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

All US Embassy housing is close, within a 10 minute drive and walkable if not for the heat. Mix of compounds and stand alone houses, quite a variety of sizes and quality. We are in essentially a duplex which has good square footage (5 Bed/3.5 Bath) but is a bit narrow without much natural light and no yard. We've had a few maintenance issues but have generally found GSO to be pretty responsive. All houses have generators as during some seasons there are regular outages. - Nov 2019


Housing is more than ample, larger than anything we ever had in the US. Most housing is in the form of standalone houses or townhome-type attached houses in multifamily compounds. All housing is in close proximity to the Embassy (within a 2-mile radius or so). We're in easy walking distance, and many of the other compounds are as well. Our home has four bedrooms and each has its own bathroom/shower. Additional half-bath for guests downstairs. And domestic staff quarters (a small, un-air conditioned room with its own bath/shower) detached in the back. Many compounds have pools. - May 2019


Housing here is a mix of multi-house compounds and standalones, leaning more toward multi-house compounds. Houses range from 3-4 bedrooms and usually, multiple bathrooms. I've heard complaints from others here that housing isn't big enough "for Africa" but I find our house quite comfortable. All houses are within a 10 minute drive of the Embassy, which is a huge plus. - Apr 2018


I live in a large five-bedroom house (not detached) on a compound. It's about a 35-minute walk from the embassy. Most embassy housing is closer. - Aug 2017


Mostly compound living, mostly around 2000 sq ft, not at all generous for African standards but probably enough for a family. Most compounds are 6-10 houses and most have a pool. There are some stand-alones too, which can be larger but which are mostly crumbling and decaying. Diplomatic housing is all very close to the Embassy, within a 15-minute walk or 5-minute drive. - Apr 2017


We live on a compound in a sizable house. A lot of expats live in certain neighborhoods (Cantonments, Airports, Labone) and commute times are not bad though traffic can be bad--just depends on where work is. - Aug 2016


Mix of compound living and individual housing. The compounds seem to be newer but not necessarily nicer. Layouts are strange but overall the housing pool is good. - May 2014


Housing around Accra is varied. Some within walking distance of work, some not. Most are large beyond necessity. It really depends on your family size and a good deal of luck whether you get a new 4-bedroom near work or the older, fixer-upper three-bedroom that’s a short drive. Given the unusual flight times/routes, if you live near the airport it may take some adjustment to sleep through all the night-time flights over your house. There are no stores or shops of note within walking distance of most neighborhoods, you will need a car (or take a filthy taxi everywhere). - Apr 2012


There is a mix of townhouse compounds and single family homes. - Aug 2011


Houses are generally large, some in compounds, some individual. Most US housing is within 10 minute walking distance of the embassy. - Jun 2011


Most people live in compounds. Some of them are very new, which is nice aesthetically, but can be a pain while construction bugs are ironed out. Most of the stand-alone houses in the pool are older and small. The large stereotypical "Africa House" with the giant great room and pool is not something you will find here. Most everyone lives in the neighborhoods surrounding the embassy. Commute time can be as little as 10 minutes on foot or 5 minutes by car. - Feb 2010


Single family homes (often older homes in U.S. Embassy area - newer homes farther out but traffic could be problem) and compounds - Feb 2010


Embassy housing: either single family dwellings with older and strange layouts and poor finish quality, or newer (or older) compounds with better finishes and design, but less yard. If you are on your own, quality housing is very expensive. - May 2009


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

Read More