Heartbreak & Joy in Africa

Must-see from this eclipse: Miloslav Druckmüller’s outstanding photographs



Pokwero, Uganda

On 3 November 2013 thousands of chasers from around the world gathered along the eclipse path in central Africa to see a truly unique event:  what is called a “hybrid” or “transitional” eclipse.   This means the size of the Moon wasn’t quite large enough to completely cover the Sun – a Total Eclipse – and it wasn’t quite small enough to slip inside the Sun – an Annular Eclipse.  On this day, the disc of the Moon was identical in size to the disc of the Sun creating an absolutely perfect match in the sky. The arrangement created some stunning magic for the lucky few who had clear skies.

group set up

Setting up in Uganda 03 November 2013.

I missed this one!  Yikes!  One of the few that got away.  But considering I had just returned home from two weeks in Nepal on a community development mission – I wasn’t complaining.  My good friend Lukas Gornisiewicz made the trek to Pokwero, Uganda, and got some great images.  His was one of the few expeditions that was successful.  Up and down the eclipse path, chasers were met with sand storms and clouds and wind.  Dozens of expeditions – thousands of people – went all that way and didn’t see the eclipse.  Yes – a chaser’s nightmare.  But such was the case in November 2013 – and something you have to accept if you wanna chase eclipses.


So close to being clouded out!

lukas chromo ring

A Ring of Chromosphere! This is never seen at typical Total Solar Eclipses. Just Stunning!
photo Lukas Gornisiewicz

totality sidebar

A stunning sequence by Ben Cooper Launchphotography.com

These images were taken by Ben Cooper aboard a private biz jet out of Bermuda that flew into the Moon’s shadow over the Atlantic before its rendezvous in Africa. From 44,000 ft. the view was spectacular – free from clouds and the perils of weather.


multi bead cu

Not quite Total, not quite Annular.  100% amazing.

Check out this amazing vid from Stephan Heinsius at 44,000 ft.

B014 TSE2013 from Stephan Heinsius on Vimeo.

This was one for the record books!  Can’t believe I wasn’t there!  Doh!







One response to “Heartbreak & Joy in Africa

  1. Hi,

    I did see the totality in Uganda, as you can see on my site.
    I was in Gulu, together with a Belgian group travelling with 7 Toyota Landcruisers.
    The presidential location was allso succesufull.

    Our friends in Ethiopia were not so lucky.

    I’ve read your plan to take the plane next time (2015). I will be on the Faroe Island and hope for the best.

    Marc Hens

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