What to take in your Expedition Medical Kit

What should you take with you when heading out into the middle of the African bush? Below is a full breakdown of our medical supplies. We will be out in the bush and on the Kwanza River for at least a month, making the main risks (in no particular order):  heatstroke, water & mosquito-bourne disease, fungal infections, trauma from crashing kayak / falls with weight,  drowning, allergic reactions to stings / animal bites, landmines and of course getting munched by crocodiles, lions or hippos.

The list below is based on past experience, with some much appreciated input from Dr. Sean Hudson’s http://www.expeditionmedicine.co.uk.

Medical gear


  • Zinc oxide tape
  • Ibuprofen
  • Coartem antimalarials
  • Malaria testing kits
  • Imodium (Loperamide)
  • Betadine
  • Gauze dressing
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Latex gloves
  • Condoms (useful in all sorts of situations!)
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Compeed blister pads
  • Sterile saline eye wash
  • Assorted syringes and needles (both for injecting your own stuff and handing over for use on you in poorly equipped local hospitals)
  • Emergency dental filling and dental tools (mirror / plaque scraper)
  • Multivitamins
  • Dental floss


  • Morphine / Ketamine (good luck getting hold of these in Europe!)
  • IM Voltarol (diclofenac)
  • Rectal Voltarol (diclofenac)
  • Co-codamol
  • Paracetamol

Fracture Management

  • Various tapes (including Gorilla Tape)
  • Clingfilm
  • Sam Splints


  • Doxycycline (some prefer Malarone as an anti-malarial)
  • Co-Amoxiclav
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Metronidazole
  • Flucloxacillin

Creams, Sprays and stuff to sort skin problems

  • Clotrimazole antifungal cream
  • Oto-Synalar N (Fluocinolone Acetonide) drops – for ear infections from water contact
  • Cetirazine antihistamine
  • Eurax cream for bites
  • 1% Hydrocortisone steroid cream
  • Fucidin antibiotic cream
  • Cetrimide antiseptic spray
  • Daktarin (miconazole) spray
  • Praziquantel (Bitricide) – for Schistosomiasis (bilharzia)
  • Burnshield Hydrogel

Dressings and Wound Closure

  • Simple dry dressings
  • Tegaderm +Pads
  • Plasters
  • Tampons
  • Crepe bandages for sling
  • Steristrips
  • Gorilla superglue
  • Ethicon Mersilk suture kit and injectable local anaesthetic
  • Celox RAPID Z-Folded Haemostatic Gauze – 1.5m, for serious bleeds

Medical Emergencies

  • Treatment for anaphylaxis: adrenaline (Epinephrine), chlorpheniramine and hydrocortisone
  • Oropharyngeal airway
  • Tourniquets

IV Access and fluids

  • IV Fluids
  • giving sets
  • venflons