Abidjan - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Housing varies from small compounds with 6-8 homes to large single stand alone homes. We had a large stand-alone house with a large yard and garage. It is equidistant between the embassy and the "American" school. Our house is nice, but if I had a choice I would have preferred one of the compounds that are closer to the annex and have better access to other embassy families. We actually live nearby to several families, but due to the traffic, lack of sidewalks and petty crime concerns we don't feel comfortable walking to other houses or letting the kids ride bikes or visit friends. There is a community pool that should be available to all the rented houses in and around us, but it's been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. We also didn't know that we had access to this pool or how to access it until after it closed. Be sure to ask about pool access when you are assigned housing, it is our understanding that all of the houses in the housing pool have at least one pool that they can use somewhere. - Mar 2021

Housing is varied, but ours is lovely. This is our third posting in a row with a new house, and we are getting good at being the testers for all the cheap fixtures that landlords seem to throw in once they get an Embassy contract. Having said that, NO COMPLAINTS. We have a small garden, small pool generator, water tank and a high wall. MANY houses here do not have those things though. Four bedrooms, four and a half baths, kitchen just barely fit our kitchen island, large porch (but it never gets used), upstairs terrace (also never used). We are next to a construction site, between the filth from that and the heat, we only go outside to swim and run the dog, and then come back in. On a weekend, it takes 10 minutes max to to get to embassy, 5 minutes to school. On weekdays (pre-Covid) it was 25 - 45 minutes to school and 30-50 to embassy. - May 2020

All USG housing was (at the time of this publication) single family villas. Some of them were in compounds, others were standalone. Most of the housing was quite spacious, but design and construction quality varied by date of construction. I had a very nice standalone villa with its own pool close to the US Embassy. It had some maintenance issues, but the design was very modern and impressive. Other diplomatic missions had their personnel in apartments, and the apartments that I visited were generally quite nice. As a note, due to the African Development Bank presence (AFDB), rents are quite inflated. Thus, if one is looking for housing on a budget keep that in mind. - Feb 2020

We lived in a stand-alone house. Our house had 3 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms with an office. Housing varies more widely here than at other Africa locations. There are smaller 2 bed/2 bath townhouses to huge houses. Some have pools, others do not. Some have yards, other none.

Commute time depends upon your neighborhood but can be anywhere from 10 min to 1 hour. - Mar 2017

There's a housing shortage due to the return of the ADB, but everyone is in a house. They are spread throughout the city in different neighborhoods. Most are big; one or two stories, all made of cement. Some have pools. Most of the houses I've seen are decent, some are even quite nice. - Aug 2015

Embassy housing is large and showy. However, many people have had serious problems with their housing. Leaks, mold, termites, etc. Getting things fixed the first, second, or third time is very difficult. - Jun 2009

Embassy housing is one of the most fabulous things about this place. All of the houses are exceptionally large places. Nearly all of them (except a few compound style houses) have their own, large, enclosed yards and several houses come with their own swimming pool! The houses that are furthest away have a maximum 15 minute commute time without traffic. In general, it takes me 10- 15 minutes to get to work in the morning. As a single person with no family members, I have a 4BR/4BA house with living room, dining room, huge kitchen, breakfast nook, and pool. The smallest houses in the pool have 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, but come with a garage and their own yard. There are no apartments in the embassy housing pool. - Jan 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Read More