Packing list for Guinea

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Guinea and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that everyone has their own priorities. 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 also have things sent to you later (although mail is unreliable, and postage from the U.S. to Guinea is expensive). As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that Peace Corps has an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Guinea.

In general, you should pack enough clothes to get you comfortably through the three months of pre-service training and use the rest of the space to pack the things that are most important to you. You can have clothes custom-made in Guinea at a very reasonable cost, and there are markets in Guinea with used clothing from other countries.

General Clothing[edit]

For women, appropriate work clothing is a dress, pants or a skirt (dresses and skirts must at least cover your knees, even when sitting). Slips must be worn with anything transparent.

For men, appropriate work clothing is a nice pair of jeans or slacks (especially for teachers), a button-down shirt, and nice-looking shoes. Short-sleeved button-down shirts are acceptable, but we recommend at least one long-sleeved shirt because it does get cold during certain times of the year. All clothes should be clean and in good condition. For teachers, T-shirts with writing and jeans are generally unacceptable for the classroom (and these are available in the local market at cheaper prices than in the U.S.).

For Men[edit]

  • Two to three-week supply of cotton underwear
  • A few pairs of athletic socks (most of the time Volunteers wear open-toed shoes with no socks)
  • Three nice outfits (business casual, possibly one with a coat and tie) appropriate for teaching, conferences, and meetings
  • Two pairs of jeans
  • Two pairs of casual pants (can be part of the “three nice outfits”; carpenter-type pants are acceptable)
  • Two to four T-shirts (easy to buy locally if you need more during your service) in colors that easily match everything.
  • One or two long-sleeved shirts
  • Three or four pairs of shorts
  • One sweatshirt, sweater, or flannel shirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Five or more bandannas (for dusty taxi rides)
  • A light raincoat

For Women[edit]

  • Two to three-week supply of cotton underwear
  • Five to eight bras, including a few sports bras (good bras are unavailable locally)
  • A few pairs of socks (Volunteers typically wear open-toed shoes with no socks)
  • Three nice outfits appropriate for teaching, conferences, and meetings
  • Two or three casual long dresses (cotton is best; sleeveless is ok, but spaghetti straps are not)
  • Two or three casual long skirts (that cover your knees, even when sitting)
  • One or more pairs of jeans or pants (agroforestry Volunteers tend to wear pants more than skirts, while teachers wear skirts)
  • Two to four cotton shirts (can be bought in Guinea)
  • Two or three short-sleeved, button-down or polo-type collared shirts (especially important for teachers)
  • One sweater, sweatshirt, or flannel shirt
  • Two swimsuits (hard to buy in Guinea)
  • A pair of long shorts if you plan to participate in sports
  • Hats or caps for sun protection
  • Five or more bandannas (for dusty taxi rides)


  • Two pairs of nice shoes for teaching or dressing up (nice sandals with no heels are also acceptable)
  • One pair of sneakers and/or light, waterproof hiking boots (especially useful for natural resource management Volunteers)
  • One pair of running/walking shoes
  • One pair of sturdy sandals (e.g., Chacos or Tevas) (Note that Peace Corps Volunteers receive a 50 percent discount from Chacos; if you prefer to wait and order them after you arrive, an order form will be made available)
  • One pair of comfortable flip-flops to wear around the house and in the shower (note that you can buy all sorts of plastic shoes in Guinea)

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

(all basic toiletries are available in country, but if you are partial to a certain brand/type, please bring plenty of it and definitely bring enough to get through the first three months of training)

  • two to four toothbrushes
  • At least two tubes of toothpaste
  • Mouthwash with fluoride
  • Vitamins
  • Face wash; face scrub or mask
  • Moisturizers, lotions
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
  • Brush and/or comb
  • Razor blades (enough for your normal shaving routine)
  • Some makeup
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen (this is included in your medical kit)
  • Travel toothbrush and soap holders
  • Nail clippers
  • Pummel stone
  • Travel towel
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Small bottles of gel hand sanitizer


  • Spatula
  • Good-quality can opener
  • One or two good-quality kitchen knives (paring knife, chef knife, serrated knife)
  • Swiss Army-type knife or Leatherman-type tool (remember to pack in checked luggage)
  • Garlic press
  • Sturdy water bottle, maybe two; (e.g., Nalgene)
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Plastic food storage containers
  • Ziploc type plastic bags (some large, some small)


To make the transition from your diet to rice and sauce easier, here is a list of recommended snacks and condiments to bring.

