Packing list for Mali

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Packing List for Mali

Packing Lists by Country

These lists has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Mali 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!
Flag of Mali.svg

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Mali 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. Do not bring valuables or cherished items that could be lost, stolen, or ruined by the harsh climate. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Mali.

Note: All invitees need to bring 12 to 15 passport-size ID photos to use in getting visas when you travel.



You can get almost everything you need in Mali. The things you cannot get here are:

Packing for training

Most of the information below is oriented toward your life as a Volunteer. However, it is important to remember that for your first two months you will be in training. While in training, your meals, transport and lodging will be provided. Be sure to bring enough appropriate clothing to last you for at least a week as finding time to do laundry during training will be difficult.


Both men and women.

Note that shorts are not worn by men or women in public except to play sports.

For Men

For Women


A reminder about clothing: Malians, while not excessively formal, put a great deal of emphasis on a professional appearance. Dressing appropriately will greatly enhance your credibility at work, improve your ability to integrate into your community, and increase your odds of having a safe Peace Corps service. Men should expect to wear shirts with a collar and casual slacks; women should wear below-the-knee skirts and dresses or casual slacks with shirts that do not reveal too much of their chest or back. This means, for both men and women, no tight or see-through clothing that shows underwear lines, no outfits that show the knees when you are sitting down, and no ratty or worn clothing. There are communities in Mali where you are expected to be even more modestly dressed (i.e., covering arms, legs, hair). You are expected to dress appropriately at all times when you are in public. That said, it is fine to dress down when you are relaxing with other Volunteers or while you are at home.

It is very easy and inexpensive to have Malian style clothing made here - if you would like some more American style clothing bring a favorite catalog or magazine (Something relatively conservative, J.Crew, J Jill, etc) and tailors here can usually make things just from the pictures and your measurements. This allows you to wear more traditional Malian clothing, which is best suited for the culture and the climate and save your packing space for other things you cannot get here like good shoes, good underwear and other items.

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

The Peace Corps medical kit contains almost everything you will need, though not necessarily in the brands you are accustomed to. You may want to bring a two-month supply of the following items to use during pre-service training.


You can find almost any kitchen item in Mali. You will not need any kitchen supplies during training, so you may want to have any items you choose to bring sent to you later. Following are a few items to consider bringing.

Additional Items to Consider Bringing

Items You Do Not Need to Bring

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