Total Solar Eclipse - 21 June 2001 - Madagascar?

Just a collection of notes so far... (much info at: )

Where to go see it

Given the overall "unsettled" nature of southern Africa these days, it seems that Zambia and Mozambique might not be the safest places in the world to go. (From the Consular Information Sheet: Crime is widespread in Zambia. Armed carjackings, muggings and petty theft are commonplace in Lusaka and other major cities)

Looking at the climatology analysis on the NASA Goddard Eclipse web site (, the tropical island of Madagascar looks interesting. The prevailing wind is from the east, so the west side of the island should be clear.

It will be a sunset eclipse (so it'll be different from the others I've seen, mostly midday or late morning) in Madagascar.

How to get there

It looks like flying direct from LA to Paris, and then direct to Madagascar is the way to go. Amazingly, it's only about $1300-1400 RT ($600 to Paris, $700 to Madagascar). Air France seems the best airline. Air Mad:

Once there, we have to figure out how to get around. The guidebooks recommend Air Madagascar, because the roads are horrid. One example cites how it's only an hour and half drive from one place to another and quite convenient (and then mentions the distance: 37 km).. That's 25 km/hr... pretty slow driving.

The older guidebooks say it's fairly inexpensive too...

Later data from lonely planet:

Relative costs: •Budget room: US$2-10 •Moderate hotel: US$15-50 •Top-end hotel: US$100 and upwards •Budget meal: US$1-3 •Moderate restaurant meal: US$3-5 •Top-end restaurant meal: US$5 and upwards Madagascar is about as cheap as it gets when it comes to travel. You'd be hard pressed to spend more than US$10 on a meal in most places, and you can get a room for the night for as little as US$2.50. Admittedly, it will be a dive, you may be sharing it with bedbugs and lice, and the hotel may also double as a brothel. You may want to spend around US$5 for a basic bottom-end room with at least the rudiments of cleanliness and security. In a nutshell, you could get by in the countryside for as little as US$10-15 a day for food and lodging, but your costs will increase considerably in Tana or particularly on the resort island of Nosy Be. Budget on spending US$30-50 to have a very comfortable time accommodation-wise with the best food the island has to offer, and US$150 and upwards if you want to stay and eat in the big hotels on Nosy Be and Tana.

2001.htm - revised 16 July 2000