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The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa
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The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  39 reviews
In one of the most acclaimed travel and adventure books of the past year, Rick Ridgeway chronicles his trek from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean, through Kenya's famed Tsavo Park. His tale is, according to The Boston Globe, "a gripping account of how it feels to be charged by an incensed elephant and kept awake at night by the roaring of stalking lions. ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Holt Paperbacks (first published October 1st 1998)
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3.77  · 
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 ·  317 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rick Ridgeway’s ‘The Shadow of Kilimanjaro’ isn’t just a journey through Kenya, it’s a journey through time. The book begins with Rick and his traveling companions climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the beginning of a walking safari that will take them all the way to the Kenyan coast. He is accompanied by seasoned guides and trackers as well as rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Filled with the incredible adventures of meeting and observing animals while on foot, as well as descriptions of t
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I just could not get into this book.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting read. In addition to a story of a walk on foot from Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean, it is also an exploration of issues surrounding conservation and hunting in East Africa. In some ways, it's a very interesting read, and we get to meet many larger-than-life personalities who have been involved in the history of conservation and the national parks in Kenya, like Richard Leakey and Bill Woodley. I also appreciated Ridgeway's attempts to make sense of the fact that many inv ...more
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ginger, and all my wilderness-loving reader friends
Although it starts a bit slowly as the author prepares to ascend Kilimanjaro on his trek to the Indian Ocean, the book is a marvelous memoir of East Africa's wild places. With 19th and 20th century history as the background, the author details the interaction of humans and animals, particularly as the conservation movement began to conflict with both native hunting and foreigner "big game" hunting, focused ultimately on the elephants and ivory trade. Ridgeway introduces the key European and nati ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love a good adventure book and picked this one up thinking it would be just that. Instead, it was so much more. Ridgeway barely talks about his walking journey from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the Kenyan coast. Instead he uses the journey to tell a much larger story.

This book is really about the history of hunting and poaching, the ivory trade and conservation in Kenya. It is about the interesting people who stood up to corruption and greed to protect wild lands and wild animals in Kenya.

I s
Jennifer Goldby
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I was quite disappointed by this book. I think the title is misleading, it evokes images of an epic journey fraught with danger and excitement. I had imagined the author going back to basics, surviving in the wild with only the simplest necessities of life and battling the elements, facing the conundrums that exist for the Masai, Waliangulu and other tribal groups. Instead the group are met with professionals and cooks and a whole team of people at frequent stops along the way who ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I didn't expect much from this book but was most pleasantly surprised. Ridgeway is an adventurer and conservationalist and this book contains his thoughts as he walks from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. Along the way we learn about African wildlife and the history of Tsavo National Parks, particularly the relationship between its elephants and the native and colonialist ivory hunters. Although there may be a balance needed between elephants and the commercial interests of nearby ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was excited for an account of Ridgeway's epic walk from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the shores of the Indian ocean, but this did not meet my expectations. My overall impression was that one of two things happened: 1) he didn't experience enough on the walk to build a book around so he had to add in a lot of information on Kenya's wildlife conservation community, or 2) he felt that a straight adventure book was too lowbrow, so focused instead on the wildlife conservation policy issues.

I was le
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling analysis of the complex interactions between man and "megafauna" - in particular, elephants - in the region of Kenya that became - and still is - Tsavo National Wildlife Refuge. The frame upon which this is suspended is a trek from the top of Mt Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean, in the company on several knowledgable individuals, two of whom are the sons of one of the original wardens of Tsavo. Much to think about in this excellent book, for both the "bunny-huggers" among us, ...more
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant book, telling of the past & present of the African National Parks. Told from the point of view of a walk from Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean with the sons of the ranger that helped create the parks.

I found it brilliantly descriptive & moving in it's narrative. It was a book I read form cover to cover in one sitting & when I put it down I started planning my first trip to Africa.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Read this after our RTW and climbing Kili in October 2006 and while writing and editing a journal of our trip. Makes me wish for the gift of storytelling: the ability to weave innocuous observations and details into a cogent, interesting tale that keeps the readers entertained and brings the imagery alive. Alas.

Since we trod some of the same ground, I came away with a deeper and renewed appreciation of East Africa.
Karl Sauerwein
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had fun Reading this book.. Took my time looked up animals and plants that The author described to help me visualize it better. Good Read. Very informative and historical account of the national parks in Kenya and such intelligent dialogue on philosophical aspects on hunting and conservation. Oh and they made a fun trek across east Africa as well.
Michael Harris
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
An APL Recycled reads find. This is another walking book this time "up Mount Kilimanjaro, down the East side and across Kenya to the Indian Ocean. Ridgeway walks with the sons of a great Park Warden of Kenya and covers much of the history of conservation of wildlife and creating the National Game Parks. It was well written and a very interesting read.
Patagonia  Books
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In one of the most acclaimed travel and adventure books of 1999, Rick Ridgeway chronicles his trek from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean, through Kenya's famed Tsavo Park. His tale is, according to The Boston Globe, "a gripping account of how it feels to be charged by an incensed elephant and kept awake at night by the roaring of stalking lions."
Tiffany Maxwell
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
You can only read about acacia trees and other plants for so long. Not much of a story, just a long description of the sights they see as they hike in Tanzania- which is hard to visualize without having been there, since they name plants and animals that I had never heard of (prior to visiting).

If you are going to this area and want a good read- I'd recommend Karen Blixen's Out of Africa.
It's always interesting to read about your own country, particularly from the perspective of a non-natural.

This book taught me a lot about the history of wildlife conservation in Kenya and a little more about the animals we host. I enjoyed Rick's style of writing. The way he took us through the journey was detailed enough for me to form an image in my brain.
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
I read this to help prepare me for our trip to Tanzania this summer. It's about a walking safari from Kilimanjaro to the coast, and made me very glad that we won't be walking! It deals with issues concerning the management of wildlife and how that has evolved over the years. It's an interesting read.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Ridgeway recounts a journey on foot to the pinnacle of Mt. Kilimanjaro and across the plains to the sea. Along the way he tells stories of the lands he walks through, the characters who shaped the wildlife conservation ethic in Kenya, and the amazing animals indigenous to the region.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great story from mountaineer and adventurer Ridgeway about his walk up Kilimanjaro and out to the sea, through Tsavo National Park, with elephants, predator animals, and interesting flora. Extremely readable - you feel as if you are right there traveling with him.
Matt Stansberry
Oct 17, 2007 marked it as to-read
Haven't read it yet, but looking forward to it. I bought a used copy online a while back when I was on an Africa kick -- Peter Capstick, Death in the Long Grass and all that. Offer me suggestions on whether to bump it up on the list or drop it.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not really about Kili--this is just where they begin their adventure. It gives a lot of great information on the game reserves and conservation efforts in the Kenyan parks. The battle against poaching and those most involved.
Dan Hall
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A GREAT book about trekking across Africa. I felt like I was trekking with them the entire way, learning a bit of history as we went.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. A bit of adventure and a lot of history...tremendously interesting.
Nov 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Interesting read, but I was only able to about half way through it. I couldn't really get into it...
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I appreciated the tangential information provided to flesh out the travel story - although my upcoming trip to Africa likely increased my engagement with the novel.
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A fun trek along eastern Africa that weaves treking, history and ecology. Wish i had been along for the walk.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of detail about a trek across East Africa, and wildlife management policies and history.
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Kinda slow after reading a book about the disaster on Everest. I think it would be good if you had been there.
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME BOOK! I loved this book, it was really entertaining, great mix of action, and history about the wilderness of Africa.
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
A walkabout with a conservationist's eye. Sign me up!
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