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

Large, mostly with pools and fenced yards. - Feb 2018


We have a single family house and it is a bit older but with a huge yard. Most homes are either older and bigger or smaller homes in compounds. - Nov 2017


Housing here is quite nice, but can run the gamut from old and charming to new and a bit sterile. Most residences are standalone with decent-sized yards. Our house is on the older end in Kabulonga with a good-sized yard. Most Embassy housing is near supermarkets, malls, and restaurants, though nearly all of these require a car to access due to poor pedestrian conditions. - Jan 2017


Large and very modern. The layout is perfect with large bathrooms and kitchen. It is in a prime location in the Kabulonga area, close to supermarkets, schools, and work. - Jun 2016


Most of the housing is on the side of town near the embassy and the American International School. Houses are either stand-alone with their own walled-in gardens or on small compounds with shared grounds. I believe that all current properties come with some private garden space. Commute times to the embassy range from walking distance to 20 minutes by car. - May 2016


Housing is less than ideal. Many homes are somewhat dilapidated and old-fashioned and more than a few are small and most are dark. Nicer more modern housing is on some of the compounds, but they tend to have smaller yards and little privacy. As the weather is so nice much of the time having outdoor space is really a good thing. The housing isn't terrible, but it isn't great either. You'll be happy enough as long as you don't have too high of expectations for your housing. Also the roads are getting busier by the month and as there are no sidewalks you will be sharing that very narrow road with pedestrians, bicycles, mini-busses, school kids and slow moving trucks by the thousands....it can be quite scary at times, trying to avoid them all. For embassy people the commute isn't too bad as you will be going the opposite way of most traffic in the mornings and evenings. Driving through downtown, though, is typically slow and should be taken into consideration when planning to go south or west of Lusaka. It's worth it to leave before 6:00am to avoid the traffic if you are able to. - Mar 2015


Single family homes that are gates and maybe 7-15 minutes away. A few compounds - at least one seems to have no yard privacy and another does. - Aug 2014


Stand-alone housing is older but wonderful. Large yards with swimming pools and housekeeper quarters. The houses are quite nice and mostly spacious. We love our house and will be sorry to let it go. Some personnel are assigned to compounds which don't have as much privacy or yard size but are newer and very nice. - Jan 2014


Commute time is short for embassy employees, no one lives more than 10-15 minutes away from work. Housing is roughly broken up into two types: Single family homes on walled grounds which are generally, but not always, older and perhaps not very attractive, and newer stand-alone houses or townhouses on small compounds. Generally, people seem happy enough with their homes, and some are very happy. Some of the older homes have maintenence issues, of course, but GSO works hard to keep things up and do repairs. - Apr 2013


reasonable housing exists but it's surprisingly expensive - average rent on a reasonable property is $2500-$3000 per month. Commute times depend on which parts of town you live in and are commuting to - but on average we only spend about 10 minutes in the car going to and from work. Now, trying to get in and out of the Manda Hill Shopping Center - that's another story entirely! Partly because it's under construction, this traffic is ALWAYS bad. - Jul 2010


Most expats live behind large walls with guards. Most houses have pools and some have tennis courts as well. If you don't have a new house, chances are it's got an old fashioned layout, with a toilet across from the sink and tub. It's hard with kids. The rationale for the less than wonderful housing is that you spend all your time outside, so who cares?! - Mar 2009


There is not a great deal of traffic here. Some people complain that it took 20 minutes to get to work. Housing is generally within 5 to 15 kilometers of anything you need. - Mar 2009


Most people live in houses, though flats are available. Roma and Kabalonga are the larger expat areas. Commute time varies from 5 minutes and up . - Oct 2008


Reasonably nice in the U.S. government housing pool - but expensive to rent if you aren't supported. All houses have a wall around them for protection. Most have pools BUT they are unheated, so it's worth investing in a solar pool cover if you are a swimmer. If you live in the Sunningdale area you can walk or bike to Melissa's grocery. Commutes are short and traffic jams are brief. - Aug 2008


Most expat houses have large yards, swimming pools, and service quarters. Commutes tend to be 5 - 15 minutes from most expat neighborhoods to most of the embassy and NGO offices. If you have the misfortune of working downtown, you will encounter unpleasant traffic and might have a 30-45 minute commute. - May 2008


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More