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Best Kilimanjaro Books That Will Shock, Excite And Inspire You

Mark Whitman

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

Kilimanjaro Guidebooks

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit by Mark Whitman

Mount Kilimanjaro Guide Cover

A short and focused guide on trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. Written by the lead editor of this website and available for £5.99 direct from this site (click here) or on Amazon.

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

becoming fearless

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.

Get In My Wildest Dreams

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.

Get Kilimanjaro and Beyond

Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa by Daniel Dorr


A great read full of insightful twists and wisdom. A great companion read for Mount Kilimanjaro.

Get Kissing Kilimanjaro

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.

Get Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route

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.”

Get A Table on Kilimanjaro

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

chase that smile

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 Photography

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.

Get Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa

Mark Whitman

Hi, I'm Mark! Welcome to Climb Kilimanjaro Guide - the Web's No.1 Trekking Guide to Mount Kilimanjaro. This site is your one stop shop for everything Kilimanjaro. To date over 5 million people have visited Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, many of which have gone on to summit Kili! I hope you find all the answers you are looking for, but if you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below!

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  1. The Rock Climbers is about a dangerous expedition as seen through the author’s eyes. That expedition was started in July, 1974 to Pirin Mountains located in southern Bulgaria, to prepare young people for the difficult tasks in their later years, into climbing the highest mountains in the world. As those people might operate later in the stressful climbing conditions they, need to be check their mental usefulness to stay for a long time in the mountain environment during dangerous climbing. The author, in a very interesting way, described the vagaries of natures and difficult crisis situations they had to defeat as well, he described in details about his personal experience during expedition and accompanying him, were his partners. Even the climbing of vertical walls is extremely serious business, and at the moment of climbing, the border between life and death is often very thin, still wins passion, willingness to compete, check themselves and their own possibilities.
    Undoubtedly, the book “The Rock Climbers,” is worthy of the attention not only people who are interested of mountains and the climbing thrill, but everyone else who likes story associate with mystery and adrenalin feeling.

  2. I really enjoyed Eva Melusine Thieme’s ‘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’ and so did my daughters – gave to them for christmas in preparation for our climb at the end of March.

  3. Hey Mark
    I recently published my book about climbing Africa's three highest mountains – Mount Stanley, Mount Kenya, and Kilimanjaro and mention a few others that I climbed on my way to Kilimanjaro. Like the Drakensberg in South Africa (where I grew up), the Atlas in Morocco, and the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. Can I send you a review copy?
    PS! Eva – I thoroughly enjoyed your book when I read it, and fully understood the emotions you went through in your climb to the summit!

    1. Hi Saleh, Hemingway’s Snows of Kilimanjaro is a short story set in Tanzania but don’t actually feature climbing the mountain.

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