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Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill

 By M.G. Edwards

Book Review: Conquering your own Kilimanjaro

This book is about many things. At forty, the author, M.G. Edwards, finds himself at a crossroads. Leaving behind the unfulfilling job as part of the American Foreign Service, he embarks on a grueling, excruciating, and at times scary, journey to the top of Africa, the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Sound familiar? How many of us have gone through the same thing at some point in our lives? How many left an unfulfilling job behind, packed a backpack or a suitcase and embarked on a far away journey to look for answers? Only to discover that all of our answers lie within.

I was interested to follow the author’s journey to the top and the challenges he encountered along the way. But I was especially curious to read about the dynamics of his little group’s interactions with the crew of local guides, cooks and helpers, whose job was to carry the tourists’ supplies and tents up the mountain. For me, that put in striking perspective the harsh realities of local inhabitants compared to the “wealthy” Westerners dropping in for a brief visit.

The book includes a large number of photos, documenting the entire trip. I am very visual and in my opinion, the journey came alive through these photos. This was one of the best features of the book and I have to commend the author for including them. The book is a rather quick and easy read. In the second edition, I didn’t notice any errors mentioned in one of the previous reviews.

If you are considering a trip to Kilimanjaro, the author does an excellent job of providing guidance and tons of useful information regarding such mundane, but unavoidable, subjects as fees, procedures, hiring and interacting with guides/helpers, as well as local conditions. The addendum provides a number of other useful tips and local information, invaluable for future climbers.

This is the first book in M.G. Edwards’ World Adventurers Series. I am looking forward to reading about the author’s various other world adventures!