The 2001 Eclipse : Accounts

A collection of accounts and photos of the 2001 Eclipse sent to this web site by e-mail

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Robert Williams

Hi there Kryss,

This is what I got when I tried to 'project' the 'Sun' through a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars and into an 'automatic' Camera. As I said 'Suck it and See!'

Partial Eclipse
Partial Phase

Stan Armstrong

Hi Kryss and Tal..from your updated counties visited I know you are both back in UK.. It was terrific meeting up with you both[ except for missing my only possible sundial!!!]...Could I suggest that as we actually were in Zambian waters when on the zambesi river that this country should be included!! Thought I would send a site shot to start off the input for you regards stan..

Eclipse Site
Eclipse Site

South Africa
South Africa

John K Huibregtse

Kryss and Talaat:

I am (finally) back in the USA and back at work. The week on Kilimanjaro was very tough (not the "Garden Route" for sure!) I should have my pictures developed by Friday PM, and I'll send along some of the good shots, if there are any. Thanks, again, for helping to make my African Eclipse adventure memorable. Jambo.

Penguin Colony
Penguin Colony in South Afica

Monkeyland in South Africa

Victoria falls
Victoria Falls from Helicopter

Children at Eclipse Site

Eclipsed Sun
Eclipsed Sun with Corona

Eclipse Sun with Jupiter
Eclipsed Sun with Jupiter

Giraffe in the Serengeti

Shelagh and Jim Godwin

Dear Kryss,

I had the pleasure of meeting you and Tal in Zimbabwe and I've just had a great time looking at your web site. It's brilliant! I particularly liked the language and script bits, but read the eclipse reports with great interest too. So the least I can do is to give you mine.

Photos to follow, if they come out. Hope all went well in your subsequent travels. All the best,

Shelagh and Jim Godwin

On 2001 June 21st I had the privilege of observing the first total solar eclipse of the new millennium. The observing site was the banks of the Ruya River in northern Zimbabwe. The combination of sand, trees, vegetation and the flowing water enhanced the eerieness of the light as the moon encroached over the Sun from the bottom left. We could hear the crickets singing, as if in the evening, as we had fun playing with our shadows, sharp in one direction fuzzy in another. At just before 3-15 local time (1315 UT) an impressive diamond ring to top right announced the onset of totality. The excitement was palpable as the shadow rushed over the river towards us and the moon, amazingly black, blotted out al the parts of the Sun that we can normally see. There was a fantastic pearly corona, well structured, of equal intensity all round the Moon's disc, with amazing streamers. Almost immediately a brilliant red prominence appeared on the right hand side of the Sun, at about the 2 o'clock position. Almost simultaneously a bat flew across our field of vision. Somebody standing further away from the river remarked afterwards on the number of red LCDs as we desperately tried to catch the spectacle on film. Stars were visible, but I could only see Jupiter. This being my first total eclipse there was a lot to take in. Two more magnificent prominences appeared at about the 7 o'clock position. As we looked at these in awe, the diamond ring appeared in almost the same position. It was a long one, about 7 seconds. Then it was all over. Cheers and clapping all around.

To reach the observing site we went through a school: we walked past basic single storey classrooms and wildly excited children. Pens, notebooks, and books were donated to the teachers, who also distributed eclipse shades. These children were the lucky ones as many in Harare observing the 98% partial phase were unable to obtain the shades and improvised with film negatives and anything they could lay their hands on. The children at the school were as bemused by the sight of 450 foreigners, all with sophisticated equipment, as by what was happening to the sun! As the buses pulled away along the dirt road towards Harare, 3 and a half hours away, all the children and adults raced out of their villages and waves. For them, as for us, it had been an incredible day.

