What is a good salary in Mauritius and where is a good place to live?

Good afternoon/evening all,

My partner and I are heading to Mauritius this coming September, and we would be interested to hear:

(A) what it's like to live there,
(B) whether Tamarin would represent a good place to say, and
(C) what kind of life we'll be able to lead on 110,000R a month.

The latter figure will be my salary until she gets a job, and my employer has also offered us a 300,000R interest-free loan to buy a second-hand car that we can pay off over three years. I've read somewhere that the average salary in Mauritius is around 40,000R a month, so I assume we will be more than comfortable but I would just like to make sure. You never really know until you've spoken to someone with first-hand experience of the place.

Anyway, any help or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. We are both very much looking forward to it!

Thanks.

(A) - Mauritius is a beautiful place, and you'll be arriving just after winter, so a perfect time. That said, winter isn't really that cold either if you're coming from Ireland! It is definitely more relaxed than most places, but that said, every experience is different to everyone of course. We are from Australia, and my wife and kids dont want to go back for a long time. It's a great place to socialise, watch children grow up, lots to do locally and around the island, I could go on forever.

(B) Most expats choose the West, some North around Grand Baie, but Tamarin, Black River is where most choose to stay with lots of good services, amenities and a sense of community. No matter what we do, whether it be going to the shops, or picking up something from the local butcher for example, we always bump into someone we know, and its such a change to where we used to live (Melbourne with 5 million people), where you had lots of people around you, but never knew your neighbours, and that kind of thing. So a real sense of community.

(C) - You're right, Rs110,000 a month is well a truly above the average, and its taxed at 15%. That said, if you live in the West, not sure of your family situation, but the entry point for a house is Rs30,000/month, and goes quickly to Rs40-50,000/month, and a very nice house near the beach will set you back Rs100,000/month+. Mont Calme, for example where its a gated community, you won't find anything under Rs55-60,000 a month, but the Rs30-50,000/month property market has alot of houses available. Apartments and studios obviously cheaper again. Cars and petrol are expensive by global terms, more expensive than SA, but dare I say cheaper than Ireland? Fruit and veg are very cheap, good meat relatively expensive - that said, we're from Australia where everything is always expensive, and we think things are reasonably cheap here.

The interest free loan for a car is a nice gesture - the most common small car in Mauritius is the Nissan March/Micra. Lots of midsize cars are available, and the mighty 4X4 rules supreme with some. Rs300,000 over 36 months gives you Rs8,333 a month, which won't be enough the cover the cost of a small car - I have a 2007 Nissan March for example and pay Rs11,000/month - all I need is a functional car to get from A to B, never cared for cars much, and my wife has a midsize car from 2009 and she pays Rs15,500 a month. Ridiculous I know, but these are good rates in Mauritius (from a reputable car company too - but that's another topic).

Hope all this helps - alot of opinions in there, alot of fact, happy to help any time.

Thanks for taking the time to write such a long response, Gronk. It really is appreciated and gives me a real sense of the place. I'll be sure to send this onto my partner when I speak to her later tonight.

I like the sound of living in a place where you actually know your neighbours. I too have spent too many years moving from area to area without saying more than a perfunctory 'hello' to those who live next door or across the road. Part of it might come down to scale - cities in the country where I live tend to be concentrated urban sprawls that suffocate any semblance of community - but I do think that culture has a part to play. In my own personal experience, people in parts of Africa and Asia, and other corners of the developing world, are just that little bit more friendly.

Since we have no kids and no debt to pay off beyond that which we will incur buying a car, we should be fine on the house front. At the moment we're looking for two bedroom apartments, because we would like to invite people to stay but do not actually need a house. We've seen a number of places in the 25,000-30,000R price bracket that seem reasonable, but do you know if the rent increases at different times of the year (i.e., that rates on the whole will increase the closer we get to peak season)? Also, is it customary to negotiate with sellers? I've heard that is a rule of thumb for many other transactions ...

On the subject of cars, we've done some research and been surprised at the price, but we're both aware that nothing is made on the island and that everything has to be shipped onto it. Assuming we do go down the second-hand car route, do you think it is wise to buy 'local' cars? As I understand it, 'local' cars are shipped to the island brand new, which means you can get a full service history if you buy them later, while cars that are shipped when second-hand often lack service history. I've also seen some advertisements for 'reconditioned' cars, which triggered a few alarm bells given that you don't know who's done the 'reconditioning'.

Either way, thank you for your responses - they have been very informative. We are both very much looking forward to heading out!

Best

Rents don't go up or down according to peak seasons.. Generally there are annual rent reviews inline with inflation or 5% a year, or not at all in a weak rental market :)

Cars are a big topic here. To buy or rent, is a personal choice. We chose not to buy, basically because I didn't want to pay rs600,000 for a new Nissan March. Resale value depends on the quality of the car of course, but if and when you decide to leave mauritius, it generally takes a long time to sell your car because there's a huge supply of available cars in the same model, which means to sell the car quickly you drop your price, and so on.