  • Snack bars (cereal, nutrition, energy, etc.)
  • Trail mix/dried fruit
  • Your favorite sugary snack (gum, candy, chocolate that won't melt)
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • A good source of protein (beef jerky, tuna, tofu)
  • Tea
  • Macaroni and cheese (boxed)
  • Any spices you particularly enjoy (many spices are available in-country) Miscellaneous

Office and Other[edit]

  • Peel-and-seal letters, small padded package envelopes, and U.S. stamps (travelers to the U.S. are frequently willing to hand-carry small envelopes).
  • Some pens and pencils
  • Frisbee, volleyball, football, etc.
  • Playing cards
  • Photos from home
  • Journal
  • Watch (waterproof)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Calendar/planner
  • Post-it notes
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Art supplies (e.g., markers, colored pencils, glue, glitter, construction paper, sketch books)
  • Simple calculator (solar-powered is best)
  • Tape player, Walkman, iPod, mp3 player, or CD player with mini-speakers (most music sold in Guinea is on cassettes)
  • Tape recorder to record messages and sounds of your new life for friends at home
  • Your favorite music and blank tapes (you can buy 60minute blank tapes in Guinea)
  • Shortwave radio (best are digital or wind-up type [no batteries]; cheap models are available in-country)
  • Camera and film (locally available film costs about $1.50 a roll, but quality varies; most local film developing is of poor quality) Note that it may be difficult to download a digital camera on a regular basis, so be sure to bring an extra memory card (or a card with lots of memory) and appropriate batteries for your camera(s)
  • Good-quality small flashlight and/or headlamp with extra bulbs (wind-up [no batteries] models are useful)
  • Small alarm clock (essential for teachers)
  • Batteries for your electronics and camera (batteries from the U.S. last longer; you might also consider bringing a solar battery re-charger as electricity may be nonexistent depending on your site)
  • Personal pictures/photos
  • A good book or two (there is also a supply at all regional Peace Corps facilities)
  • Calculator (for teachers)
  • Musical instrument (if you play one)
  • Tape (duct and scotch types)
  • Tent, sleeping bag, hammock, and travel mosquito net (a regular mosquito net is provided by Peace Corps for your use)
  • Good-quality sunglasses
  • A few things that will make you feel happy or luxurious (like foot or face scrubs)
  • Pillow (pillows are sold locally, but the quality varies)
  • Sewing kit
  • Earplugs (if you are a light sleeper)
  • Credit cards/some extra money (for vacation travel)
  • Something that reminds you of home
  • Something that makes you happy

Packing It All[edit]

  • Hard suitcase/large duffel bag (w/wheels if possible)
  • Camping backpack
  • School/day pack
  • Good-size purse
  • Money belt
  • Luggage locks/combination locks

A Few Notes[edit]

  • Check all electronics you plan to bring and be sure to bring spare batteries
  • The Peace Corps/Guinea Volunteer libraries are pretty good; you don't need to bring enough books to read for two years.
  • Only bring a large supply of toiletries if you are really particular about something, otherwise, you can find everything you need in-country. Do bring enough for your first three months though.
  • Limit clothes. Really. You'll probably wear lots of locally made clothing. Clothes are inexpensive in Guinea, and there is a large selection of Goodwill clothing available, including a variety of T-shirts.
  • Photos are sensitive to the elements, so choose the ones you bring carefully; make copies or don't bring any you don't want to have ruined or lost. Likewise, it isn't advisable to bring anything you are not willing to lose or have broken. Leave your most precious possessions items at home.
  • Don't buy too much, only items you really like. What you don't wear in the U.S. you probably wouldn't wear here.
  • You probably won't wear closed-toe shoes often here, or the type of clothes required to teach in the States, but a clean, neat appearance is essential.
  • Lastly, don't stress! Have Fun! You'll probably pack some crazy stuff you won't use while you are here, but that's ok—everyone does!