Living in Mauritius
Mauritius is a country highly ranked for its democracy as well as economic and political freedom. It is an amazing nation with multi-ethnic and multicultural communities which explains why most Mauritians can speak French, Creole, English and Asian languages.
Mauritius is a small island situated on the eastern side of Madagascar with an estimated total population of 1.2 million. The people of Mauritius participate in a stable and growing economy built on leading sectors such as telecommunications, finance and tourism. Aside from being able to provide promising career opportunities to locals and expats alike, this country also offers a high quality of life. Mauritians enjoy good education standards, low crime level, clean environment, high standards of real estate and a plethora of exciting leisure activities. The words of the famous American writer Mark Twain perfectly describe this island: ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.'
Fun-filled Family Activities
Starting a brand new life in Mauritius with kids will be a whole lot fun considering that there are tonnes of exciting places to visit. For starters, having a good time in this volcanic island will not be complete without taking a dip at any of the spotless white-sand beaches. Expat parents can allow their kids to explore without worrying about their safety since the beautiful reefs are just about 100 metres away from the shore. Aside from the pristine waters, families can also visit the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden in Pamplemousse which is a great place to relax while being surrounded by palm trees and a variety of wildflowers.
Kids who love marine animals can ride the Blue Safari Submarine which will take them in an underwater exploration while marvelling at the aquatic life. Another top family must-see is the Vanilla Crocodile Park, a lush green jungle that houses not just crocodiles but also other animals such as bats, giant turtles and monkeys. Among the many bore-free activities in Mauritius, the interactive indoor museums such as the Sugar Museum and the Curious Caramel Attraction should be included in every expat parent’s ‘weekend leisure destinations’ list.
Tips for Expat Drivers
Buses and taxis are the primary mode of transportation in Mauritius but expats also have the option to drive if they want to avoid the wave of daily commuters. Foreign nationals are allowed to use the driver’s license from their home country and an international license but only for a period of one month. After 30 days, you need to obtain a Mauritian driving license from the Traffic Department of the police station near your area of residence. Some of the documents that applicants must bring are:
- Birth Certificate
- Original Residence and Work Permits
- Valid Passport
- National Identity Card
- Transaction ID from the applicant’s online registration
Roads in this island are narrow but well maintained but newcomers should beware that the locals are the opposite of careful drivers. Buckling up is mandatory for everyone while the car is in motion. When driving in Mauritius, expats must refrain from drinking before getting behind the wheels unless they want to face serious consequences. The speed limit in towns are 40 kilometres per hour, 100 kilometres per hour in highways and 80 kilometres per hour in open roads.
The Mauritian Culture
Mauritius is a highly diverse country where strong influences from the Dutch, French, Americans, Chinese, Indians and Africans are evident. Diversity is felt in almost every aspect of the society whereas expats will see Catholic churches built next to a mosque while Chinese pagodas stand side by side with Indian temples. Religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed right is one of the secrets why this beautiful island has peace and harmony among its people.
Generally speaking, the Mauritians are quote aloof at first which can be mistaken for being snobbish. They have the tendency to be indirect and polite in most situations whereas they will rather tell you what they think you want to hear instead of embarrassing you with the truth. The Mauritians are also known for being conservative. The local word for a 'taboo' behaviour is ‘sauvaze’ which means savage and is often used to describe a person that is too loud or a woman seen smoking, drinking too much or dressed inappropriately in public.
Mauritians are also particular with punctuality. Expats in this country should always be on time regardless if the appointment is a social gathering, a simple dinner at home or a business meeting. When it comes to greeting, the Mauritian kids are raised to greet everyone with a kiss on each cheek just like the France. A simple nod with eye contact or firm shake of hands is an acceptable greeting for adults.
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