Rental from a company means if I have a flat, they pay for the new tire, dead battery I had in February? Replaced in 20 minutes... That gives us peace of mind.

Hello - I am his partner! Thank you so much for your very helpful responses.

What do you think of Albion as a place to live as an alternative to Tamarin/Black River? We don't mind living where there aren't any expats but we are quite keen to be near the coast and reasonable travelling distance from Vacaos (where my partner will be working( and Port Louis (where I will probably end up getting a job). We also love wildlife and nature, and so are keen to be not too far from Black River Gorges National Park.

Given your experience of the cost of living out there, what do think is a sensible amount a month we should spend on renting accommodation from a salary of 110k, factoring in tax, the cost of a car, food, petrol, utilities, internet etc? We are not extravagant spenders, we don't drink much alcohol or buy lots of technical things, and we like to spend our time in nature/reading/exploring/hiking/drinking coffee etc.

Albion is the sweet spot :)
Not far from Rose Hill Ebene or Port Louis. The rent is much lower than other regions along the west coast.
But... some downsides are.

There are not that many shops, they close down quite early, two bus lines are available to/from Rose Hill and Port Louis but it would be one bus every 15/30 minutes depending on the time of the day.

Those downsides maybe ups if you don't like how busy the other places along the coast are, Albion is calm, very calm:) .  Less buildings, no bars, no nightclubs, no big supermarkets.

I am myself and inhabitant of Albion and I will not change for any other region :).
One last thing, there are quite some expats in Albion.

Hope it helps

Thanks - that's really helpful.

I would just like to mention something, I have lived in a number of areas within Mauritius including Flic en Flac and a house pied dans l'eau at Riambel but came to realise that with the beach literally on my doorstep I started ignoring it and spent less and less time on the beach but found I was spending more and more time travelling to the important places like supermarkets and business centres.  All I am trying to say is no where in Mauritius is more than 30 minutes from a beach but if you live near a beach you are likely to be 30 minutes away from the bigger supermarkets and a 30 minute, traffic-less commute from the office (or 90 minutes in rush hour).  Just something to perhaps consider.

Good Morning,

(A) what it's like to live there
Its an overall nice and cozy place to live. You'll feel very welcome here.

(B) whether Tamarin would represent a good place to say
Tamarin is a good place. There are all the required amenities and facilities nearby. Its a few minutes drive from Flic en Flacq  (where you will be spending most of your evenings and week ends ;) ). Depending where you are going to work, it can be near or far.

(C) what kind of life we'll be able to lead 
Its will be a very easy going life with party and clubbing each week end. With the 300k, you'll easily get a small car in the range of 07-10 depending on the car that you are buying and the person you are buying it from. The local newspaper will provide lots of available make and models.

Hope i have been able to clear your queries.
Cheers
Deenesh

Dear

I would like to inform you that work and live in Mauritius is good and you have enough Salary to live a good life, of course depending also on your living style.

you can also buy a second hand car.  Any way you must be also careful not to take risk e.g working on the beach alone late in the evening etc.  Keep your belonging, money in a bank...

Many Expat used to stay at Tamarin, Grand Baie, Flic en Flaq, but it is good to choose a place not too far from your working area.

have a nice day.
Jyoti

Hi,

Gronk has given you some pretty good advice that i would like to add to.

Firstly although Black River/Tamarin is my first choice and i have lived here for 20 years it is possible to get a cheaper house or apartment in Flic en Flac. However there is a 2 bedroomed house for 15,000 on the market at the moment. I pay Rs20,000 for my house and I have a huge garden but smaller house. I can put you in touch with a good estate agent but you can look up west coast properties and have a look there. Tamarin Beach is great and you really dont need to live on the beach.
Expat salaries normally include a car and rental but things are changing. You can rent a car long term from one of the un-official car rental companies and shouldnt pay more than Rs700.00 per month for a Nissan March long term rental. I love the Nissan March and rate it as one of the most comfortable cars i have ever driven. i bought a 2x4 for Rs250,000.
There are some really nice things in Black River and plenty to do if you look around. It is also on a pretty good bus route and you would be wise to look for a house close to the bus route as it is a long hot walk in summer if you live far from the route. Most places here are pretty good and i dont have favourites areas. As your partner will probably not have a car you should think about bus routes as i said and distance from the shops. You are welcome to contact me on facebook if you like. facebook.com/gabby.steel

ciao

Thank you Gabsou1 - this is so helpful!

We've seen some good deals in Le Preneuse. What do you think of that area? Does that fall under Black River?

Thanks again

Tessa  :)

New topic