Saturday, April 25, 2015

Uganda - Murchinson Falls

Another one of the postcards posted last year by me to my dad, while I was travelling through Uganda. Murchinson Falls is number 3 on the list of top 10 scenic places of Uganda.
I bought this postcard from a shopping mall in Kampala along with many others.
Murchinson Falls National Park is about 300 kms NW of KampalaMurchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). Together with the adjacent Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park is part of the 5,308 square kilometres (2,049 sq mi) Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).
In Murchison there are four of the "Big Five". Cape buffalo, elephants, lions, leopard are best to be seen in the northern part (above the Nile). Due to excessive hunting and poaching, rhinos became extinct by 1983, but were re-introduced into Uganda in 2005 by Rhino Fund Uganda. White rhinoceros are now being bred again in the 7,000 hectares (27 sq mi) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is located 70 kilometres (43 mi), south of the park. Their mission is to reintroduce small herds of rhinos (around five at a time), whilst retaining a nucleus breeding herd in the sanctuary. MFCA and adjacent Bugondo Forest reserve contain 76 Species of mammals as well as Uganda's largest population of Nile crocodile.
You can see the official website of the park here.
The stamp used was issued in honour of Ugandan athlete Stephen Kiprotich, who won a Gold Medal at Men's Marathon in London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Switzerland - Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Having received a previous postcard of Disney's Princess Snow White from Russia before, today I am sharing another postcard of Snow White posted from Switzerland by Alexia. This beautiful postcard was sent as an official Postcrossing postcard and was a lovely surprise. My kids really loved the princess and the cute dwarfs.
The postcard was sent using a stamp showing a bird - Red Kite (Milvus milvus). It is one of the stamps from a set of two stamps issued by Helvetia in 2009.
Thanks a lot Alexie for this hand-picked postcard.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Zayed Mosque - One of the largest Mosques in the World

WoW! What an elegant and grandeur mosque it is! I bought this postcard during my trip to Dubai and wrote it for posting to my kids. I even bought the stamps and pasted them on the postcard but due to a small change in my flight plan, I could not post it and brought it to my kids in my back pack!
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the 3rd largest mosque in the World
The construction of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was started by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. 
The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The building complex measures approximately 290 m (960 ft) by 420 m (1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking.
As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people.
I bought the above stamps from a post office close to Meena Bazaar in Dubai. The stamps were issued on the occasion of 40th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Union Supreme Court in 2014. Each stamp costed 1AED (Emirati Dirham). The complete set consisted of 4 stamps - in green, white, black and red colours.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DR Congo: A Real-Posted Postcard from Democratic Republic of Congo - A Jewel in My Collection

Finally I managed to take a short trip to Kinshasa - the Capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo. Dozens of friends had requested me to send a postcard or a cover from DR Congo but I could not send many because of very expensive postcards and enormously costly postage. In fact I could manage to send only two postcard - one to myself and the other one to a friend in Caribbean.

I bought this beautiful postcard from a book shop near 30th June Avenue or Independence Avenue. The postcard costed me US$5 each. The back of the postcard reads "Bonobos,  espèce endemique de RD Congo protégé par la loi" in French language meaning "Bonobos, DR Congo endemic species protected by law". The bonobos are found in a 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa.

The experience in the Post Office was even more strange. The lady at the counter in General Post office in Kinshasa told me that postage for each postcard is US$5 but she didn't have stamps for the same value. Language barrier was pretty difficult to cope with as the lady spoke French only and not a word of English. The only stamps that she had were the two pasted on the postcard. The posted stamps are of 245 Congolese Francs only which turns out to be around US$0.25, so I had to pay US$5.25 for the postage.
After receiving the postcard, I did try to find a postmark or some sign of US$5 that I paid to her but could not find any sign. Any how, it is really a precious jewel to find a real-posted postcard from DR Congo.
I do have some other UNESCO postcards from DR Congo that I brought from there. I shall be posting their scans on the blog in coming days. If you are interested in getting any of them, you can leave a message below with your facebook ID or email contact.
Have fun ..... Happy Collecting!
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