Blue Nile Falls & Lake Tana:
The town of Bahir Dar is built on the edge of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. The lake gives the town a tropical feel that is more like the southern valley town of Awasa than it is to northern Ethiopia. With its diverse plant life and pretty lakeside vistas Bahir Dar is a very attractive town. It is also the base for visits to the Blue Nile Falls and Lake Tana’s many monasteries.
Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, is the source of the Blue Nile. Located in the north-western Ethiopian Highlands, the lake is approximately 84 kilometres long and 66 kilometres wide, with a maximum depth of 15 metres. The lake level has been regulated since the construction of the control weir where the lake discharges into the Blue Nile. This controls the flow to the Blue Nile Falls and hydro-power station.
The Blue Nile Falls, known locally as Tis Abay (smoke of the Nile) or Tis lsat (water that smokes), are best known for the volume of water that pours from the 45m high rocks, especially during the rainy season. Above the waterfall the Nile is 400m wide while below the falls, the gorge is estimated to be 37m deep.
The Lake Tana Monasteries There are more than 20 monasteries that cover the islands and peninsulas on Lake Tana. Most were built during the 14th century. A few are even older. Steeped in mystery and legend, these old churches form peaceful retreats for their monastic residents and visiting tourists alike.
As in so many parts of Ethiopia, the strong conservationist element in Orthodox Christianity has ensured that the monasteries practically double as nature sanctuaries. The Zege Peninsula, site of the Azwa Maryam monastery, which supports by far the largest remaining tract of natural forest on Lake Tana, still harbours monkeys and various forest birds, while most of the monastic islands, considering their dense population, remain remarkably undisturbed in environmental terms. Combined with the romance attached to being afloat in a beautiful tropical lake that is not only the largest in Ethiopia, but also the source of the world’s longest river, a day trip to at least one of these monasteries will be a highlight of any stay in Bahir Dar.
A relaxing couple of days here during your northern tour with Baregota Tour and Travel, will refresh you and inspire you as you experience all that this area has to offer.