If you’re planning a Mount Kilimanjaro trek, there’s a lot of information that you need to know. You might also want to fire yourself up with some tales of adventure on the mountain. Well, in this article we have you covered, with some good Kilimanjaro book recommendations to educate and inspire you for your big trek. Be sure to check out our other Kilimanjaro articles with loads of useful info before you go!
Henry Stedman's Kilimanjaro Trekking Guide AlienAdv.
This is the holy grail of Kilimanjaro guides. Stedman is a true Kili veteran and his knowledge and insight is well presented. It’s very comprehensive, covering planning and preparation for the trip, tour company reviews, loads of maps and route information with GPS co-ordinates and altitudes. There’s also guides to the surrounding towns like Moshi and Arusha, and the arrival cities used to get to Kilimanjaro and a large background section about the mountain’s history and local Chagga tribe. It’s illustrated throughout with photography and even a full-colour flora guide. One of the best books about climbing Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro Trekkers Guide to the Summit by Mark Whitman.
Another general Kilimanjaro guide from the editor of a Kilimanjaro website which has a lot of facts and also hand-on information gleaned from local guides. Like the other guides, has tips about training for Kilimanjaro. Books like this may not be as big and comprehensive as Henry Stedman’s guide, but they’re a bit more readable and still well-rated - with lots of little practical tips to make your trek that bit easier.
A great guide book to actually take with you on the trek, the paperback version of this is durable and water resistant. Many trekking groups have taken this on their Kilimanjaro trek and sing its praises. It’s a fairly general guide but has particularly detailed Kilimanjaro route information with maps, and lots of information about altitude sickness and how to prevent it. It's also full of photographs, to inspire you. A good trekking companion. The website has free PDF previews of pages from the book.
Kilimanjaro A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa by Michel Moushabeck .
A lovely first-hand travelogue of a last-minute trek up Kilimanjaro by author Moushabeck, accompanied by beautiful photographs from his partner Schulz. This is a reflective, well written and poetic account of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly parts of the trip, with some information about how to plan the trek yourself.
Kilimanjaro To the Roof of Africa by Audrey Salkeld .
Not to be confused with Michel Moushabeck’s book above, this is a great coffee-table book, a hefty companion to the IMAX film of the same name. It’s full of great photography and narrates historical accounts of the mountain, contains expert articles about Kilimanjaro’s geology and ecology and regails the author’s own personal experiences of reaching the summit.
A unique perspective of the mountain - the photographs in this book are taken by the Kilimanjaro porters themselves. A fascinating insight into their life and work on the mountain. Accompanying text contains interviews with the porters and information about their working conditions. Apparently profits from the book go to a porter’s charity, commendable! You can find more information about porters of Kilimanjaro, in our article here.
A funny memoir of blog writer Thieme’s adventure up Kilimanjaro with her teenage son. Self professed “Part guide book, part travel memoir, and part history lesson”, the book follows her trials and tribulations from the planning phases through to the summit bid itself. A lighthearted look at the trek going into all the nitty-gritty details, whether you want them or not! Entertaining and educational, this is a good rollercoaster ride after the history section gets out the way with plenty of emotion of the good and bad kind!
A very personal travelogue chronicling Ward’s journey up Kilimanjaro with his 20 year old son. A seasoned traveller, Ward is struggling with the breakup of his marriage, and the trek acts as a rite of passage and bonding period with his son who is also affected by the split. The challenge of the trek ultimately brings them closer together and leaves them both changed men - an inspiring and emotionally deep story.
One Step at a Time A Climb up Kilimanjaro by Dr. Joel Batzofin .
Batzofin, a doctor born in Africa but living in America climbs Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 60 with his daughter and her friends in a tour group. A well written account with great description and detail, the book also has plenty of philosophical and insightful musings, and we learn about Batzofin’s life back home along the way. He examines his relationship with his daughter and describes with humour and detail the day to day challenges and achievements of ascending Kilimanjaro. There’s also plenty of useful tips and Kilimanjaro climb advice scattered throughout. A good read.
A critically acclaimed travel story, this book follows adventurer and explorer Ridgeway’s journey from Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit to the Indian Ocean. Trekking on foot, he is accompanied by park rangers, taking him through Kenya’s Tsavo park; wild plains full of dangerous safari wildlife. During the adventure, Ridgeway talks about the history of the region, muses on colonization, man and beast and the importance of ecological preservation. A gripping, engaging book and a great tale in of one of the last truly wild places left on the planet.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway .
If you want to delve into the classics, you can’t go wrong with legendary Hemingway. This acclaimed collection of short stories contains a number set in colonial Africa where he lived for some time, and creates a snapshot of that wild landscape. It’s typical Hemingway and a good starting point for newcomers to the author, dealing with his favoured themes of death, drink, war and corruption. An excellent companion to have when you are on your Kilimanjaro adventure.
Whether you need some inspiration for your Kilimanjaro trek, want a laugh or just need the facts, there’s a book out there to suit your needs. Many trekkers like to take these books for the flight to Africa, or read them afterwards to rekindle the memories of an amazing journey. With the advent of e-readers it's also possible to take many of these with you on your trek in a lightweight way, and use them for some bedtime reading to inspire you. We hope you enjoy these Kilimanjaro book recommendations, if you have any others you’d add to the list please let us know!