To contribute to this (admittedly interrupted) dialogue, visit the contacts page, or just mail the group


The complete schedule is updated on the schedule page. As to minutes, well, discussing the details all night, got very Byzantine. The gist seemed to be that from Jo¹burg to Lusaka there is a ton of affordable transport available by bus and train. The information everybody seems to agree on is:


Whether by bus or train, all routes North go from Pretoria to Gabarone, and from Vic Falls to Lusaka. Between Gabarone and the falls, the road splits, through Zimbabwe and through Botswana. That¹s the only real decision, and it will have to be made on site.


Lusaka airport 20.June 09h20. If not, post office corner of Cairo and Church, noon and every hour after. In case of emergency, there are 3 internet cafes:, Kabelenga Road off Church.
Internet Cafe, Katando Road off Cairo Road
Zamnet, Comesa Building near the south end roundabout


Manny: tent
Thor: stove, water filter, 1st aid
Rebecca: feather boa
Neil: tent
Guy: tent, 1st aid
Everyone: sleeping bag, *black glass*


Once on the the ground in Lusaka, Team Recon should scout possible urban viewing locations, find out about going to Chisamba, and hopefully onward transport to Landless Corner. Also they should investigate getting a vehicle of our own, and befriend governmental big-wigs.


1st contact: 13:39:56
2nd contact: 15:08:11
3rd contact: 15:11:49
4th contact: 16:26:38

At the moment, we are shooting for Landless Corner, because it should get 3m36s of darkness, and it has a cool name. Unfortunately, There may be tons o¹ tourgroups around here. Team Recon will have to decide. Another Option is the Kalanga Hot Springs, along the Kafue River, just east of Kafue Park. Nice setting, no accommodations, which could mean less tourists. Also we shouldn¹t rule out the possibility of just finding a nice quiet village and sharing glass with its people.


Lots of options, camping, parks, Victoria Falls, Zambezi white water, Freedom Fighting. There will be millions of tourists all rushing for the Falls and some other attractions after the shadow has gone, so we¹ll just have to see what¹s available. Then the Great Southward Migration will develop.


Thor, Manny, Rebecca
ORD ­ LHR 11.06 VS40 17:00 arrives 12.06 06:55
LHR - JNB 12.06 VS601 21:00 arrives 13.06 09:15
JNB ­ LHR 03.07 VS602 20:15 arrives 04.07 06:35
LHR ­ ORD 06.07 VS39 10:30 arrives 06.06 13:10

STL - LGW 18.06 TW720 19:20 arrives 19.06 09:45
LHR - NAI 19.06 KQ101 21:00 arrives 20.06 06:30
NAI - LUS 20.06 KQ428 07:35 arrives 20.06 09:20 WE MEET
LUS - NAI 03.07 KQ424 12:35 arrives 03.07 16:10
NAI - LHR 03.07 KQ102 23:55 arrives 04.07 06:45

ORD - LHR 06.06 VS40 17:00 arrives 07.06 06:55
LHR - JNB 17.06 VS601 21:00 arrives 18.06 09:15
JNB - LHR 01.07 VS602 20:15 arrives 02.07 06:35
LHR - ORD 07.07 VS39 10:30 arrives 07.07 13:10

Remarkably, there seem to be no towns in Zambia that start with the letter A.

Date 8 May 2001
From Alyosha
Subject Let's talk

Hey everyone I'm back in Chicago, and since this year's event seems to be focusing on Chicagoans, let's all meet'n'eat'n'plan'n'scheme, eh?

Neil when are you back in town?

Date 8 May 2001
From Thor Salo
Subject Visas


In response to Neil's mail, we don't need a visa for South Africa or Botswana. But we do need a visa for Zambia which can get at the border crossing, no prob.

I understand this is easy to get.

South Africa. free 90-day upon entry
Botswana. free 30-day @ border
Zambia. $25 90-day @ border

That's it


Date 5 May 2001
From Thor Salo
Subject News

Date Fri, 27 Apr 2001 10:15:15 -07
From Neil Verplank
Subject zambia, here I come

flying london to joburg, arrive 18th, depart july 1. the rest is up in the air. Virgin Atlantic, $495. woo-hooo! of course, now it will cost me $1100 to get to london.... neil

Date Mon, 16 Apr 2001
From Thor Salo
Subject Re: eclipse page


Thor/Manny/Rebecca Schedule info:


Chicago > London = June 11-12
London > JoBurg = June 12-13
Land: JoBurg > Lusaka = June 14-17?
Lusaka/Eclipse = June 17-22?
Open travel = June 22-30
Hightail back to JoBurg = July 1-2
Flights: JoBurg > London = July 3-4
Stay in London = July 4-5
London > Chicago = July


Thor = Joburg/June 13 - July 3 (in-out)
Manny = JoBurg/June 13 - July 3 (in-out)
Rebecca = JoBurg/June 13 - July 3 (in-out)
Neil = ???
Alyosha = ???
Sarah = ???
Max = ???

We will take trains and/or buses through Botswana and maybe Zimbabwe to Zambia. I think we will probably rush this portion for recon responsibilities. Once we arrive in Lusaka we will have 3-6 days to find our viewing spot.

Potential spots are:

Manny's address:

This is where I am so far. I have maps and books and have seen many websites. I've read about places all along the shadow path. I need to travel on a low budget, so some options are not possible for me, i.e. safaris, lodges, car rentals, etc.


Date Wed, 11 Apr 2001
From Alyosha
To Dan Glass
Subject Re: Good sites?


Thanks for your interest. Our plans aren't complete yet, but here's what I've got: For the eclipse we are considering several options.

