Packing list for Namibia

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Namibia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, because of Namibia’s proximity to South Africa, you can get almost everything you need in Namibia at prices comparable to those in the United States.

Note: It is important that you bring 10 passport-size photos of yourself for identification cards, work permits, and visas. We will ask for them shortly after your arrival in Namibia. They may be black and white or color, and photo-booth prints are acceptable.


General Clothing

Namibians place an importance on professional dress in the workplace, and dressing “smart” is seen as a sign of respect for others. Dress slacks and skirts or dresses are required in the classroom and are the norm in most other situations.

Tennis shoes are not appropriate at work. While jeans and T-shirts are increasingly acceptable as casual wear, it is more common—especially in rural areas—to see men wearing shirts with collars and casual slacks and women wearing casual dresses or skirts and shirts. Short shorts, short dresses, and tops that show a lot of skin, (e.g., halter tops, spaghetti straps, etc.) are inappropriate for women in both towns and villages. All clothing should be clean and well mended.

You should bring professional washable clothes for classroom teaching and meetings. For men who will be classroom teachers, bring wrinkle-free business casual slacks and 3-4 ties. For women, dresses and skirts. A few pairs of dress slacks, sandals, and comfortable closed-toe dress shoes are appropriate for work. Shorts (at mid-knee or longer) can be worn after work, weekends and holidays. Other items that are recommended are: hiking boots (if you like to hike), flashlight, sleeping bag, rechargeable batteries, music and pictures. You will need to bring a set of unfitted (flat) double bed sheets and a towel to use during your homestays. A small pillow might also be nice to have and can be purchased upon your arrival. While it is impossible to bring everything on the packing list, may items area available in Windhoek. Also, even though the temperature in Namibia will be warmer by November, we recommend you bring along some warm clothing for the winter months. The temperature can drop into the 30 degrees Farenheit range at night during the three months of ”winter”’ (June–August). You’ll be much more comfortable if you bring along a fleece jacket, some sweaters, warm socks, winter cap that covers the ears, scarf and gloves. Also remember to bring along some suntan lotion or any kind of skin moisturizer.


Shoes are key. Everyone will walk many miles every week. Volunteers recommend four pairs of shoes. Bring newer shoes as your shoes will wear out quickly. The Volunteers also recommend more expensive footwear, just because it’s better and lasts longer. Some female Volunteers say one pair of trendy sandals or shoes is also nice,as there are chances to go out and dress up a bit in Windhoek.

A suggested list of shoes for men and women includes:

Note that people with large feet (especially men with size 11 or bigger) should bring an extra pair or two of shoes or sandals, as larger sizes can be difficult to find in Namibia

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

Bring enough of your favorites to get you through your first five or six weeks. Volunteers have also suggested bringing good-quality body and facial lotion for dry skin and a pumice stone. Sunglasses are a must, and if you wear prescription glasses, you should bring prescription sunglasses. Remember that you can get almost everything you need in Namibia at prices comparable to those in the United States.


You can easily buy most kitchen supplies here—dishes, pots, glasses, and utensils. Plastic food containers and storage bags are very useful. Also, a basic cookbook can be useful once you get to your permanent site. Peace Corps/Namibia provides you with a locally appropriate cookbook.


Things we shouldn’t have brought

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