Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (1989)
Zambia

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These are among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. The Zambezi river, which is more than 2 km wide at this point, plunges noisily down a series of basalt gorges and raises an iridescent mist that can be seen more than 20 km away. 

This site is a transboundary property with Zimbabwe. 

One name invariably connected with the Victoria Falls, is David Livingstone (1813-1873), who discovered the Victoria Falls in 1856. 

Zambia 2006. 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Victoria Falls. Dr. Livingstone and the falls.  Zambia 2006. 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Victoria Falls and the 100th anniversary of the opening of the bridge across the Victoria Falls. . Dr. Livingstone depicted in front of the falls.

Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish doctor and missionary, considered one of the most important European explorers of Africa, also pioneering the abolition of the slave trade. Livingstone was born in Blantyre. After completing his medical course in 1840, Livingstone was ordained and sent as a medical missionary to South Africa. 

In 1841 he reached Kuruman, a settlement founded by Scottish missionary Robert Moffat in Bechuanaland (now Botswana). 

In 1849 Livingstone crossed the Kalahari Desert and became the first European to discover Lake Ngami. 

On another expedition (1852-1856), he followed the Zambezi River to its mouth in the Indian Ocean, thereby becoming the first European to discover Victoria Falls. 

  • Great Britain 1973. Death centenary of David Livingstone. 
  • Great Britain 1973. Henry Stanley (1841-1904). 
Great Britain 1973. Death centenary of David Livingstone. Great Britain 1973. Henry Stanley (1841-1904).

Livingstone's explorations resulted in a revision of all contemporary maps. He returned to Britain in 1856 and was welcomed as a great explorer. In 1866, after commanding a series of explorations, Livingstone led an expedition to discover the sources of the Nile River and explore the watershed of central Africa. Traveling along the Ruvuma River, Livingstone reached the shore of Lake Tanganyika in 1869. Little was heard from Livingstone during this period, and his welfare became a matter of international concern. 
 

Zambia 1973. Meeting of Stanley and Livingstone at Ujiji. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume ...?"

In 1870 Livingstone traveled from Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika, to the Lualaba River, in present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), becoming the first European to visit that location. 

Upon his return to Ujiji, Livingstone was met by a rescue party led by Henry Morton Stanley, who is said to have greeted the explorer with the famous remark, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"  

  • Zambia 1973. Meeting of Stanley and Livingstone at Ujiji. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume ...?"  The stamp is the first in a set of six stamps, issued in commemoration of Livingstone's death centenary. 

Imagine the extraordinary situation: Dr. Stanley arriving to a dusty place in the South African bush, dressed in full formal and top hat, greeting Dr. Livingstone in safari-dress and villagers "in the middle of nowhere", with such a formal remark. Below is the full set of six stamps: 

Zambia 1973. 3n. Meeting of Dr. Stanley and Livingstone at Ujiji. Zambia 1973. 4n. Livingstone, the missionary. Zambia 1973. 9n. Livingstone at Victoria Falls.
Zambia 1973. 10n. Livingstone stopping slave traders. Zambia 1973. 15n. Livingstone, the physician. Zambia 1973. 25n. Portrait and tree in Chitumbu, marking the burial place of Livingstone's heart.

Stanley and Livingstone explored the area north of Lake Tanganyika together. Later, Livingstone set out alone to continue his search for the sources of the Nile. 

Sources and links:

There are no other World Cultural Heritage Properties in Zambia. For more information about the Victoria Falls, please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Zambia-section.

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Revised 20 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus 
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