A Turkana Solar Eclipse Expedition

It’s been a few years since I was last up in the northern reaches of Kenya, and what an adventure that was! (blog posts 1, 2, 3 and 4)

BRCK Solar Eclipse trip, photo courtesy of Barak Bruerd on our last trip up to Northern Kenya

BRCK Solar Eclipse trip, photo courtesy of Barak Bruerd on our last trip up to Northern Kenya

This week finds me heading back, chasing the moon that will cover the sun. November 3rd at 5:30pm (East Africa Time) there is a hybrid solar eclipse. The lunar-like desert setting on the edge of Lake Turkana is said to be the best place in the world to watch it.

This also happens to be one of the most difficult places to get to, as fuel and supplies are a difficult thing to come by for the final 1000 kilometer loop. You have to bring it with you. It’s an unforgiving place, and yet one of the most hauntingly untouched and beautiful stretches of Africa that you can still find.

Solar Eclipse Path, Nov 3, 2013

Solar Eclipse Path, Nov 3, 2013

Though one never needs an excuse to have an adventure, the BRCK team is using this trip to stress test the device. We have a number of things planned, covering ruggedness and heat to testing out an amplification antenna with it. With luck, we’ll even have a VSat connection in hand, and test out WiFi via satellite internet backhaul and stream the eclipse live. You’ll be able to watch that at BRCK.com/eclipse.

[update: Huge thanks to Indigo Telecom for loaning us a BGAN terminal and 50Mb of data!]

Seven of us are trekking up to this iron triangle; where Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya meet. We’re taking three 650cc motorcycles and a Land Rover 110. Two happen to be professional photographers, two others are highly talented amateur photographers, and I’m going as the hack iPhonographer. :)

Sibiloi National Park, by Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya

Sibiloi National Park, by Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya

Our destination is Sibiloi National Park (KWS site), possibly the least visited and most unknown park in Kenya. It’s a good few hours drive north of Loyangalani, which I’m curious to see after the past few years. As far as I can tell, there is really no reason to ever go there, well, except for an eclipse…

I’ll be blogging our adventures here, as well as with others on the BRCK Blog. You can follow the images and livestream at brck.com/eclipse.

[Note: It should go without saying, but I won’t be answering many emails…]

5 thoughts on “A Turkana Solar Eclipse Expedition

  1. Steve

    Turkana is the most beautiful place for those in the know. I started going there in 1979 when I discovered the ‘holy of holies’ the magical Ely Springs. One has not eaten fish until you try Lake Turkana Tilapia.

  2. @NorthKenyablog

    Hash FYI: Sibiloi National Park is in Marsabit County and not Turkana County; In fact it looks like you are not in Turkana County at all unless if you are inside the Lake; according to this map: https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=Sibiloi+National+Park&data=!1m4!1m3!1d1771705!2d36.7108168!3d3.0017287!4m32!2m14!1m13!1s0x0%3A0x47e8d58f5d68631a!3m8!1m3!1d1771705!2d36.7108168!3d3.0017287!3m2!1i1366!2i667!4f13.1!4m2!3d4.0122198!4d36.3496399!5m16!2m15!1m14!1s0x182780d08350900f%3A0x403b0eb0a1976dd9!2skenya!3m8!1m3!1d22651601!2d-95.677068!3d37.0625!3m2!1i1366!2i667!4f13.1!4m2!3d-0.023559!4d37.906193

  3. kathy Maina

    Wow, this is great! Wish I could come , Just asking though, what is the correct way to view a solar eclipse? Do we expect to observe any thing unusual in the skies for those of us in Nairobi that wouldn’t be able to travel?
    All the best in your trip.

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