Totality With Jupiter
Totality With Jupiter (Photo by Jim Godwin)

John Sussenbach

Dear Ringmembers,

I visited Zambia to observe the Total Solar Eclipse using a Celestron 5 telescope. I also made a series of pictures which I compiled in a kind of animation. You might be interested in this animation. Just visit my website and I hope you will enjoy it.
Email: John Sussenbach

Richard Blake-Reed

Hi Kryss/Talaat -

I enjoyed your account of the 2001 eclipse, I was looking around for accounts the other day and found your page on Zimbabwe 2001. I think that many people who take the trouble to write accounts don't go the extra mile and get listed in the search engines!

You were evidently in the same group (Explorers) as we were, although we took the short option (because we booked very late and had *no* option!). As a result I think we ended up in some quite good hotels, presumably because Explorers were scratching around for accomodation. Unfortunately the Elephant Hills in Vic Falls burned down (well, 60% of it) a month after the eclipse. It has to have been one of the nicest hotels we've ever stayed in.

As you say about yourselves, we enjoy travelling unfettered by a tour group (and hand-luggage only so we get through airports in a fraction of the time (and get the best cabs outside!)). We also considered that southern Africa was best visited as part of a group the first time around, although we may do the same next year if we decide to see the December 2002 "edition" of the event. Of course the weather then will be a lot less pleasant than it was on this occasion.

We have our own account of the eclipse at,

I can't remember the sub-page it is on, but it is available from that page. I got all technical for this eclipse and employed Espenak's excellent exposure charts to get a more coherent set of pictures than I did for the Austrian eclipse (as we call it) in 1999. I have to admit that the Austrian one gave us an incredible experience because we were over 4000' up a mountain above Salzburg, and the rush of the shadow was only exceeded by the rush of the adrenaline on that occasion. For our first eclipse it was certainly an impressive start. There is an account of that eclipse on our pages too, possibly accessible from our Zimbabwe account, if not, accessible from my "photo gallery" link.

Oddly enough we missed the Caribbean eclipse in 1998 by a month or so, we went out there in January '98 for a flying holiday (account also on our site), and I can remember hearing about the imminent eclipse and wondering whether I could afford to annoy my current client by bunking off for 6 weeks instead of two!

Not all of the links on our pages work because we're slowly changing the nature of the site, but I know that Zimbabwe and the Caribbean should be accessible.

My Zimbabwe eclipse pictures are scanned from Kodak Elitechrome Extracolor slides which did a wonderful job of capturing detail, however as scanned images they aren't quite so clear since I don't have a dedicated slide scanner, but they should be OK (or at least, tolerable!).

Hope you enjoy the pages as much as I've enjoyed yours ...

KryssTal Reply: Hi Richard,

Very nice site and pics. That view of the Ruya River looks familiar. You appear to have got some excellent shots of the eclipse itself. And you got some nice wild life photos. Can I make four suggestions?

1. I would be honoured if you would join my Eclipse Chasers Web Ring. This is a collection of sites about eclipses. Your site would be a superb addition. Apply at the web page below, insert some HTML code and I'll add you.

2. Since 188 of the world's 200 countries on the WORLD wide web do not know what 4000' means, would it be possible to add a metric equivalent to your account? I have an essay about communicating on the internet on worldww.html.

3. The black background with yellowish writing (and italics on your 1999 account) is painful on the eyes. I find reading is easier with a light background and non-italic font. It's also easier to print properly.

4. Your fascinating sequence of horizon darkening in 1999 might look better on one page. Check out my 1988 eclipse.

I Hope my comments are of help. Your site has excellent content and you clearly had a great time in Africa.

PS One advantage of staying at the tacky-looking Kingdom Hotel in Vic Falls was that we could walk to the falls.

KryssTal Related Pages

The 2001 eclipse main page.

Maps of the path of the 2001 eclipse from Fred Espenak and eclipse details at the observation site.

The times for selected places for the 2001 eclipse.

Photographs of the site and people at the 2001 eclipse.

Accounts of the 2001 eclipse sent to this web site are reproduced here.

During the excitement of totality not all photos come out as expected.

Travel photos from Zimbabwe.

This page features general emails sent to the KryssTal Eclipses web site. Incuded are comments about the web pages (both good and bad) as well as questions.