The easiest of these is Zambia. all that would *really* be necessary would be to get off the plane in lusaka, start walking across the tarmac to immigration, and then zap the sun will disappear. not so romantic, but possible. zambia will be full up for the eclipse, so we're looking at camping if we go there. I spent some weeks in Zambia in 1989 and it's beautiful land, so no torture there, anyway.

option 2: mozambique. chinde. floods. cholera. too unstable to predict right now. IF it looks good at the last minute it would be nice to dive the eclipse, but things aren't so pretty there at the moment.

3: angola. not necessarily as bad as it all might sound. the angolan govt is in fact planning on tourism, although the us embassy there tells me 'dont come'... quite a funny email actually. I've spoken with the minister of info at the angolan un mission too and he seems to think it could be done safely... but since no one is willing to try it with me, i'd be on my own there, and it's always fun to be with friends. I'm really sad NOT to go to angola actually, because there is a village there which will get both the 2001 and 2002 eclipses in a row.... my idea was originally to show up there naked at the moment of the first eclipse, tell them i come from the sky, live with them for a year and some months, and then disappear at the moment of 2nd contact 2002 leaving a pile of clothes in the center of town..... oh well. possibility

4: boat from south africa to the ascension islands, and then out under the shadow on the high seas for maximum duration. great for visibility, great for shadowtime, great for adventure and fun. but we have no boat, no knowledge of how to sail one, and no time left to acquire these things..... UNLESS my friend Becky in cape town, who is looking for me, comes through at the last minute.... and

5: madagascar. but they're doing hands-across-madagascar under the shadow, so little hope for solitude. too touristy.

zambia might be it.

Date Sat, 24 Mar 2001
From Alyosha
Subject Hey Becky...

OK OK I know you havent heard from me maybe since dinosaurs wandered the Tenere in search of water (believe me I just came from there, and there's not much water to be found), and maybe this is just a tad bit outtadablue... BUT: This is Guy Petzall writing you, thanks to Kristi's loyal addresskeeping abilities, with a question, a question which must I think be preceded by some explanation...

For the last 7 years I have been following solar eclipses around the world. there are lots of reasons for this, and I've had lots of adventures doing so (and you can check out several of them at, and now I'm trying to figure out the next one. At this point, please refer to for the map of the upcoming shadowpath.

Now: the shadow hits land in angola, which at the moment is a little bit of a sticky situation... so my friends and I are sort of forced, if we want to see the thing on land, to do so from zambia or mozambique. I've already been to Zambia and loved it but it'll be insanely touristed for the event, which I would like to avoid; and mozambique is having hyperhydration issues at the moment, and besides, the farther east we get, the fewer seconds of darkness we'll have.... ...IF we see it from land..... ....but the best place to see the thing, it turns out, is not from land, but in the atlantic ocean near tristan de cunha, and so FINALLY I get to my question:

You live in south africa. do you know anyone with a boat who's looking for an adventure? because I have an adventure to supply.

That's it. So please let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested in this, and even if not, my friends and I are considering taking a couple of landrovers and a generator and a compressor and some diving gear and setting up on the beach in the middle of nowhere in mozambique to see thze eclipse from beneath the sea... are you interested in that (as a second choice?)

OK I'm in Ouagadougou right now and the net is slow and expensive, so I'm gonna go out and brave the heat now. Glad to hear that you're well, and hopeful to hear what excellent good news I'm just positive you're gonna throw my way, and I hope you're having a very nice early autumn.

Guy Petzall.


Date Mon, 2 Apr 2001
From Becky Rogers Ackermann
To Alyosha
Subject Re: Hey Becky...


well, well, well. good to hear from you. and good to know that you are also on the fair continent.

i will ask around. i happen to know a few people with boats. are you footing the bill for the affair? because that would make the convincing much easier...


Date Sat, 12 Mar 2001
From Guy Petzall
To American Embassy, Luanda, Angola
Subject June 21 eclipse


I am an American citizen, and am considering coming to Angola to see the June 21st total solar eclipse. The best place (on land on earth) to see it is near Sumbe, on the coast. Since you live there, I thought I'd ask: is this idea possible and if so how dangerous woud it be?

I have lots of experience travelling, so I wouldn't be COMPLETELY stupid if I came, in fact I'm writing from Niamey right now... and I have seen several eclipses in various countries over the past 5 years, so that wouldn't be new either... I'm mainly curious how 'hot' that part of the country is, and how hard it would be to get there.

Also, would you be interested in joining me? You've been stationed in Angola anyway, why not take advantage of that country's ideal eclipse-situation? Let me know.

Thanks for your help, and I hope this works out: this will be an unusually long eclipse, and it's one of the most beautiful things we as terrestrials are priviledged to be able to see.

Sincerely and hopefully,

Guy Petzall.

Date Tue, 13 Mar 2001
From Embaixada dos Estados Unidos
To Guy Petzall
Subject Re: June 21 eclipse

Dear Mr. Petzall,

I'll just run this by our security guy and get back with you. Our official line can be found on under travel warnings. It basically says, "don't come to Angola".


Christina Huth
Vice Consul, US Embassy - Luanda


Date Sun, 1 Apr 2001
From AmEmbassy-Luanda
To Guy Petzall
Subject Re: June 21 eclipse

Dear Mr. Petzall,

Please forgive the delay, we have been having lots of difficulty with our e-mail. The official US Government security advice is on the State Dept. web page - I have attached it here for your convenience We do not recommend that anyone come here for the purpose of tourism, in fact we strongly counsel people against it. That said, the Government of Angola has indeed made some preparations to receive tourists. You may want to contact their Embassy in Washington or try their website.

Best regards,

Christina Huth
Vice Consul US Embassy - Luanda