[travel stories]

Aug 3, 2021

[travel stories]

Aug 3, 2021

our pandemic journey to mauritius

Almost exactly a year ago in the middle of a travel-stopping pandemic we made a decision. We were going to pack our belongings into a small storage container, transition into working for ourselves and begin to travel the world. Seems like a safe move right? My parents had recently moved to the beautiful island of Mauritius and so we thought what a better place to go wait out a pandemic and start our new lives. 


We started to put our plan into action. We sold a large amount of our belongings, rid ourselves of all non-essential expenses and started saving our butts off. In September 2020 we put in our notice for our beautiful Cape Town apartment and in November packed all our belongings into a small storage unit. We were all set to go, just awaiting the Mauritian government to open up a direct flight from Johannesburg to its beautiful shores. Just as we had arrived back in our home town of Kloof, KZN we had word of a flight on December 27, 2020. Without hesitation we booked ourselves seats, reserved our two week mandatory quarantine and were all raring and set to go.

What Could go wrong?

A few days before the flight, after we had already started prepping and had received negative PCR tests, we received very upsetting news. Due to a rise in Covid cases and the emergence of a new variant, the Mauritian government grounded all flights and prohibited entry from South Africa. We were gutted to say the least, but we honestly thought that it would be a month or so ban and come the new year, we would be on our way.


We decided to take a little tour of the Underberg area in the meantime (see here) and then surely we would be able to fly over. Our little tour ended and still no clarification or flight. One month turned into two, which turned into six. In that time we went from Kwa-Zulu Natal back to the Western Cape to stay in Melkbosstrand and then into Cape Town city, road tripping the Northern Cape and then back to Kwa-Zulu Natal, living between family, friends and Airbnb’s. We also went from full time corporate employment to setting up our own business and working for ourselves. Beginning of June came and we still had no way of getting to Mauritius.


How did we eventually get to Mauritius:

During this time we had decided that given the current world situation and the likelihood of easy future travel, once we do get to Mauritius we would stay put for about a year before heading home to South Africa to get married and then hopefully by then, the world would be more open and we could travel about (but who really knows the future at this stage). Given this plan, we decided to apply for the Mauritian Premium Visa. This online E-Visa is aimed at Digital Nomads and remote workers who want to settle in Mauritius in the short term. My parents are residents and given it had been 18 months since we had seen them last, we were desperate to get across and see them. This pandemic has really made us aware of what is truly important.

Applying for a premium visa

We applied for the Premium Visa, which we highly recommend. It is a free visa that is applied for and issued online.  All that is required is proof of income outside of Mauritius, Medical cover for the initial part of your stay and a pre-booked return flight. From application to approval stage usually takes about 2 weeks. During this application procedure, there came word of a Repatriation flight on June 16th 2021 and here we hit our first snag. The flight was being offered to Mauritian citizens, residents and anyone with a permit (including Premium Visas).  We were awaiting approval on our visa however, given that no flights were being offered from SA to Mauritius, we had applied sans plane ticket. We were subsequently told that we would not be allowed to apply for the flight without the permit in hand and on the other hand were also told that we couldn’t get the permit without having a prebooked plane ticket.  A bit of a chicken versus the egg situation. After a bit of wrangling (read: booked a later plane ticket, with the idea to cancel if we get on the repat flight) we FINALLY had the permit in hand and could apply for a seat on the flight.


We knew our chances were slim. The tickets are given in order of priority to Mauritians first and working down the list. Premium Visa being last. But we were desperate. A week before the flight was due to take off, JP got the phone call. He was on the flight, but after enquiring about the list, I was not. We have never really been one to give in and so we decided to play the gamble. We accepted and paid for JPs flight and called Air Mauritius every single day to ask if a new list had been received from the embassy, everyday the answer was the same – No. Finally the day before the flight, we called Air Mauritius to see if there was any cancellations and amazingly, there was. A few quick calls to the embassy and Mauritius EDB, proof of PCR results presented (Mauritius required PCR test done 5-7 days before) meant that a mere 24 hours before the fight was due to take off, I finally had my seat.


Finally after 8 months of trying, cancelled flights and permit applications, on June 16 2021 we boarded the plane and touched down in Mauritius. We were transferred to our Quarantine Hotel at Ravenala Attititude and got ready to wait out our mandatory 14 day in room quarantine. However on Day 8 we tested positive with Covid-19…. Which threw a whole other spanner in the works. But that’s a story for another day….Coming Soon. (Update: Read our Post: We Spent 31 Days in Quarantine for more)


Are you interested in travelling to Mauritius, to either relocate, work remotely like us or even just for holiday? Let us know in the comments below. Alternatively if you need any further information on our experiences, please reach out via the contact page. We would love to connect with you.

More on getting to Mauritius

As of the 15 July 2021, Mauritius has started phasing in the opening of their borders. It is now possible to visit the island depending on your vaccination status and country of origin. These restrictions do change often and so its is important to keep abreast.

For more information we suggest the following resources:


For Travel Updates:




For Permits and Premium Visas: https://www.edbmauritius.org/


For personal Quarantine Hotel reviews and experiences, we could not recommend the Facebook group Mauritius in Quarantine more:



For more information : https://www.mymauritiuslife.com/

Stay Adventurous, Keep Exploring & Play more, 

Until Next time, Sarah and JP. 


Turning 30: 5 Things I’d tell my Younger Self

Today I turned 30… I’ve never really been one who has been overly focused on age. I love my birthday, always have but it’s never really been about the number of candles on my cake. This year however feels a whole load different. Leading up to this day I’ve felt full of anticipation and I’m not exactly sure why.

Read More »

We Spent 31 Days in Quarantine

Yes, we had contracted COVID and our bodies needed rest. However both JP and I were extremely lucky that within 7 days of first symptoms, we both felt back to normal and had no lingering issues. So within a few days of arriving at Tarisa, we both were no longer focusing on the physical but were now facing the mental challenge of how to cope in Government Quarantine in a foreign country with no clear outline of conditions of release.

Read More »

Get In Touch!

How can we help you?
How can we reach you?
Where can we reach you?