July 28, 2015

1790-1792 ZAMBIA - Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (UNESCO WHS)

1790 Victoria Falls

Located in southern Africa, on the Zambezi River, at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: the Smoke that Thunders), are among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. The Zambezi River, which is more than 2km wide at this point, plunges noisily down a series of basalt gorges and raises an iridescent mist that can be seen more than 20km away. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 1,708m and height of 108m, resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water. In height and width it is rivalled only by Iguazu Falls.

1791 Aerial view of Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls is significant worldwide for its exceptional geological and geomorphological features and active land formation processes with outstanding beauty. This transboundary property comprises 3779ha of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia), 2340ha of Victoria Falls National Park (Zimbabwe), and 741ha of the riverine strip of Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe). Eight spectacular gorges of igneous origin and several islands in the core zone serve as breeding sites for four endangered and migratory bird species. The riverine 'rainforest' within the waterfall splash zone is a fragile ecosystem of discontinuous forest on sandy alluvium, dependent upon maintenance of abundant water and high humidity.

1792 Lunar Rainbow, Victoria Falls

Archaeological sites around the falls have yielded Homo habilis stone artifacts from 3 million years ago, Middle Stone Age tools and Late Stone Age weapons, adornments and tools. Khoisan hunter-gatherers displaced these people and in turn were displaced by Bantu tribes, who called the falls Shungu na mutitima. The Matabele, later arrivals, named them aManz' aThunqayo, and the Batswana and Makololo call them Mosi-o-Tunya. All these names mean essentially "the smoke that thunders". David Livingstone is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855 from what is now known as Livingstone Island. He named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria.

About the stamps
The stamp, depicting Serval (Felis Serval), was issued in 2012/

Victoria Falls - Wikipedia
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls - UNESCO official website

Sender 1790-1792: Mike
Sent from Lusaka (Zambia), on 08.06.2015
Photo: Eleanor (Ellie) Hamby

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