Dakar - Post Report Question and Answers

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

My apartment was amazing. It was spacious and had a beautiful view of Goree Island and downtown Dakar. It was located in Plateau, and close to many good restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as cultural attractions. It was also very safe. Unfortunately, the U.S. Embassy decided to abandon housing in Plateau in favor of Les Almadies. The residences there are nice, but some are located on dirt roads that are impassable when it rains. Les Almadies offers some nice restaurants, discotheques and beachfront cafes, but is predominantly an expatriate community. - Jul 2020

Housing for Embassy folks is primarily in one neighborhood. There is a mix of houses and apartments, but the majority of people will be in apartments unless their position or family size warrants a house. Very few pools. - Dec 2019

We live in an apartment. We have a three bedroom apartment and each bedroom has a full bathroom each. There is a half bath for guests and a full wetroom for household help, a large living area, and a large-ish kitchen. We got lucky with it being a newer apartment and have great neighbors. We have a small backyard and small front yard, but it's enough for toddlers to run around in circles. We can walk to the main grocery store.

In Almadiesl housing is a mix; if you are closer to ISD school then you'll have a house. Houses are mostly older homes but everyone will have issues with leaks, A/C units breaking or leaking, sewage issues when the rains come, etc. Some apartments have an ocean view. some houses have pools. You can't have it all. - Dec 2018

The house is huge, each bedroom has its own , which makes it hard to rearrange furniture to make it comfortable. The houses have leaks, things are always happening that are very irritating. We have no yard, a huge generator thats an eyesore, so nothing to see outside. The house is surrounded by a wall and personal guards. - Dec 2018

Most people live in apartments, though they can be extremely large. My apartment here is larger than several stand-alone houses I've lived in previously. Families with kids at the international school tend to live in stand-alone houses there. Housing is pretty nice, but space is at a premium in Dakar so gardens and pools are rare. My commute is about three minutes, but it's important to live near your work, or drive against the rush hour traffic. - Jun 2017

Houses, townhouses and apartments. Very few houses have yard space. Apartments have newer and generally nicer amenities than do the houses. Houses can be large and with awkward spaces, or they can be too small to actually be comfortable. - Apr 2016

Disappointing if you are expecting an African villa. Lots of apartments. Some houses, most of which have small yards. Most people have really short commutes though, and some walk to work. - Aug 2015

A mixture of single family residences and large, spacious apartments. The houses have very small yards, and some of the apartment complexes have small courtyards. Most are either in Mermoz (middle of town) or in Almadies (close to the Embassy). - Aug 2014

Wide range of housing, mostly expensive unless you are from another country in this region. Apartments are furnished and unfurnished, single family homes, homes in a cite (gated community). Can be quite nice but it is expensive. Commute time depends on which part of town you live in and where your office is. Some offices have earlier official hours so people leave the office before 5pm rush hour. Friday afternoon traffic particularly at the end of the month is excessive and annoying. - Apr 2014

Housing is very expensive and of low quality. Please, if you are with the US Government, throw away the idea that you will be living in the big, nice "Africa House." You will not. Over half of the mission community lives in apartments which range in quality but all have their issues (leaking, bad wiring causing electrical fires, walls falling down, and so on). Apartment complexes have no amenities, no green space, and you will be confined inside. Houses vary and are generally considered mediocre with a handful of exceptions. I have had many senior officers tell me that this is the worst housing pool they have seen in their career. - Jun 2013

My commute to work is about a 20-minute walk. If you're working in Dakar, it's usually no more than 20 to 30 minutes --- although, of course, there are some days when it's worse. Housing is a mix of houses and apartments, which are newer. There is lots of new construction, mostly houses. - Mar 2013

The U.S. Embassy housing is mostly either in the northern part of the city near the NEC or the international school, or downtown near the old embassy (closing in Spring 2013). None of the housing is close to Dakar Academy. - Oct 2012

Housing is spread out from the downtown area near the current U.S. Embassy (mostly apartments) all the way up the Courniche toward Ngor and Almadies, where the new Embassy will open in 2013. Housing is a real mix of 70's style "contemporary" to newer homes. Some have small yards and gardens, many do not. Construction is often of poor quality, especially in the newer areas. - Mar 2012

Houses are mansions but the electricty infrastructure is so bad that it can't support the massive mansions, so be prepared. The accommodation is often shoddily built so repairs are constantly needed. Dakar wasn't built for the rainy season, so be prepared for flooding when a storm comes. - Aug 2011

There are 3 housing areas for Americans. 1. Downtown - this is close to the embassy (5-10 min walk) but older properties. When the new embassy is completed in 2013 this will likely be phased out. 2. Mermoz - about halfway up the peninsula - this is close to the school - so most families with kids live here. 3. Almadies - out on the point - a 35-50 min commute depending on traffic. Nicest area and location of new embassy. - Jan 2011

Housing pool is OK. Not great though it does appear to be getting better. Very few house have yards and Senegalese construction is very poor. Post is growing very, very fast and GSO housing is having a difficult time keeping pace. - Feb 2010

Single family homes and apartments - yards aren't that much. Difficult to get big cars into the garages so many people park on the street. - Feb 2010

Most houses are poorly built. Need repairs & maintenance constantly. - Jan 2010

Large houses; some are poorly constructed. - May 2009

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