Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report


What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Our house is a single level detached family home. Most houses are fairly large and multi-leveled. Floors are always tile (usually of varying styles, sometimes varying styles in the same room!) - houses are not of the "open floor plan" design; they are very cut up often with unusable spaces, but this is typical in most places we've been. Most families are in Kagugu, which is a newer neighborhood with dirt roads, large houses, and smaller yards. Some families are in Kimihurura, Kacyiru, or Kiyovu...these neighborhoods mostly have smaller, older homes with larger yards (with some exceptions). - Dec 13, 2017
I have a four bedroom, 3.5 bath house with a lovely garden. Most people have houses, although there are now also a few apartments in the housing pool. The apartments are small compared to the houses, but large compared to DC. Housing is located around the city.

I live about 10-15 minutes from work. Most people commute about that long, maybe a little more. The city isn't large, and traffic isn't terrible, but the roads are very winding, so movement from one side of the city to the other takes about 30 minutes. - Jan 25, 2017

Commute is quite short - 10-15 mins max, and there's rarely what Americans would consider traffic. - Apr 5, 2016
Housing is often oversized with nice yards for gardening. Typical commute is about 10 minutes driving. Most expats live in Kagugu, but the other neighborhoods each have wonderful offerings and expats as well. Everything is pretty close so you're never too far away from anyone. - Oct 16, 2014
Most people live in single family homes and have a 15-minute commute to work. Traffic is nonexistent in Kigali. Houses are large with big yards. We really love our home here! Kimihurura is a fabulous neighborhood to live in! - Jul 23, 2014
Large houses close to the embassy. Traffic on its worse day in Kigali is still not that bad. - Sep 13, 2013
Houses are large and pretty, but of poor quality construction. Most have decent yards. You are never more than 20 minutes away from any destination in Kigali. - May 6, 2012
Mostly single family homes, some apartments and a few duplexes where you'll share a wall with your neighbor. Housing size is usually oversized and many end up in housing way to big for their position - many times it is all about timing. The Embassy is centrally located to all the housing neighborhoods - commute time is anywhere from 5 minutes (in the Embassy's neighborhood) to 20 minutes in the outer neighborhoods. - Apr 2, 2012
It varies. But no matter what house you get, it is a maintenance nightmare. There are no rules or regulations governing construction, so don't be surprised if things break immediately after moving in. - Jul 28, 2011
Most of the housing is five to ten minutes away in the morning, and if you're lucky, you'll get the one of the houses less than a mile from the embassy. - Oct 20, 2010
Everything is about 15 miutes from everywhere else. Traffic is near non-existant. Expat housing ranges from very large to condos. - Jan 23, 2010
From small dumpy, but very cheap (10,000 Rwf/month) locals apartments to hugh homes for several thousand dollars a month. - Sep 16, 2008
Housing is difficult to acquire in business and expat areas of the community. Regardless of accommodation, water, electricity, and waste disposal can be problematic. City water may not be available from hours to days. Electricity to various parts of Kigali is also problematic. - Aug 9, 2008