Khartoum - Post Report Question and Answers

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

There were four housing complexes in Khartoum during our tour. The largest had 38 enormous villas (6000 square ft), where about half of the embassy employees lived. Not far from the villas is a group of 8 townhouses, multi-floor and spacious. All transportation was in fully-armored vehicles during our time in Khartoum, so employees took a motor pool shuttle to work. The ride from the villas and the townhouses is 25 minutes. There are two more housing complexes closer to the embassy, both with four units. One is multi-floor, while the other is a one floor, appropriate for a single officer with no family members or pets. - Feb 2018

The embassy houses people in different compounds throughout the city. I lived at the Presidential Villas compound, by far the largest housing compound. Each American is assigned a large villa with a semi-private back yard. Housing is generous, even ostentatious, but dilapidated, requiring constant repairs. In my experience the embassy has been responsive, but fixes are more of a band-aid than permanent fixes. This has to so with the shoddy original construction and the difficulty of obtaining proper construction materials. Still, this compound offers good recreational opportunities - a tennis court, a proper gym and a large swimming pool. Commute times to the embassy vary but average around 30 minutes.

The other compounds are smaller but more cozy. They consist of large apartments or town homes. Not all have swimming pools, and none of the other compounds have a gym. Transportation to/from these compounds is also more complicated. For those who appreciate privacy and don't want to deal with a fishbowl environment, these smaller compounds are ideal. - May 2017

Housing is massive. Each diplomat has a spacious villa, townhouse, or a large apartment. Unfortunately, they require a lot of maintenance and repair. - Nov 2016

I love my house. Diplomatic housing is generally great in Khartoum. - Oct 2016

Half of everyone lives at the Presidential Villas. These enormous multi-bedroom villas are very luxurious. They give you multiple TVs, fridges, and all the first-distribution amenities and services go there. The Embassy made it a point to ensure those residents have an Employee Association store, the gym, language courses available at your house, regular parties, and everything else that you can think of. For the rest of the people who don't live there you're out of luck. So if you're assigned to anywhere but the villas, appeal the decision, and if it fails appeal over and over. There are always open villas, and they normally set them aside for certain sections. You won't be happy living anywhere else. There is no sense of community or anything outside of your door anywhere else. Make it a point to get to the villas or your two year tour will not be easy. - Mar 2016

The largest embassy housing compound consists of around 40 houses. Each of these is a very large, five-bedroom house with balconies (plural) and a backyard. Most Americans live at this compound. Most other American staff live in townhouses or apartments, and I'd have to say that most Americans are quite satisfied with their housing. - Jun 2015

There are mostly townhouses and stand-alone villas. Those are quite nice. There are also apartments, which are less desirable. All housing is in Khartoum proper (no bridge crossing required) and commutes can be from 15-30 minutes depending on traffic. - Mar 2015

Most people live in huge villas on a large compound. These are nice at first glance but sat vacant for nearly 10 years so they required a lot of work. GSO folks in Khartoum have worked very hard on the housing and even in the short time I was there, I could see significant improvements. There's a great clubhouse and pool area at the villas as well. There are nice townhomes in another compound, again with a great pool area. Another townhome compound has huge townhomes but no pool. There are also some apartments around town that are very spacious and within walking distance to coffee shops, grocery stores, etc. Commute, depending on traffic, could be anywhere from 15-30 minutes. - Apr 2014

Apartments, townhouses, and single detached homes for higher up officers. - Jun 2011

We just moved into a new embassy. You can usually get to work in about 15 minutes. - Apr 2010

We were a small family but had a huge house with a nice garden. You find either small, modest apartments or very large houses. Not very much in between. - May 2009

Detached houses (with garden) or apartments. Rents very expensive, and houses generally poorly maintained. Most ex-pats seem to live either in Khartoum 2/Amarat (west of the airport) or Riyadh/Manshiya (east of the airport), and some on the south side of the Blue Nile. We live in Amarat and it takes about 15 minutes to drive to my wife's office in the centre of Khartoum. - Sep 2008

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