Ouagadougou - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Beautiful, large 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom single family home with a small yard, fruit trees and a pool. All houses have a pool, which is nice. Yard size varies. I live in Ouaga 2000, which is close to the Embassy. Houses tend to be larger, but yards smaller. Other folks live across town in Zone de Bois. Houses are a bit smaller, but yards are larger. When this was a family post, many families lived in Zone de Bois due to proximity to the international school. There are more restaurants and activities opening up in Ouaga 2000. Mostly a residential area with single family homes belonging to wealthy Burkinabe, expats and Embassies. Commute to Embassy fro Ouaga 2000 is < 5 mins, but 20-45 mins to downtown restaurants depending on traffic. Reverse is true for Zone de Bois. - Jun 2020

Single family homes. Most people live in one of two neighborhood zones. All embassy housing, and most all houses occupied by expats, have pools. Quality is fair. Roofs and walls leak creating problems with mold and mildew. - Oct 2019

Single family dwellings. Most expats lived in either the Zone du Bois/Koulouba or Ouaga 2000 areas. Commute times across town about 40-50 minutes. Most all expat houses had small gardens with small pools. Quality of construction and maintenance is substandard compared to the US or Europe. Leaking roofs and walls during the rainy season. Mold, mildew and unsightly water stains throughout the house. - Jul 2019

Single family dwellings. Acceptable, but not excessive in size or overly impressive. Most expats we knew lived in one of two main neighborhoods. Commute times depend on distance from work, but anywhere from 10 - 40 minutes. Most expats houses had pools, though many were too small to swim laps or anything of that nature. Quality of construction and maintenance is poor. A lot of leaks and some flooding during the rainy season. A lot of water stains, mold and mildew. Insect infestations and a lot of lizards in the house. A generator is a must as power is very unreliable. Generators may, at times, run for days. Universal Power Supplies are a must for modems, routers and TVs. Without them it can take many hours to watch a movie due to power interruptions. - Jul 2019

Housing is divided in three neigborhoods - Ouaga 2000 which is where the Embassy is located, and Zone du Bois and Koulouba (about 20-25 minute drive to Embassy). In Ouaga 2000, houses tend to be bigger and yards smaller or non-existent. In Zone du Bois and Koulouba, they tend to have good yard space and smaller homes. The latter is also in an area with more restaurants and shops in walking distance. All houses have a pool. The layout of the houses varies greatly, some kitchens are quite small. Overall people seem happy with their housing. There have been some problems with water leaks especially during the rainy season. - Dec 2017

Embassy housing is divided in three neighborhoods: Ouaga 2000, where the Embassy is located, and Zone du Bois and Koulouba, which are 20 to 30 minutes north of the Embassy depending on traffic. All housing contains the usual quirks you might expect in this part of the world, but for the most part it is in good shape, and the Embassy goes to great lengths to maintain it well. In addition, every house in the embassy housing pool has a swimming pool. Houses in Ouaga 2000 are typically newer, very large, but with minimal yard space. Houses in Zone du Bois are typically older but with sizable yards and very good tree cover, which you appreciate when it's 115F. If you want to be near a handful of restaurants that are within walking distance, Zone du Bois is the best bet. - May 2016

Houses in Ouaga2000 near the Embassy (1-10 minute drive) are new and larger with small or no yard space. Houses in Zone du Bois near the International School (15-30+ minutes from Embassy depending on traffic) are older with larger yards. All have swimming pools. Layouts and size vary significantly, but most people are generally happy with their housing assignments. - Aug 2015

Expat housing is generally huge. In older neighborhoods like Zone du Bois and Petit Paris, you'll have older, slightly smaller houses with yards or nice gardens. In Ouaga 2000 south of town, there are HUGE houses with tiny courtyards, many with pools. The level of finish in houses varies wildly even within neighborhoods. - Jun 2015

Everyone lives in a home, single family or multi-level houses. Some have yards, some have a patch of grass and some have driveways. The newer housing near the Embassy has smaller yards, while the older homes farther away and near the school have more greenery. - Jan 2015

For the embassy community there are two general housing areas. One is close to the Embassy and most houses in this area are a 2-10 minute drive to the Embassy. The second area is downtown and this can take up to 30 minutes by car. Houses are a mix of single and multi-level homes. At this point, all have pools and a walled-in, gated yard. Some are very close to other expats and others are removed from others. - Jul 2013

Larger homes with little green space located minutes from the embassy and smaller, older homes with more green space located about 20-30 minutes from the embassy (traffic dependent) but close to the International School. - Jul 2013

If you like apartments, don't come. Other than that, reasonably-priced homes are available so long as you have a local person doing your bidding for you. - Apr 2013

There are two general categories of homes: larger, more elaborate (Roman columns in the living room, etc.) homes in Ouaga 2000 near the Embassy, and older homes with more green space, closer to the downtown. We live in downtown, near the ambassador's residence, and love our house. We have a garden with fresh herbs, mango trees, bananas, and a nice, but small, pool. - Nov 2012

US Embassy housing is all single-family homes. All have pools, and most have some sort of yard. Housing is split between Ouaga-2000 and Zone du Boise. Ouaga-2000 is close to the embassy, and du Bois is close to the International School. If you have school-aged kids, Zone du Bois may be best, but the housing there is older. - Aug 2010

All houses have a tall wall around the house. Pretty much all the houses have only one story. Except for more expensive houses. If you're in the embassy and you have kids that go to the International School of Ouagadougou then they try to move you so that you can walk to school (they also have a bus for embassy kids). - Aug 2008

The Embassy has all houses in its housing pool. Some are nicer than others. Few are well laid out, but all offer a pool, small garden, and ample inside space. - Jul 2008

In and near Ouaga, housing is similar to what one finds in Europe and the U.S. Typically, cinder block construction, with walls around the yard. Typical commute to the embassy or downtown is 5-15 minutes, depending on location and traffic. Some housing is within 4-5 blocks of the embassy, other housing is farther out, near the International School of Ouaga (ISO), and more housing is being leased in the area of the new embassy (to open in 2010) in Ouaga2000 section of Ouagadougou (south of the airport). - Jun 2008

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