Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Uganda

This is my very first card from Uganda. It must be quite an experience to see these mountain gorillas. 
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley, was classified as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. 

Photo: Petr Hejtmánek
This national park mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. - in: http://www.ugandawildlife.org/explore-our-parks/parks-by-name-a-z/bwindi-impenetrable-national-park

Tanzania UNESCO WHS

With these african cards sent by Emerich, I've now more than 800 UNESCO sites. That's an impressive number, isn't it? These 3 are all from Tanzania and from the country's most famous attractions, Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park. These sites were classified as World Heritage Sites in 1987, 1979 and 1981.

Photo by Petr Hejmánek
At 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. The mountain is encircled by mountain forest. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in the park. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/403

Photo: Petr Hejtmánek
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39

Photo: Petr Hejtmánek
In the vast plains of Serengeti National Park, comprising 1.5 million hectares of savannah, the annual migration of two million wildebeests plus hundreds of thousands of gazelles and zebras - followed by their predators in their annual migration in search of pasture and water – is one of the most impressive nature spectacles in the world. The biological diversity of the park is very high with at least four globally threatened or endangered animal species: black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/156

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lake Malawi - Malawi

A few weeks ago when I received an envelope sent by Emerich, I've got 5 special cards, very special I must say. 5 UNESCO cards from 3 african countries. We all know how hard it can be to get UNESCO from certain african countries. This one from Malawi is my 1st from this country. Malawi only has 2 WHS, Lake Malawi National Park was classified in 1984. 

Photo by Petr Hejtmánek
Nkhata Bay is the capital of the Nkhata Bay District in Malawi. It is on the shore of Lake Malawi, east of Mzuzu, and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi. 
Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa. It is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including about 1000 species of cichlids. - in: wikipedia

Friday, October 17, 2014

AU-378077

A different tradition now with this Sidney's New year's Eve card, with the St. mary's cathedral in the foreground. 

Damien Madden
AU-378077, sent by Russel.
Sydney New Year's Eve is an annual multi-tiered event held every New Year's Eve over Sydney Harbour, centring on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Its main features are two pyrotechnic displays, the "9pm Family Fireworks" and the "Midnight Fireworks", both of which are televised nationally with the latter also televised around the world. 
Each year the event takes on a new theme and is regularly viewed by more than one million people at the harbour and one billion worldwide for the televised Midnight Fireworks. - in: wikipedia

IN-114805

Last year Aniruddha in-laws traveled to Indonesia and Thailand and brought him some cards as a gift. There's no better gift to postcrossers than cards!! Aniruddha decided to send me an indonesian card showing a beautiful girl during the Mapeed procession at the annual Bali Arts Festival Opening Parade. 

IN-114805, sent by Aniruddha.
Mapeed features women and children carrying towering fruit and flower offerings on their heads.
Mapeed costumes are carefully colour coordinated, and female participants normally wear a yellow wrap-around kamben covered by a white outer piece of cloth; the kebaya is often also white, symbolizing purity. Children of mums who are in the mapeed are dressed up and lead the procession, with the shortest at the front through to the tallest at the back. Married women do their hair is a style called sanggul, with the unmarried women a half-sanggul.
Meticulously timed and coordinated, the procession may consist of either a single or a double file, sometimes stretching up to 100 metres or more in length. Mapeed is normally organised by the village with its people informed by way of a formal letter many weeks before the mapeed is staged. Much has to be coordinated – not only the large number of people, the colour coordination of their outfits and hair-dos, but the road also must be either closed or partially cordoned off.
Mapeed is accompanied by a marching orchestra of gongs, drums and cymbals called baleganjur which is thunderous and powerful, and can be heard for kilometres in the distance. The procession is always carefully guarded by traditional security guards in chequered sarong called Pecalang. 
Since the 1970s, mapeed has become an important element in the beauty and creative richness of the annual Bali Arts Festival Opening Parade. Held around the middle of June, participants from each regency present their regional version of mapeed. - in: http://www.baliadvertiser.biz/articles/kulturekid/2011/mapeed.html

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MY-216822

A card from Malaysia showing the beautiful Khoo Kongsi, one of Georgetown’s most interesting attractions. A kongsi (clan house) is a building in which Chinese families of the same surname gather to worship their ancestors. Representing a family’s social and spiritual commitments between extended relations, ancestors and the outside community, the kongsi also acts as an important means of solidarity. These days the primary functions of kongsis are supportive roles: they help with the educations of members’ children, settle disputes and advance loans. - in: http://www.penang.ws/penang-attractions/khoo-khongsi.htm

MY-216822, sent by Khoo.
The Khoo Kongsi is a large Chinese clanhouse with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture, a mark of the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. The famous Khoo Kongsi is the grandest clan temple in the country. The clan temple has retained its authentic historic setting, which includes an association building, a traditional theatre and the late 19th century rowhouses for clan members, all clustered around a granite-paved square. It is located in Cannon Square in the heart of the oldest part of the city of George Town, in the midst of narrow, winding lanes and quaint-looking pre-War houses exuding a palpable old world charm. - in: wikipedia

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TW-1370727

An official from Taiwan with a view of the Sun Moon Lake, the largest body of water in Taiwan as well as a tourist attraction. 

TW-1370727, sent by Erin. 
Situated in Yuchi, Nantou, the area around the Sun Moon Lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes in Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. The sunrise and sunset view attracts everyone. - in: wikipedia