Apart from the heat, some of the first things that a person moving to Tamale will notice are the friendly people and laid-back atmosphere. Whether moving from Accra, Kumasi North America, Europe or even from bustling West African countries, Tamale is known for its relaxed atmosphere. From Accra, the country’s coastal capital, to the dusty northern towns of Tamale and Bolgatanga that border the Sahara Desert, Tamale is relatively quiet and peaceful.
Safety in Tamale generally isn’t a huge concern as the country generally suffers less from crime, corruption and political instability than its neighbours and other Sub-Saharan African countries. The country is a mild introduction to what makes Africa tick, and expats are eased into what to expect before moving on to more intense experiences in countries such as Angola, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).
The expat community in Tamale has grown over the years and become quite diverse. Foreign traders who have been in the Metropolis for generations have been joined by Christian missionaries, diplomats, aid workers and more recently, professionals from the private sector. That said, the entire foreign community only constitutes a small proportion of the total population.
People move to Tamale for many reasons. Some expats in Tamale want to ‘give back’ by making a difference in a safe part of Africa. Many of these volunteers pay their way to Tamale and exist on a small stipend over their two-month to two-year stay. Conversely, an increasing number of expats are flooding into the Metropolis to work as a result of the growing telecommunications, manufacturing and transportation industries. Highly skilled foreigners will find that salaries far exceed that of their home countries for the same work and that companies view Tamale as a hardship posting, which brings additional financial benefits.
Getting used to the weather in Tamale can be a challenge. There are year-round temperatures of between 77°F (25°C) and 100°F (38°C) and an average humidity of 85 percent, with the only distinction in season being precipitation, which is heaviest between March and November.
Many new arrivals also need to get used to the state of public transportation in Tamale, which is not nearly as efficient as some may be used to. Otherwise, water and electricity in Tamale are also not reliable and most people will need to install generators, water pumps and storage tanks for when the mains supply fails. Life without functioning air-conditioning in Tamale is uncomfortable.
There are a growing number of modern hotels and Guest house facilities in Tamale for people to cool off though, and a small but growing list of continental restaurants and nightlife venues are popping up in here.
With many parts of the Sub-Saharan Africa region emerging as markets of the future, Tamale is proving a favourite destination for people from all walk of life..