Packing List

As a general rule, try to pack as light as you can. Remember that you have to lug all of your stuff around cities and towns on buses and in taxis and to remote places. Baggage with wheels is strongly recommended. A couple changes of clothes should do since clothes can be washed in Khwisero. It is however, helpful to pack a few extra pairs of underwear. A large backpacking bag or wheeled duffel for the piece of checked luggage with a smaller backpack as a carry-on is common.

Clothing worn is Khwisero runs from holey t-shirts and trousers to suit and tie. Local women do not generally wear pants. Since we are interacting with school empoyees in a business manner, we wat to be dressed appropriately. Slacks and a button-down shirt are recommended. Women can wear trousers or mid-calf length skirts. Be careful with your selection of skirts. Past travelers have experienced troubles with material transparency while standing in doorways so a slip is strongly recommended.

Shorts are generally not worn by men (definitely not by women) but could be worn when working in manual labor. The sun is intense so bring sunscreen, a sunhat and sunglasses.

Most Kenyans wear sandals rather than shoes. You may want some other footwear if you are going to be digging or performing other manual labor. Shoes other than flip flops are recommended if walking for long distances.

A sleep sheet is advisable. You can make your own sleep sheet by folding a regular sheet in half and sewing it into a sack, or you can buy these online from outdoor gear companies. A cheap fitted sheet for the mattress and a regular sheet to cover you works well, too. Sleeping bags are bulky, heavy and sometimes too warm for the Kenyan heat, although for people who tend to be cold all the time, it can be nice at night. A lightweight or travel blanket is a reasonable substitution.

Teams will sleep in beds that have mosquito nets. Upon your arrival to Khwisero, we will make sure that you have a new mosquito net treated with permetherin mosquito repellent. Sometimes there are mosquitos in the hostels in Nairobi, and so it is recommended that you spray or treat your sleep sack with some permetherin or DEET (you can buy this in the States) once in Nairobi in the case that the hostel does not provide a mosquito net.

It may also be a good idea to make a list of everything you put in your checked luggage in order to expedite insurance claims if your bag is permanently lost.

When packing, it’s best to assume that your checked luggage may be lost, so carry the essentials in your carry-on.

Personal Paperwork and Such
Copy of emergency contact form (EWB-USA says laminated; we’ll see)
Copy of insurance information

Team Paperwork and Such
Copy of Health and Safety Plan


  • Steripen (and replacement batteries)

Essentials: Carry on or wear (you will find a hard time finding quality replacements for these in Kenya, so put these items in your carry-on in case your checked bag gets misplaced):

  • Headlamp
  • AA batteries
  • AAA batteries
  • Hat/Bandana
  • Couple extra pairs of underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (wide-mouth Nalgene)
  • Camera (and appropriate cords)
  • Books
  • Personal information
  • Passport
  • Yellow card (proof of vaccination)
  • Travel insurance verification and bank account info (call to inform bank of international travel)
  • Personal medication
  • Daily medication
  • Motion sickness or allergy medication (Dramamine for motion sickness; epi pen etc for allergy)


  • Contacts/Glasses
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Foot/body powder
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Multi-vitamin
  • First Aid kit
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Comb/brush
  • Hair ties
  • Feminine products (tampons are not available in Kenya; yeast infection treatment)

Essentials you can’t carry on planes (except in small quantities - 3.4oz or less per item - all liquids have to fit in a quart-sized bag):

  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera
  • Lotion
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Hand sanitizer ~8 oz/person
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hand wipes


  • Cotton sleep sack
  • Lightweight blanket
  • Leatherman/pocket knife
  • Personal journal
  • Pens and pencils
  • Ziploc bags
  • Chocolate
  • Cliff bars
  • Adapter
  • Sim card
  • Safaricom hub
  • Voice recorder
  • GPS unit
  • Calculator


  • U.S. cash for food etc in airports during travel
  • Transportation: ~ $50/person
  • Bigger bills = better exchange rate (50’s, 100’s) in Nairobi
  • Crisp $50 bill (2003 or newer) for visa at the Nairobi airport (visa only cost $25, but sources still list $50 — better safe than sorry)
  • Hostels in Nairobi: ~ $10/night (though you can also pay in shillings)


  • 2 Jeans
  • 2 Slacks
  • 3 Collared shirts
  • 3 Cotton shirts
  • 7 pairs underwear
  • 5 pair socks
  • Rain jacket/poncho
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals/Flip-flops
  • 1 Skirt (for gals)

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask the project managers or return travelers!