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28.11.2013 04:05 PM Age: 5 yrs
Category: Tourism News
By: By Agencies

Security enhanced in N. Kenya as tourists set to view solar eclipse


The Kenyan government has beefed up security for visitors, tourists and astronomers visiting northern Kenya ahead of Sunday's total solar eclipse.
Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru said on Friday security forces have been deployed to provide security for the visitors from across the world converging at Sibiloi National Park to view a spectacular event in the Kenyan history.
"We have put all security measures in place for visitors coming to view the total solar eclipse because this is a world wide event and we must check for their security," Nakoru told journalists in Samburu.
While this occurrence will take place at different points on the earth, astronomers say Sibiloi National Park will offer the best view of the eclipse as it is only at the park where clear skies will occur.
Satellite and surface measurements indicate that the weather prospect in northern Kenya is the best along the entire 2013 eclipse track.
On Nov. 3 a total solar eclipse will pass over Kenya along one of Kenya's major tourist attractions, Sibiloi National Park, which is situated beside the world's largest desert lake, the Turkana.
At least 1,500 visitors from across the world will have the best vantage point to view the solar eclipse of the sun and Kenyan officials said the eclipse will provide a platform to market Kenya as an emerging tourist destination.
Nakoru said a contingent of the officers will be deployed to patrol Isiolo-Moyale highway while others will be stationed at the site and areas near Lake Turkana to assure the visitors.
Nakoru said the convoy of the security officers will leave Marsabit town on Saturday to patrol 300 km between Sibiloi National Park and areas around Lake Turkana.
The government administrator assured that the security will be upscaled for visitors touring the region adding that tourists visiting the areas must always feel free to explore the regions unexploited potentials.
Hundreds of local and international tourists have already flocked into the Marsabit Sibiloi National Park despite the heavy rains experienced over night ahead of the Nov. 3 total solar eclipse.
The eclipse will be viewed when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and directly blocks the light of the sun at the Alia Bay in Sibiloi National Park in Marsabit County.
The hybrid eclipse will also be viewed from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda among other areas in the world.
Marsabit Governor Ukur Jattani said Kenya has been placed on the world map as hosting one of the best locations on earth with clear skies to view a rare astronomical occurrence, the hybrid total solar eclipse. The total phase of the solar eclipse will be very brief and will only be seen in Kenya for 15 seconds.
The partial eclipse will start at 4:25 p.m. local time, the total eclipse will then occur at 5:25 p.m. and the partial eclipse will then end at 6:27 p.m..
Ukur said preparations for the event was at high gear in the larger Marsabit County with traditional dancers taking chances to welcome and entertain the guests from parts of the world.
He says while this occurrence take place at different points on the earth astronomers, Sibiloi National Park in Marsabit will offer the best view of the eclipse as it is only at the park where clear skies will occur.
Satellite and surface measurements indicate that the weather prospect in northern Kenya is the best along the entire 2013 eclipse track.
"Standing in these untouched landscapes ?C gazing up at the unreal fuchsia hues of the solar prominences, the swirling wisps of corona around the black disk of the Moon ?C promises to be an experience one will carry forever," said the Governor
Kenya has been placed on the world map boasting as one of the best locations on earth to view this hybrid total solar eclipse, which according to scientists is a rare occurrence. Tourists will also witness a 14- 22 seconds sunset total eclipse of the Sun by the shores of Lake Turkana in a desert landscape.
The governor said the event will be used to showcase Northern Kenya as an additional tourism attraction with the promise of adventure tourism and exploitation of astro and archaeological Tourism. This gives Kenya an opportunity to showcase other parts of the country not known to many.
Yatani regretted that Turkana county has hogged all the limelights while the Marsabit county and the entire view points falls in his county.
He said the event will host more than 15,000 tourists from parts of the world and pledges that his county will reap maximum benefits economy to uplift the standard of the poor communities in the region.