A crowd of tourists from within and outside the country led by the Regional commissioner of Mbeya region Mr. Amos Makala and Chiku Gallawa of Songwe region flocked at Rujewa area in Mbeya region to witness a rare historical event where the shape of the sun changed into shape of ‘ring of fire’ after being covered by moon for 98 percent.
The Solar eclipse event in Rujewa which also attracted tourists from Netherland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, India, Zambia Malawai and South Africa was witnessed by scientists and groups of students from different schools from Mbeya, Iringa Songwe, Mwanza, Morogoro and Njombe regions.
According to astronomer Noorali Jiweji Tanzania was the only country in Africa in particular Rujewa in Mbeya region where it was on the middle of 100 kilometer radius of where the eclipse was seen thus be the best site as the climax of the eclipse was visible for 98 percent compared to other countries in Africa.
Taking into consideration that solar eclipse is a peculiar event which occurs rarely, Tanzania Tourist Board(TTB) promoted it as a tourist attraction and encouraged both Domestic and International tourists to plan trips to witness the event in Rujewa or wangi’ngombe as well as to visit other attractions in the Southern Circuit”.
In addition to this, TTB in collaboration with Clouds Media Group organised a special trip of about 50 celebrities and journalists from different media houses to Rujewa to witness and report this unique event.
The trip whose slogan was “Twende zetu Rujewa tukashudie kupatwa kwa jua” begun in the morning of Wednesday in the very luxurious bus of Rungwe Express Company Ltd whereby the Chairman of the Tanzania Tourist Board Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo accompanied by The TTB Managing Director Ms Devota Mdachi and Acting Director of Marketing Mr Philip Chitaunga, flagged off the group.
Speaking on the way back to Dar salaam from Rujewa William Macela populary knows as ‘Le Mutus’ and Gadner Habash who were among the celebrities they commended Tanzania Tourist Board for promoting the eclipse and organizing this trip. They further confessed that the solar eclipse was a unique event of its own “The event was amazing and TTB you have realy done a wonderful job” commented Gadner Habash.
The similar solar eclipse happened in Tanzania in 1977 and scientist say the next solar eclipse in the country will happen in 15 years to come.