Henry Stedman

Name ID 1779

See also

Stedman, Henry Kilimanjaro - A Trekking Guide to Africa's Highest Mountain; Includes City Guides to Arusha, Moshi, Marangu, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam
Extract Date: May 2003

From the Author

(Copied from www.amazon.co.uk)

This book on trekking up Kilimanjaro was something of a labour of love for me. I’ve been writing guidebooks full-time for six years now, for companies such as Rough Guides (Indonesia, Southeast Asia), the trekking specialists Trailblazer and Bradt. For the past two years I have been editing other people’s guides as well, purely because I was getting a little tired of being on the road for nine months of the year and wanted to spend more time at home. At the time, there were very few destinations in the world that could persuade made me to ditch my red editing pen, put my rucksack back on and go and write another guidebook: Kilimanjaro, however, was one of them.

Quite simply, Kilimanjaro is a fantastic mountain, and the walk to the summit is one of the most enjoyable - and hardest - things I have ever done. Having previously researched and written about the European Dolomites, the Inca Trail and Nepal’s Annapurna region, I think I have some idea as to what makes a good trek; and believe me, the five-to-six day walk up Kilimanjaro, whatever route you take, is an absolute classic.

Its summit, at 5892.55m - 5896m, (depending on which estimate you’re using), is not only the highest point in Africa; it’s also one of the highest places regular trekkers (by which I mean those who have no mountaineering/climbing skills) can reach just by walking. And having gained the summit, the sense of achievement is awesome.

But like all good treks, reaching your goal is only part of the fun: it’s the getting there that counts. They say that to climb it is to pass through four seasons in four days - and they’re right. From the sweaty jungle of the first day via cloud forest, heath and moorland and on to the alpine desert and icy wastes of the summit, the scenery on Kilimanjaro is forever changing – and forever fascinating. The growing sense of camaraderie between yourself and your fellow trekkers and crew members, the feeling of leaving the rat-race behind, the glorious isolation, the enjoyment of feeling fit and healthy and, cliché though it may be, of feeling at one with nature, are all certain to become memories that will stay with you forever.

Nor do you have to be super-fit to make it to the summit. Indeed, there’s no reason why anybody with a working set of calf (something we examine at great length in the book) shouldn’t make it to the top.

That, in short, is why you should climb this mountain. But why should you choose this book to help you do so? The following list gives a few reasons as to why we think it’s THE book on Kilimanjaro

* This book is one of the few that looks at all the main routes up Kilimanjaro, and the ONLY one to look at THREE ROUTES in detail (Marangu Route, Machame Route and the little-known Rongai Route).

*This is the only book to provide a comparison between the trekking agencies, both in Africa and around the world - and because it is compulsory for every trekker to sign up with an agency, and these agencies have the power to enhance or ruin your trek, this comparison is pretty essential reading.

* The only book to provide an in-depth look at the towns (Arusha, Moshi and Marangu) surrounding Kilimanjaro, to help you compare hotels, locate the best restaurants and find venues for that post-trek celebratory/commiseratory knees-up.

We also provide:

* A thorough health and fitness section to help you stay healthy in East Africa, increase your chances of making it to the top and ensure you make it back down again;

* Advice on how to book your trek and what to look out for in the agency’s contract;

* Advice on what to take, and what to leave behind!

* Details on flights to East Africa;

* City guides to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the two cities that you are most likely to fly into, as well as the newly-opened Kilimanjaro International Airport;

* A thorough practical information section (including visas, currency, budgeting, transport, food etc) on travelling around Tanzania and Kenya;

* Advice on how to look after your porters and crew on the trek;

* The most comprehensive sections on the history of Kilimanjaro and Tanzania, and on the flora and fauna of Kilimanjaro(including a photographic guide to the plants and flowers);

* A look at the culture of the local Chagga people who inhabit Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes;

* Photos and illustrations (from both contemporary and historical sources, including some wonderful pen-and-ink sketches by the first Europeans to see Kilimanjaro, way back in the nineteenth century).

. . . Everything, indeed, to help you get from the safety of your favourite armchair at home all the way to the very summit of Africa’s highest mountain. And no other guidebook can provide anything like that kind of comprehensive coverage.

And if that’s not enough, we are also by some distance the NEWEST (published 2003) and, according to the Amazon website, the CHEAPEST too.

Simply put, Kilimanjaro is a mountain that everybody should climb; and we think that Trailblazer’s Kilimanjaro is the book to help you get there.

Henry Stedman, May 2003

Extract ID: 4622
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