Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Books that will Shock, Excite and Inspire you

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.

Quicklinks

Best Kilimanjaro GuideBooks

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit by Mark Whitman
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 Kindle.

Best Kilimanjaro Stories

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.

Zombies on Kilimanjaro: A Father/Son Journey Above the Clouds by Tim Ward

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!

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.

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

Here is a Amazon review: “I was in the mood for a good outdoor adventure book that was not far out fiction when someone suggested this book to me. I was not disappointed. The story is well written, the characters were so real they reminded me of several people I know. The descriptions of the scenery were explicit and moving and the occasional humor throughout made this book a great read. The only problem is that now I have to find some money to take my own trip up 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.

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!

Best Kilimanjaro Photography Book

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.

Best Climbing Books

Into Thin Air: A personal account of the Everest disaster by Jon Krakauer
A true and devastating story of the most tragic and deadliest 24 hour period in Everest’s history. The story is told by climber, journalist and author Jon Krauker who was on one of the teams climbing for the summit that tragic day. Krauker’s account is gripping and intensely moving. You won’t be able to put this book down.

Touching The Void by Joe Simpson

The story of Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, who find themselves trapped high up on an Andean mountain. Joe has broken his leg. As Simon tries to shimmy him down the mountain face. Joe goes over a precipice and is dangling in free space. What happens next is incredible. One of the most astonishing climbing survival stories to have ever occurred!

Eiger Dreams: Ventures among men and mountains by Jon Krauker

Another classic by Jon Krauker, an author who has an incredible skill for telling the heart-wrenching stories of daredevil climbers. In Eiger Dreams he winds together a series of incredible climbing stories from Alaska’s Notorious Devil’s Thumb to Pakistan’s Fearsome K2, this book of climbing essays is nothing short of epic!


Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman

Zuckerman’s book tells the story of two Sherpas who survived the deadliest summit attempt on K2 in 2008. The events that unfolded on K2 that day is one of mountaineering legend and will have you white-knuckled and sweating throughout.


No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs with David Roberts

Ed Viesturs is a high altitude mountaineering legend. No Shortcuts to the Top is a memoir of mammoth proportions that will leave you in awe of one of the greatest climbers of all time.

Feel we have missed a book? Leave us a comment or suggesting below and we will respond within 24hours.

Haven’t booked your Kilimanjaro hike yet and looking for the best and most affordable Kilimanjaro Tours – click here for recommendations.

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4 thoughts on “Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Books that will Shock, Excite and Inspire you

  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.

    • Hi janet

      I think I ordered a book from you on amazon, can I email you directly for a better insight to doing the climb

      Regards Pam ([email protected])

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