Nouakchott - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Housing is generally good; everyone is in medium or large houses, and the housing pool is moving away from the older, outdated residences. Some have pools. Others have large rooftops and "gardens" (i.e. large patches of sand) that can be used as great outdoor spaces for kids or entertaining if you are willing to put in the time and money to invest in them. Officers live 5-15 minutes from the embassy. - Aug 2021

Housing initially was not pleasant but is currently pleasant. We have a very large house but it also has continuous issues due to poor construction quality which is all over Nouakchott due to lack of building codes, etc. Our location is close to the embassy in Nouakchott. The commute isn’t bad traffic is sometimes slow but overall nothing terrible. - Aug 2021

We have good housing. Size ranges from huge to small. Ours is on the smaller side. Water, plumbing and electrical problems are typical. - Apr 2019

Housing is BIG, and one of the best things about this post. My children think our house is like a palace. It has high walls and a small area of grass and plants - lots of people have fruit trees or vegetable gardens. The inside of the house is big, large enough for the kids to scooter inside when it is hot out (most people live on dirt roads so even if the RSO was cool with us riding bikes around outside, the lack of asphalt is a hindrance)with massive bedrooms and a nice rooftop. Pretty much everyone is within 15 minutes drive of the Embassy. Housing is great and even though the construction quality is not the best, Facilities and the General Services Office work hard to keep it comfortable for us. - May 2016

I lived in a very nice home, with a walled garden. Two story, large dining room and living room - the bedrooms where huge. Some have odd layouts, the steps were never even, and the tiles can be very slick when wet. I loved my house. - Dec 2015

Houses are consistent with Arab style houses in the Middle East. Construction is of very poor quality, electrical work is haphazard and structural problems are the norm. Finding housing in areas that do not flood is difficult. Some houses have pools but they are often leaking and require considerable maintenance. Commutes are generally short from the various neighborhood westerners inhabit (about 5 to 10 minutes). - Apr 2014

Most expats live in Tevragh Zeina which is the northwest of the city. Houses are big, concrete, and usually white. Yards/gardens are small, but provide a little green in an otherwise tan world. Embassy-provided housing is a great advantage. Expats who get houses on the local market face issues with landlords such as poor construction, faulty or unsafe electrical wiring, and issues with hooking up public utilities that often drag out for months. If you are coming to Nouakchott without a company to provide housing, I'd suggest sending the working spouse ahead to get the house in order before the other spouse and kid(s) arrive to reduce transition anxiety. Commutes are less than 20 minutes no matter where you live in town. If you are in the car more than 20 minutes you are lost, which rarely happens. - Aug 2011

Housing is okay. Houses are huge, but the structure of houses can be shoddy. There are problems with water, electric service and mold. - Dec 2009

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