Ethiopia Total Solar Eclipse

October 24 - November 8, 2013

Many of us retain indelible impressions of Ethiopia from having long ago discovered its rich culture and haunting landscapes through the pages of National Geographic magazine.

Yet even today this vast land in northeast Africa – the only nation on the continent never colonized by Europeans – remains largely unexplored by travelers.

In 2013 TravelQuest is changing that – with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to venture deep into the heart of Ethiopia, create your own story, and capture your own unforgettable images. From the bustling markets of Addis Ababa to remote tribal communities seldom visited by outsiders, at every turn you encounter another dimension of this exotic land and its welcoming people. And then on November 3, at a southern site near the Kenyan border, you complete your journey of discovery with a chance to view a total eclipse of the Sun.

A Rare Opportunity

In an era when even the most distant corners of the globe are readily accessible to travelers, Ethiopia is the unusual exception. Few destinations offer such a remarkable array of natural environments and fascinating cultural experiences – all known largely through the work of intrepid writers, photographers, and documentary filmmakers.

With the help of TravelQuest Trip Leader Michel Girardin, an expert in sustainable tourism who develops eco-travel experiences all over Africa, TravelQuest has worked out the logistics for a one-of-a-kind itinerary through what was once the heart of the Abyssinian Empire. From the headwaters of the Blue Nile to coffee farms growing the country’s best-known export, from historic lakeside monasteries to villages of the Hamer and Konso tribes, we show you the Ethiopia that you’d have difficulty finding on your own. And then, of course, there’s our astronomical centerpiece – at sunset on November 3, 2013, viewing the 11-second total solar eclipse from a carefully chosen site in Ethiopia’s southern mountains.

Planning for an Adventure

We invest significant time and resources in crafting every TravelQuest eclipse experience. You can be confident that our experts have sought out the best activities and accommodations in each place you visit, and that extensive research has gone into the selection of the eclipse-viewing site. Our Ethiopia trip is no exception.

If you’ve joined us on comparable adventures – Libya in 2006, China’s Silk Road in 2008, Mangaia in the Cook Islands in 2010 – you also know that taking the road less traveled can have its challenges. But, as with all of our successful past adventures, the incredible experiences and unexpected moments of a journey through Ethiopia will leave you with memories to reflect on for years to come.


  • October 24 – November 8, 2013
  • Witness an 11-second sunset total eclipse of the Sun featuring spectacular Bailey’s Beads at the moment that day turns to night
  • See an eclipse that sets in partial phases over an exotic landscape in an exotic land – an event that makes up in excellence what it lacks in duration
  • Experience Ethiopia’s incredibly varied cultures and ancient past
  • We’ll travel to places seldom visited by outsiders

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