On Wednesday, 29th March 2006, the shadow of the Moon will sweep a band starting from Brazil, through Atlantic Ocean, Gold Coast of Africa, Saharan Desert, Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, Black Sea, Georgia, Russian Federation, northern shores of Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan; ending in Mongolia. The duration of totality will be less than 2 minutes near the sunrise and sunset limits, but will be as long as 4 minutes and 7 seconds in Libya, at the moment of greatest eclipse. The path of totality will be 180 kilometers wide at that moment.

Libya, the fourth largest country in Africa, is a cultural and geographic bridge between Egypt and the Arabian lands to the East, and acts as a link between the Mediterranean/Europe and Saharan Africa. The climate is Mediterranean with hot dry summers, cool winters and some modest rainfall. Weather can be variable, influenced by the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, which moderates daily temperature ranges. In Tripoli average temperatures are 86 deg F in summer and 46 deg F in winter; annual precipitation averages 15 inches, and falls mainly in winter. In the southern deserts frequent periods of drought occur, and a scorching wind called the “GHIBLI”, which is a hot, very dry, sand laden wind, can raise the temperatures in a matter of hours.

Mar 25 Sat: Arrive in Tripoli (Libya)
Arrive in Tripoli. After clearing customs and Immigration, you will be met by a SITA representative and transferred to your hotel. Join us this evening for a welcome dinner and trip orientation. Overnight: Wahat Hotel 4* or Grand Hotel 4* (D)

Mar 26 Sun: Tripoli Full Day
Tripoli is the major city and de facto capital of Libya. The old walled city of Tripoli - the Medina – is one of the classical sites of the Mediterranean. The castle, Al-Saraya Al-Hamra, occupies a site known to be pre-Roman in the east quadrant of the old city and still dominates the skyline of Tripoli. It houses a library and an well-organized museum, and has excellent views over the city from the walls. There are a number of interesting mosques – the best known being Gurgi Mosque with its elegant architecture. Modern Tripoli spilled out from the tight confines of the old city as early as the 18th century. (BLD)

Mar 27 Mon: Tripoli – Sabratha – Tripoli – Benghazi
Drive to Sabratha located on the Mediterranean coast, one-hour drive west of Tripoli. It was founded by the Canaanites in the 6th century BC – a Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland. Amongst the walls and foundations of public buildings discovered in the city, are the market, tribunal and some temples. Among the most prominent features of the city during Roman times are the public arenas, the Temples of Liber Pater, Sirapis, Isis, and Hercules, the forum, the theatre, the tribunal arena, and the public paths. The main monument is the Amphitheatre, used in modern times as a theatre and concert hall. Early this evening fly from Tripoli to Beghazi. Overnight: Ozou Hotel 5* or Tibesti Hotel 5* (BLD)

Mar 28 Tue: Beghazi - Jalu Oasis Eclipse Camp (Libyan Desert)
This morning board an air-conditioned motorcoach for a 7-hour drive to Jalu Oasis. Continue south of Jalu to a specially prepared centerline Eclipse Tent Village. This private Camp will feature a fully staffed kitchen preparing regional foods, as well as showers and outdoor toilet facilities. Tents include cots, mattresses, sleeping bags and pillows. A large “mess area“ is being set up, to eat and socialise, and also keep out of the wind and sun. This evening you may wish to set up your telescope and camera equipment at our specially selected centerline location adjacent to our camp, before taking a sunset walk in the Libyan Desert.

28º 13.83’ North, 21º 30.40’ East
(These co-ordinates are EXACTLY on the centerline (based on a Delta-T of 68.6 seconds) and can easily be adjusted by several hundreds of meters (if necessary) to accommodate any change in Delta-T.)

Mar 29 Wed: Eclipse day
After breakfast, begin countdown to totality. There will be plenty of refreshments (non-alcoholic) available throughout the day. There is virtually no chance of cloud, and the sun will be handily placed at an altitude of about 65 degrees. This evening enjoy a local show. Local circumstances (eclipse timings) at our Centreline Camp are expected to be:

Phase Time UT Libyan
Local Time
1st Contact
(eclipse begins)
09:08:21 11:08:21
2nd Contact
(totality begins)
10:26:30 12:26:30
Mid Eclipse
(mid totality)
10:28:32 12:28:32
3rd Contact
(totality ends)
10:30:34 12:30:34
4th Contact
(eclipse ends)
11:49:55 13:49:55

Mar 30 Thu: Jalu – Tripoli
Drive to Jalu to board a chartered aircraft for non-stop flight to Tripoli. This evening will be at leisure to explore the city on your own. Overnight: Wahat Hotel 4* or grand Hotel 4*


Mar 25 – Apr 1, 2006

$2,695 per person sharing
Airfare available upon request
Single room supplement $350
Excludes departure taxes.


  • 5 nights’ accommodations in first class hotels.
  • 2 nights’ Eclipse Camp accommodations, including tent (double or single), mattress, sleeping bag and pillow.
  • All meals, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfaston Day 8.
  • Transfers on arrival and departure in Tripoli.
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout Libya.
  • Scheduled flight from Tripoli to Benghazi
  • Private chartered flight from Jalu Oasis to Tripoli.
  • Services of local English speaking guide.
  • All entrance fees for museums and archaeological sites.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities at hotels and restaurants.
  • Visa Invitation Letter.
  • Passport registration.
  • Local dancing show.
  • Free mineral water & soft drinks at the Eclipse Camp.
  • SITA Tour Escort.
Click here to download a PDF of the complete intinerary.
Click here to download Acrobat Reader.


Call 800.421.5643

Join science guide, Dr. Jay White, a frequent leader of astronomy and science-related trips throughout the world. Share the experience in the dramatic and awesome desert scenery in the Libyan Great Sand Sea. You may contact Dr. White for any science-related questions at jwhite@rhodes.edu.

Mar 31 Fri: Tripoli – Leptis Magna – Tripoli
After breakfast, travel to the Roman ruins of Leptis Magna – a world Heritage Site. The city grew up at the mouth of the Wadi Lebda where a small port was developed over the years, exporting important volumes of grain and olives. The early Roman period saw the construction of basic harbor works and a forum close by the original Punic settlement. The city flourished under the rule of and patronage of Septimus Severus (193-211 AD) who was born in Leptis Magna. Most of the major buildings at Leptis date from his time. The city spread along the coast and inland. All the important buildings can be reached adjacent to the main paved monumental road from the present entrance through the new parts of the site. This evening we’ll return to Tripoli for an evening farewell dinner. Overnight: Wahat Hotel 4* or Grand Hotel 4*(BLD)

Apr 1 Sat: Depart Tripoli
After breakfast transfer to airport for your homebound flight home, or extend your stay for a Libyan Desert 4x4 Adventure. (B)