Packing List

General Clothing 

  • Warm coat (can buy in Botswana but not always of the same quality) 
  • Sweaters or fleece pullovers 
  • Gloves or mittens 
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho 
  • Durable jeans (for weekends, travel, or after-work wear) 
  • Bathing suit 
  • A few pairs of thick socks 
  • Thermal underwear 

For Men 

  • Dress slacks and khaki trousers (jeans are not appropriate at work) 
  • Lightweight cotton dress shirts (T-shirts are not appropriate at work) 
  • Sports coat or suit for special events (even more important than a tie for some events) 
  • Ties; if you are in the Life Skills program, male teachers wear ties daily 
  • Shorts (to wear in your home) 

For Women 

  • Dresses or skirts (knee-length or longer for work, no denim; nice slacks are acceptable in some settings) 
  • Lightweight cotton blouses
  • Long shorts 
  • Cotton leggings (can be very useful in winter under skirts and pants) 
  • Sports bra, yoga pants, other exercise or leisure clothing 


    Women’s shoes larger than U.S. size 10 and smaller than a size 7 may be difficult to find. Most other types of shoes are readily available in Botswana, although they may not be of the same quality found in the United States. Casual shoes should be especially durable: Sand, gravel, and lots of walking tend to be hard on casual flip-flops. Good running shoes are hard to find and are expensive.

    • Dress shoes or loafers (make sure they are easy to walk in; tennis shoes or sandals are not appropriate at work)
    • Casual shoes (tennis shoes, running shoes, sandals, etc.)

    Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items 

    • All basic toiletry items are available in Botswana, so you only need to bring enough for the first five or six weeks. Although the selection here may not be what you are used to, the quality is generally quite good. 
    • Medicine and first aid items will be available from the Peace Corps Medical Office once you are sworn in as a Volunteer. Therefore, bring a three-month supply of any medications, to last through pre-service training; copy of prescriptions
    • If you wear glasses, bring two pairs (contacts are not recommended due to elevated rates of eye infections and contact solution is hard to find).


    • Headlamp 
    • French press 
    • Leatherman or a Swiss Army knife 
    • Good sunglasses
    • A hat (or two)
    • Umbrella 
    • Sleeping bag (a rectangular one can also be used as a blanket at home) 
    • Cooking spices, such as basil, cilantro, taco seasoning, and more rare spices 
    • Travel games
    • Books
    • Knitting supplies/Craft items
    • Maps/ postcards from your hometown, pictures of family, and mementos, which you can use to decorate your new home and for telling people where you are from 
    • Stationery, envelopes, and good pens 
    • If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards or traveler's checks are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.
    • Small gifts for host family and friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away


    • MP3 player
    • External hard drives/USB sticks
    • E-reader
    • Digital camera 
    • Note: Take serial numbers or get insurance for all electronics in case of theft. The police will use the serial numbers to find stolen items.