Kilimanjaro reading list

There’s a huge library of books about Kilimanjaro, from detailed guides to lively travelogues and photo journals. Naturally we haven’t read them all, so the list that follows is very partial and very much incomplete.


Kilimanjaro: A Complete Trekker’s Guide, Alexander Stewart – A very comprehensive guide featuring valuable full-colour maps and a route guide. The best Kilimanjaro guidebook we’ve encountered. The most recent edition is from 2015.

Kilimanjaro: The trekking guide to Africa’s highest mountain, Henry Stedman – Another very comprehensive guide to Kili covering routes, seasons and more. Comes with a helpful listing of local Kilimanjaro operators.

Most Tanzanian guidebooks (Bradt, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide) cover Kilimanjaro, unless they’re specifically marketed as safari guidebooks. Lonely Planet’s Trekking in East Africa is now unfortunately rather out of date (1998), but still contains valuable information.

There are several rather flimsy Kilimanjaro guides, including some that only cover one or two routes. You’ll find online resources more valuable than these guides.


The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa, Rick Ridgeway – This is a fascinating travel journal by American mountaineer and filmmaker Rick Ridgeway. Beginning with a vivid account of summit night on Kilimanjaro, Rick then recounts his journey (on foot) to the base of the mountain, through the Tsavo Game Reserves in Kenya and on to Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast. In this way, he offers a grounds-eye view of a region in the midst of change. Kilimanjaro is only part of this story, which touches on the colonial legacy in East Africa and the changing natural environment. But the great summit looms heavily throughout, as an unchanging symbol of East Africa.

Zombies on Kilimanjaro, Tim Ward – Not a schlock horror novel, but rather another tale of a father-son journey to the summit of Africa. There are no shortage of these, of course, but Zombies on Kilimanjaro is written with great wit and humour. It also features several helpful pages of Kilimanjaro resources and guidance.


Journey through Tanzania, Amin, Willetts & Marshall – Wonderful coffee table book featuring photos by Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willets & words by travel writer Peter Marshall

Kilimanjaro; to the roof of Africa, Audrey Salkeld and David Breashears – Published in 2002 to accompany the IMAX documentary of the same name, this isn’t just a photo book (though the film stills are amazing!), but a detailed history of Kilimanjaro and its place in East African culture. Beautifully written.

Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa, Moushabeck and Schulz – Recently published photo book featuring marvellous shots of Kilimanjaro by Hiltrud Schulz.