exceptional. I will explain all this in another article.
For the price, count 2,000 € per year for a child in the French system. You can apply for scholarships according to your financial situation. Check the registration fees, which are not negligible.
You have minibuses that make the round trip from your home to school for €45 round trip per month.
Your children have many choices in extra-curricular activities (football, football, rugby, horse riding, gym, golf, padel, dance, theater, drawing)." Here, children are kings, they have an extraordinary life.
Personally, they saved me after 5 months of lockdown in London (yes, I lived there before) with 4 children including a newborn.
They are extraordinary. Leaving my 5-month-old in their arms was simple, they have a relationship with children which is just magical... As you will have understood I am a fan of Mauritians in general.
Price-wise, it is between Rs 100 and Rs 200 per hour (€ 2.30 and € 4.60). In my case, it is more like Rs 200 per hour because I don’t want to abuse the system. If they weren’t there, I could not work nor have any time for myself. Having said that, if it is every day from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm you can make a package and end up paying about 800 € per month.
I hope I have answered many of your questions, which are important ones before moving abroad. Of course, you will have people who will tell you: " No, it's less! / No, it's more!” As
I said at the beginning, my vision is that of a mother of 4 children in the North going to private school.
We each live according to our means and there will always be "richer" and "poorer" than us. When we see how Mauritians live, for sure, we have a thing or two to learn!
The most important thing for them is to spend time with family and friends, and to enjoy their beach together on weekends, having barbecues and singing. For sure, it's cheaper than boating every weekend, but is it any less fun?
Do not hesitate to contact me for any question Sarah@villabee.mu