Packing Tips for Tanzania

Old Mar 19th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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Packing Tips for Tanzania

Hi everyone,
I'm trying to pack for a 3 month volunteering (& travel) trip to Tanzania. Specifically, I will spending much of that time in Arusha.

I'm having trouble trying to decide what would be the best things for me to pack. Can anyone offer some advice? Anything that particularily came in handy? Light long sleeves & pants better or worse than t-shirts & shorts? Is it worth it to bring a mosquito net?

Any help would be appreciated!

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Old Mar 19th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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there is a thread heard called, the one thing you wish you had brought. You can search it thru the header. It has loads of ideas i am using.
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Old Mar 19th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Oh! I just found the thread you mentioned.
Thank you. I'm a little new to this
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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I donít know the nature of your volunteer work, but when I spend time in Arusha I dress modestly in below-the-knee skirts and collared blouses (no bare arms). Generally speaking, the women do not wear trousers. Slips are a very popular undergarment under skirts (modestly always prevails). I prefer cotton clothing.

Pack light, casual and washable clothing (khaki colors show less dirt/dust; this neutral color that will match everything). My khaki trousers are loose fitting; non-cargo style pants will take you more places and can be dressed up or down. You could pack loose fitting capris, if you prefer. In the evenings a sweater, fleece or jacket will be needed. Pack a rain jacket if you are traveling between May-June and Oct-Nov. Maybe have one nice outfit for the city. Shoes? Perhaps running shoes, Chacos (with toe loop)/shower shoes and 1 pr dress shoes. Pack pajamas.

Depending on your living and laundry arrangements you may need extra underwear and socks (long cycles between laundry days), and a laundry line. Consider a LED hands-free light as well as a good flashlight. Mosquito nets are available in Tanzania. Items that might be hard to find include tampons, sunscreen, good hair conditioner, plastic bags, artificial sweetener.

My favorite gift for host family/newly made friends? Pencils, pencil sharpeners
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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If spending most time in Arusha, you can wear pretty much what you wish. Khaki & tan will immediately read: safari. Sure, have a pair or two of tan/khaki if you go out on safari, with a good pair of walking shoes. Otherwise, you can wear whatever color you wish and even pants. There are plenty of working women living in/around Arusha and wear pants to work with jackets, as mornings and nights are cool (unless you're traveling during their summer Dec - Mar), but your shirts should have at minimum short sleeves (camp shirt style) and t-shirts work also.

Skirts or dresses are found on many local/tribal women as western bathrooms may be difficult to find; rather only a hole-in-the-ground. So you can see whey a skirt would be easier. If working in an office, pants will be fine; if in the outskirts and distant communities, skirts will be better.

When will you be traveling? If in the hot months and working outside of Arusha, long walking shorts are fine, but do buy yourself a few kangas (wrap around fabric, pareo-type, which are inexpensive) to cover up the shorts (even a t-shirt) if the situation requires. Most local women wear a skirt with a kanga wrapped around. Even two different patterns work; some combinations look really nice.

See the packing list thread suggested for other ideas to fill in. You'll be able to get laundry done (free or inexpensive), but the schedule may not meet what you're used to; be prepared to wash your own "wears" referred to as "smalls" (womens underware), so have flakes and a line w/clips to dry.

Have something nice to wear if an occasion presents itself, even a pair of sandles or ballet slipper to go with this.
Old Mar 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Sorry to piggy-back on this, but I am wondering whether toiletries that Khakif mentioned are hard to find (I'll be working in Malawi, not Tanz.) would be easy to find in S. Africa? I have to change planes (and airlines) several times on my way there so I really don't want to check anything, but obviously you're not allowed to bring liquids etc. on board the plane. Can I find conditioner, insect repellant, etc. easily in Cape Town - and will it be about the same price as in the States? Thanks!
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