Living in MauritiusIyna Bort Caruso
Mauritius, the island nation in the Indian Ocean, is home to turquoise waters, rare flora, a rich multicultural population and perhaps, most distinctively, the world’s most famous extinct bird, the dodo.
It has also become a top luxury destination. Life revolves around golf, boating and beaches. While geographically remote, situated about 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa, it is well connected. Its international airport offers regular flights to major cities like Paris, London, Dubai, Johannesburg and Sydney.
Mauritians enjoy an upper-middle income economy, according to the World Bank, with a low crime rate and good educational system. The republic has a strong infrastructure, stable government and one of the highest standards of living in Africa.
A favorable tax climate has helped make Mauritius a magnet for high net worth individuals. In recent years, the government has opened up Mauritius real estate to international buyers, earmarking designated zones for outright ownership. In some cases, former sugarcane fields have been converted into residential developments to meet the pent-up demand. French and South African buyers account for a large percentage of international sales.
To traditional Mauritian plantation estates and French architectural influences adapted to the tropics such as vaulted ceilings and expansive verandas are bespoke villas built around championship golf courses and marina developments with private beach clubs and mooring rights.
The country is divided into nine districts. A coral reef, the world’s third largest, rings most of the coastline except in the south, an area of high cliffs and rough waters. The topography is defined by mountains, plateaus, river valleys and extinct volcanic craters. The east is known for its lagoons, sheltered coves and outstanding sandy beaches. Port Louis on the northwest coast is the colonial capital, and many newer developments have cropped up nearby. The popular northern town of Grand Baie is less than a half-hour away, while on the western coast, stylish residences in the rural district of Black River offer homebuyers an authentic island experience.