Packing list for Swaziland

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers who have served in Swaziland 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 limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Swaziland.

General Clothing[edit]

The climate in Swaziland varies according to both the altitude and the season. You should be prepared for temperatures ranging from 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You will be expected to dress professionally for your job. You will wash clothes by hand in cold water, in a basin or bucket, and hang them to dry on a line or the nearest fence. White clothes soil easily, so neutral colors are best for hiding dirt. Clothes made of rayon or nylon are good because they dry quickly and do not need to be ironed, but lightweight cotton fabrics are best for the hot climate. It does get cold in winter, so bring some warm clothes too.

  • Warm coat or jacket (fleece works well and can be layered)
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Jeans (for weekends and travel)
  • Two or three sweaters (lightweight cotton and wool)
  • T-shirts (in neutral colors)
  • Baseball cap or sun hat
  • One-piece swimsuit
  • Sportswear
  • Good socks (four to six pairs)

For Men[edit]

  • Three or four pairs of dress slacks or khakis
  • Three or four cotton dress shirts (both long- and short-sleeved)
  • Several casual collared shirts, such as polo or golf shirts
  • One sports coat for special events
  • One or two ties
  • Underwear and socks

For Women[edit]

  • Three to five dresses or skirts (knee length or longer)
  • Two or three pairs of trousers or dressy slacks
  • Five to seven blouses and other tops (short- or long-sleeved)
  • Tights to wear with skirts in colder weather
  • Plenty of cotton underwear and bras, including a sports bra
  • Two slips (knee- and ankle-length)


People who wear larger sizes (12-plus for men and 10-plus for women) should bring an extra pair or two of shoes and sandals, as larger sizes are difficult to find in Swaziland.

  • Comfortable dress shoes for work
  • Athletic shoes
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Sandals (e.g., Tevas or Birkenstocks)

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

All the little things you need to keep your life running smoothly are available locally at reasonable prices, albeit in a limited selection. You should bring enough toiletries to get you through pre-service training at least (including feminine hygiene products). Remember to bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs you take, to cover you until the Peace Corps medical unit can order them.


You can buy most kitchen supplies in Swaziland (e.g., dishes, pots, glasses and utensils). However, you might consider bringing the following items:

  • Plastic storage bags and containers (these can be purchased locally in larger towns)
  • Can opener and vegetable peeler
  • Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene)
  • Cookbook or recipes
  • Small packages of your favorite condiments, spices, sauce mixes, soft-drink mixes, etc. Miscellaneous
  • Watch (durable, water-resistant, and inexpensive)
  • Reliable alarm clock
  • Small sewing kit
  • Solar shower (much easier than “bucket bathing” with a cup and washbasin)
  • Radio (FM/AM and shortwave), iPod, CD player, and favorite music
  • Camera and film
  • Binoculars
  • Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
  • lightweight sleeping bag (often needed when visiting other Volunteers or staying at back-packer lodges)
  • backpack,
  • small tent (if you enjoy camping)
  • Pictures of your hometown, U.S. historical sites, family and friends
  • Small flashlight and extra bulbs and/or headlamp
  • Guidebooks on the region
  • Hobby materials like journals, sketching pads, pencils, etc.
  • Musical instruments
  • Craft supplies for projects with schoolchildren
  • Games (Scrabble, cards, chess, Frisbee, etc.)