A Total Solar Eclipse and Roots Trips in Africa


Twilight Tours, an Agoura Hills-based science tour company, is offering an expedition to see the total solar eclipse of June 21 in Zambia. The tour runs June 17 to 29 and also goes to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, and a game reserve in South Africa. Extensions to nearby Botswana and Namibia are also available at additional cost.

Cost: $4,950 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Atlanta, air fare within Africa, ground transportation, lodging, baggage handling and some meals.

Contact: Twilight Tours, 5665 Walnut Ridge Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301-4034; telephone (818) 575-9580, Internet

More Africa: Cruise


On June 21, the summer solstice, the Royal Star will cruise to a position in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar to observe the total solar eclipse.

The expedition is presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and the MIT and Dartmouth alumni travel programs. Astronomers, meteorologists and photographers will be on board to prepare passengers for the event with lectures, slide presentations and informal discussions.

The excursion, June 14 to 27, aboard the 220-passenger vessel, begins in Mombasa, Kenya, where it sets sail for the islands of Comoros, Madagascar and Zanzibar, before returning to Mombasa. An optional post-cruise safari visits the game parks of Kenya.

Cost: $2,990 per person, double occupancy. International air fare is extra, but a charter flight from Zurich to Mombasa with one night in a hotel on the return trip is available for $995.


Contact: Siemer & Hand Travel (ask for Lauren Woodhouse); tel. (800) 451-4321.

Africa: Back to Roots

Spector Travel of Boston is offering its annual “Roots and Culture” tour to Senegal and Gambia from Feb. 25 to March 4. The tour is geared to people of African descent and will explore the diverse cultures of West Africa. In Senegal and Gambia, travelers will visit Dakar, Goree island’s infamous slave house, Banjul and the ancestral home of the late American author Alex Haley.

Cost: $1,289 per person double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from New York, six nights in first-class hotels, six breakfasts, city tours, hotel taxes and service charges.


Contact: Spector Travel of Boston, 2 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116; tel. (800) TRY-AFRICA (879-2374), Internet

Eastern Europe: Castles

A 10-day tour through the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria is offered by WindSong Tours and Travel, leaving May 1 from Los Angeles. Beginning in Prague, with its castles, spires and watchtowers, the tour visits Karlstejn and Hradcany castles, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace and St. George Basilica. Outside Prague, a stop will be made at Cesky Krumlov, a preserved walled city from the Middle Ages. Then tour participants will board the Danube Steamer to sail to Vienna for a visit to Schonbrunn Palace, then on to Budapest, visiting both the Buda and Pest sides of the river, where an evening of gypsy folklore and the renowned Hungarian czardas music is scheduled. A four-day extension of the tour is available from Budapest to St. Petersburg, Russia, exploring the Euro-Russian culture of the city, including Petrovdvorets Grand Palace and the Hermitage Museum.

Cost: $2,997 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations in first-class and deluxe hotels, round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, daily breakfast, four dinners, transfers, ground transportation, guides and entrance fees. Extension price to St. Petersburg is $1,189 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Budapest to St. Petersburg, transfers, local escort, breakfast daily and one dinner.


Contact: Sandi Wilson at WindSong Tours and Travel; tel. (714) 871-1172.

Mexico: Pilgrimage

Visit some of Mexico’s Catholic shrines on a trip that leaves Feb. 19 for five nights.

The tour begins in Mexico City with a procession to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for a Mass. A city tour includes stops at the Government Palace, Halls of Montezuma, the Great Temple Major and Chapultepec Park. Also included are visits to Teotihuacan, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Ocotlan in Tlaxcala, and to the Miraculous Well of St. Michael the Archangel and its basilica. In Puebla, the group will hear Mass at noon in San Sebastian de Aparicion church and then visit the Rosary Chapel, an onyx factory and outdoor markets.


Cost: $1,078 (based on 25 people) per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, breakfast daily plus four lunches and two dinners, transfers from airport portage and sightseeing.

Contact: Larry Bishop, Santiago Pilgrimages, 24875 Oak Creek Lane, Lake Forest, CA 92630; tel. (949) 581-9936.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators.