40,000 Tourists To View Solar Eclipse In Kenya

2739 Views Kataboi, Kenya

In short
At least 40,000 international tourists including astronomers are expected in Turkana County in Kenya to view the spectacular hybrid solar eclipse expected on November 3.

At least 40,000 international tourists including astronomers are expected in Turkana County in Kenya to view the spectacular hybrid solar eclipse expected on November 3.
The solar eclipse will be viewed in Ali Abey, Namoratunga, Kalokol, along Lodwar- Lokichogio road to South Sudan including Sibiloi National Park areas.
John Munyes, the Turkana County Senator, tells Uganda Radio Network that the event will provide astonishing scenery in the sun-baked areas of Kenya. He explains that his area will restore its forgotten glory as a birth place of the science of stars. He adds that since the hybrid eclipse will be viewed in four African countries, the sun-baked Turkana will be hosting the climax of the eclipse.   He continues to say that the astronomical information available indicates that there will be total eclipse gleaming over Lake Turkana. He appeals to the public to use protective gears to watch the event. 
Josephat Nanok, the governor Turkana County explains that most towns in the region have had enormous bookings in hotels. He adds that in Lodwar town most lodges have been booked with most visitors traveling to eclipse sites to erect their tents. He admits that the eclipse has provided a lot of challenges in infrastructure calling for individual and government investments.
According to Murithi Ndegwa, the Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director, the hybrid eclipse event will boost the country’s position for astro-tourism. He says the government has beefed up security throughout the country.
The Nairobi based Astronomical Society indicates total eclipse landfall in Gabon, will last 68 seconds of totality and viewers in Congo- Brazzaville will have 53 seconds of the event. Others are Democratic Republic of Congo at 44 seconds, Uganda at 19 seconds and Northern Kenya with only 13 seconds. It ends in southern Ethiopia and parts of Somalia, who will barely view of one second of totality, before the sun completely sets.
The world is expected to view the hybrid solar eclipse on November 3rd and the best viewing location is in Owiny primary school in Pakwach, Nebbi district. The solar eclipse will pass over West, Central and East Africa, with Uganda having the best viewing sights. The partial eclipse will begin just after 4pm and end at 6:27pm. The total eclipse when the moon is closest to the centre of the sun will, however, last for 2 minutes at 5:23pm.
Here in Uganda, a team of 41 astronomers from around the world are among thousands of people who will gather at four different viewing locations including Arua, Pakwach, Gulu and Soroti.


About the author

Olandason Wanyama
Olandason Wanyama is the Karamoja region bureau chief. Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Abim, Kotido and Kaabong districts fall under his docket. Wanyama has been a URN staff member since 2012.

The former teacher boasts of 20 years journalism experience. Wanyama started out as a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor newspaper in 1991 in Entebbe. Wanyama also wrote for the army publication Tarehe Sita, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) magazine and The New Vision. While not on the beat, Wanyama taught child soldiers at Uganda Airforce School-Katabi.

Wanyama is very interested in conflict reporting, climate change, education, health and business reporting. He is also an avid photographic chronicler of vanishing tribal life in the East African region.