A great idea when taking on a new challenge, or indeed visiting a new country, is immersing yourself in relevant literature. You will find that it allows you to experience new environments at a much deeper level.
In this list of best climbing books on Mount Kilimanjaro we have tried to select a wide array of perspectives from experienced climbers to amateurs.
In the list we have included the best Kilimanjaro guidebooks, fantastic personal accounts and memoirs from trekkers, the best Kilimanjaro photography book, as well as a list of our favourite true-story climbing books.
We are confident that you will find a book here that is just right for you.
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Best Kilimanjaro Books
Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit by Mark Whitman
Books on climbing Kilimanjaro
The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa by Rick Ridgeway
Definitely our favourite book about Kilimanjaro and the wild Tanzanian landscape.
If we had to pick one book for you to read it would be The Shadow of Kilimanjaro.
Written by explorer extraordinaire, Rick Ridgeway (first climber to reach the summit of K2 without bottled oxygen), the book will leave you so inspired to get to Africa and conquer Kili.
Becoming Fearless: Finding Courage in the African Wilderness by Brenda E. Smith
Brenda Smith takes on a daunting adventure coerced by her boss and colleagues: a 12-day rafting trip through a Tanzanian game reserve followed by scaling Africa's tallest mountain.
Accustomed to a safe, predictable life, Brenda is unnerved by the dangers of the wilderness, including encounters with ferocious wildlife and battling extreme weather conditions. Yet, her ultimate challenge lies within. As she confronts her deepest fears, she undergoes a transformative inner journey, discovering untapped personal strength.
Becoming Fearless is a true, inspirational story that highlights the profound change possible when one steps out of their comfort zone.
Zombies on Kilimanjaro: A Father/Son Journey Above the Clouds by Tim Ward by Rick Ridgeway
An intensely personal journey of a father (Tim Ward) and his 20 year old sons expedition up the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
During the climb their relationship develops a touching authenticity as topics of fatherhood, divorce and kept secrets are dealt with.
We thoroughly enjoyed this book and know you will too. Highly recommended! Grab it on Amazon here.
Kilimanjaro Diaries: Or, How I Spent a Week Dreaming of Toilets, Drinking Crappy Water, and Making Bad Jokes While Having the Time of My Life by Eva Melusine Thieme
Mother, homekeeper and blogger, Eva Melusine, shares her funny and heart-warming story of climbing Kilimanjaro.
If the reviews on Amazon are anything to go by, this book gets two thumbs up for it’s honest and entertaining dialog that is scattered with insightful nuggets of what to expect when climbing Africa’s highest mountain.
Get Kilimanjaro Diaries.
In My Wildest Dreams: A Woman’s Humorous Perspective of her Mt. Kilimanjaro Experience by Sue Freeman
We haven’t read this book but the reviews on Amazon are great. Here’s one we like: “I felt like I was on the journey with Sue.
The book might be short & a quick read, but it holds so much valuable information & delivered with such a keen sense of humor.
It encourages you to meet your next challenge with gusto & wit.” Most of the reviews are admittedly from ladies so perhaps the book is best read by the finer sex.
Kilimanjaro and Beyond (A Life-Changing Journey) by Barry Finlay and Chris Finlay
Another epic father and son tale of climbing Kilimanjaro. This time both father and son are on a journey to raise funds for children in Africa whilst conquering the slopes of Kibo.
The story that unfolds is one of true determination to make personal dreams and other people’s dreams come true.
Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa by Daniel Dorr
Kilimanjaro Via the Marangu Route: Tourist Route My Ass by Phil Gray
This book caught our eyes as many of the tour operators punt the Marangu Route as the ‘Tourist Route’.
Of course there is no such thing and at the end of the day getting your ass up Kili is no easy feat.
Described as toilet humour in Amazon we suspect this book is perfect for those who want a really quick read and some fun laughs.
A Table on Kilimanjaro by Janice Coy
Here is what Amazon has to say:
“A Table on Kilimanjaro is a coming of age story about the nature of success, the realization that every mountain can’t be conquered and every person, even those closest to us, can be a stranger.”
Kilimanjaro Uncovered: An Alternative Path to Bliss by Alexandra Tanbai
A fun, informative and inspiring story that follows Alex’s journey to the summit of Kilimanjaro on the little known and under appreciated Northern Circuit.
Although not a guide, Kilimanjaro Uncovered is full of brilliant little nuggets of information that will help you prepare for the Roof of Africa.
Chase That Smile: Approaching Midlife: a Marathon, Mount Kilimanjaro and an Ironman Triathlon by Harold Cabrera
At 39 years old, Harold Cabrera decided to take on three major challenges - running the Paris Marathon, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and completing an Ironman triathlon - before turning 40.
Chase That Smile is an inspiring and personal story about navigating the good and hard times of life, family and major challenges.
Get Chase That Smile here.
Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa by Michel Moushabeck and Hiltrud Schultz
The perfect coffee table photographic journal which has over 200 amazing pictures set to a wonderful narrative about Mount Kilimanjaro. A perfect gift to yourself as a reminder of your time on Kili.