What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
We live in a large, relatively modern, apartment complex. Housing is generally quite spacious, and generally near to the Chancery. We live in a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom apartment with 2800 square feet. This is the larger of the two styles of apartment in our compound. The Chancery is only a mile away, and it only typically takes 15 minutes to get to work, even with traffic. - Feb 2020
Housing is good, but this isn't a part of Africa where everyone gets a house. I live on a new compound where there are 35 apartments that house mission staff members. All off the apartments are three bedrooms, three and a half baths, but half of the units are almost double the square footage. They just made all the rooms bigger and gave those units actual storage. - Feb 2019
Housing overall is good. You mostly find families in houses, some with pools. New apartment complex for singles and families is now open, with pool, gym, ATM, social area. Most people are happy with their housing. - Feb 2017
Housing is evolving here. There's the Miramar compound which is about 10 large/more American style houses that share a central yard. Not a lot of privacy in Miramar but still good for those that are very social, have kids, etc. Miramar does not have a pool but does have a playground area/trampoline/etc. Miramar is mostly USAID folks.
Then, there is the new Acacia Estates apartments, 2-3 bedroom (depending on family size), very large, very nice, very American/modern. They have some new construction issues (leaking mostly), but those should be worked out with time. Acacia Estates has a pool (one big, one kiddie) but no playground.
Finally, there are the stand-alone houses, more Portuguese/older, still pretty large. Some stand alone houses have pools and good-sized years, others no. - Jan 2017
There are houses, some with swimming pools, and apartment buildings. If you have children, you are more likely to get assigned to a house. Married couples without children and singles frequently get an apartments. The housing is not bad but also not "AF fabulous" like most other AF posts, so know that in advance. - Jul 2014
The U.S. Government houses families and people with pets in single-family homes. Singles and couples without kids generally live in apartments, condos and townhomes in Somerschield II. The housing is clustered around the same areas, which makes it convenient for car pooling and house parties, but not good for your privacy. - Apr 2014
There is one compound that used to belong to USAID but is now shared among all agencies. It is nice for families with young children. Other than that, its a crap shoot: apartments for couples and houses for families. This is not your old AF housing, where everything is wonderful and all places come with a pool and a great yard. This was probably the worst housing we have seen in all our years of overseas living. Plus, the Embassy staff is not properly trained. Yoou get a poor quality of work when they do work, and skilled labor outside of the Embassy is not much better. If you run into a South African service company that has quality control, then hang onto them and ask for references for other jobs needed. - Oct 2012
Housing associated with the US Embassy is typically an apartment for a household of 1-2, a small townhouse for 3-4, and a larger townhouse for 5-6. There are almost no properties which do not share at least one wall with a neighboring residence. Housing is all within 10 minutes of the embassy, 15 minutes of USAID's offices. - Jun 2011
Some big houses around the embassy area. Expect to pay at least USD 2000 a month. - May 2010
Most expatriates live in lovely homes with swimming pools. There are beautiful apartments with views of the ocean if you prefer. - May 2009
Huge houses, usually two or three story, small yards, some pools, each has a guard 24 hours; conveniently located close to the Embassy, shopping and schools. - Dec 2008