Hybrid Solar Eclipse Passes Over Kenya And UgandaNovember 6, 2013
Our Marketing Manager, Anne-Marie Weeden, was lucky enough to be in Uganda for the solar eclipse, on Sunday 3rd November. She joined a safari to Murchison Falls National Park, close to the line of totality, and reported back on her trip.
Tourists and locals thronged Northern Uganda and Northern Kenya on Sunday 3rd November as thousands flocked to witness the moon pass between the earth and the sun in a rare hybrid solar eclipse.
The path of the eclipse began in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and proceeded east, in an arc that crossed over central Africa through Gabon, Congo, DRC, Uganda and Kenya. The following composite image shows the progression of the eclipse as seen from Kampala by Michelle Sutton, a location which only witnessed a partial eclipse but made for dramatic viewing nonetheless.
In Northern Uganda, crowds descended upon various sites around Pakwach, north of the popular Murchison Falls National Park where tourists had earlier been photographing giraffe and elephant. They now had their camera lenses trained on the sun as it slowly disappeared behind the moon and dusk descended across the landscape. Rumours that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were jetting in only added to the day’s excitement.
Hawkers lined the streets in local villages selling all manner of specialist eclipse viewing materials – from welding goggles to commercially made eclipse viewing glasses to the rather more home-made option (pictured) involving cardboard, exposed camera film and rather a lot of staples.
In Kenya, many travelled to Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, for the best views of the total eclipse, before it ended in the skies over southern Ethiopia and Somalia. A partial eclipse was visible along a much broader path, including the United States, Europe, the Middle East and the rest of Africa.
In Uganda, our group had made their way to a private spot of land just north of the park. Everyone was nervous about the chances of getting a good sighting, due to the high levels of cloud cover typical at this time of year – but we were lucky. The skies were mainly clear and we had a great view of the moments of totality – as the eery twilight descended, our group cheered and raised glasses. It is a memory that will stay with me forever.
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