Kilimanjaro was founded by its President, Erik D. Eike. Originally trained in both architecture and law, Erik spent several decades over-seeing and assisting large, complex, high-end construction of resorts, high-rise towers, airports, hospitals and power plants. During this time, and as an avid hunter, Erik grew disenchanted with the handling, quality and performance of the major production rifles, and turned to the custom rifle market. As a longtime customer of other custom rifle makers, he treasured fine rifles but demanded they be not just beautiful, but accurate and tough enough for real world field conditions. As Erik’s standards became more stringent, particularly in regard to handling, balance, accuracy and craftsmanship details, he realized that even the custom builders were not achieving the quality and excellence he believed possible. Convinced that the art of crafting fine hunting rifles was fast disappearing, he began an extensive research and development project for a new flagship line of full custom rifles — the Kilimanjaro Rifle—and developed the Kilimanjaro Standards production and quality assurance manual.
In August 2009, Erik was pleased to announce the launch of a new company, Kilimanjaro Rifles. Under his leadership, Kilimanjaro later purchased the assets of Serengeti Rifles so that Kilimanjaro could continue the fine tradition of Serengeti rifles in addition to the new Kilimanjaro Rifle, but all at the rigorous Kilimanjaro Standards developed in the R&D program.
As his gunsmiths and staff well know, Erik is a demanding perfectionist when it comes to his rifles. As President of Kilimanjaro Rifles, he serves as the final quality control to ensure each custom rifle meets his own standards for quality, excellence, beauty, reliability and accuracy.
Erik was born and raised in Kansas City, but later made his home and raised his own family in Honolulu, Hawaii (three children and now three grandchildren). He thus established Kilimanjaro's administrative offices in Hawaii, but production continues in Montana, California and other states where Kilimanjaro finds the finest firearms craftsmen.
A life member of both the NRA and the Dallas Safari Club, and a member of Safari Club International, Erik is an experienced open-ocean sailor and avid big game hunter who has hunted extensively in Africa, Alaska, the western United States, Australia and New Zealand. He enjoys nothing more than constantly putting Kilimanjaro's rifles to the test on real hunts in real conditions all over the world.