on 1 August 2014
Back in 2012 a friend and I decided we wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, but we didn't have a clue where to begin. "There's bound to be a book" I thought, so I had a look and plumped for Henry's; boy am I glad I did! My version was the previous one to this, and we only travelled at the start of July this year (2014), so it would be understandable if some things were a little out of date, or not mentioned at all. For instance in my book there is no mention of Fifi's restaurant in Arusha (on Themi Road which is just off Sokoine Road very near the clock tower) which is absolutely fantastic! The food is wonderful, and, most importantly, the bottles of Kilimanjaro lager are brought with a chilled glass! Delightful.
I digress. The book covers everything you can think of, UK based agencies, local agencies in the cities, as well as the cities/towns themselves, with hotel/lodge/b&b reviews restaurant reviews and maps to help you locate anything you want to find. There is equipment lists, advice on AMS, jabs, malari, and other such things. There is even a small Swahili/English section so you can pick up some basics to help you get by politely (and throw in 'poa kichizi kama ndizi ndana ya friji' in response to a street tout's standard 'jambo' and you might not get pestered quite so often. It's not rude - it means 'cool, crazy, like a banana in a fridge', but it might help convince them you aren't 'just another tourist')
All the routes up the mountain are covered in great detail, with daily route maps, telling you what you are likely to see, what routes are best and what things let other routes down. Henry is delightfully candid in his description of the long drop toilet facilities on some of the busier routes, which helps give the feeling that the book is written by 'someone like you' who is trying to inform you about what to expect as opposed to someone who just wants to sell books. you will also read about the flora and fauna, and the Chagga. Basically, everything is covered!
In the end, so impressed by the quality of the book, we ended up booking our entire trek and safari through Henry himself, and it was absolutely wonderful. This book is an absolute must for anyone with ambitions of climbing this most beautiful of mountains
on 24 January 2012
I recently travelled with my girlfriend to Tanzania to do Kilimanjaro with several guidebooks in our suitcase. But on issues such as preparations for Kili, the practicalities of getting and staying in the region and obviously, climbing Kilimanjaro, this one stood head and shoulders above the rest and quickly became the only one we took out. The content is very complete and practical. The book is very clear and intuitive; it is really easy to find exactly what you search for, without having to scroll every chapter. You can immediately tell this is written by someone who has climbed Kili time and time again and knows the area inside out, but doesn't ignore the anxieties and worries of the first time climber. The section on climbing Mount Mehru independently could be a bit more extensive. The author says it is complicated to organise this climb yourself, but doable nevertheless, but then doesn't give advice on how to do it yourself, which would have been helpful. But since this is a book on climbing Kili, not Mehru, that little bit of criticism obviously is not overly important. Little detail: the recommended Indian restaurant in Dar Es Salaam, which was in no other book, was the most delicious (and cheapest!) meal we had during our whole trip!
on 3 December 2012
I really enjoyed reading this. It's a comprehensive guidebook which covers all the trekking routes in great detail. There is lots about planning and the surrounding area as well. What I personally liked most about it was the chapter on the history of Kilimanjaro, which contained many interesting and entertaining anecdotes. He's a good writer, and is also very funny. A thoroughly enjoyable read!