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BAHIR DAR, (1850m Altitude)

Resort destinations Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amharic speaking, Amhara people, lies at the southern end of Lake Tana, 1830 meters above sea level. It has all rounded facilities and serves as a major gateway to the main attractions of the region. With its wide avenues of palms & flamboyant trees and its scenic location near Lake Tana, Bahir Dar is well known for its many churches, Bezawit Palace, open air market, time memorial papyrus boats and lake side resorts.
Bahir Dar is the ideal centers from which to explore Lake Tana, the island monasteries, and the Blue Nile Falls.


Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia is the source of the Blue Nile from where it starts its long journey to Khartoum and on to the Mediterranean. The 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of the Lake shelter fascinating churches and monastries, some of which have histories dating back to the 13th Century. However, it should be noted that most of the religious houses are not open to women. The most interesting islands are: Birgida Mariam, Dega Estefanous, Dek, Narga, Tana Cherkos, Mitsele Fasiledes, Kebran and Debre Maryam. Kebran Gabriel is the principal monastery which can be visited by male tourists from Bahar Dar with its impressive Cathedral-like Building first built at the end of the 17th Century. Dega Estephanos, which is also closed to women, is on an island in the lake, and is reached by a very steep and winding path. Although the church is relatively new (only one hundred years old), it houses a Madonna painted in the 15th century. However, the treasury of the monastery is a prime attraction with the remains of several emperors, as well as their robes and jewels.
On the banks of the lake are many more religious houses such as Ura Kidane Mehret and Narga Selassie, many of which are open to women.
Near Gorgora, at the northern end of the lake, the Susneyos palace is a forerunner of the magnificent palaces and castles of Gonder, and dates from the reign of Emperor Susneyos. In the same area the medieval church of Debre Sina Mariam is particularly important.
A sail or cruise on Lake Tana is one of the most pleasant excursions for visitors to this region, particularly in the heart of the summer. Boats can be hired from the Marine Transport Authority in Bahir Dar. Along the lakeshore bird life, both local and migratory visitors, make this an ideal place for birdwatchers. Bird lovers will not want to miss Fasilidas island, which is especially famous as an important wetland. The whole of the lake Tana region and the Blue Nile Gorge have a wide variety of birds both endemic and visitors. The variety of habitats, from rocky crags to rain forests and important wetlands, ensure that many other different species should be spotted.


The River Nile, the longest river in Africa, in Ethiopia. From Lake Tana, the Blue Nile, known locally as Abbay, flows from Ethiopia to meet the white Nile in Khartoum to form the great river that gives life to Egypt and the Sudan. It has been said that the Blue Nile contributes up to 80% of the Nile’s flow. The Blue Nile Falls is one of the most popular tourist destination sites along the historic route. The fall it situated (near Tis-Abay town) 30 km to the east of Bahir Dar 20-30 minutes walk from the little town of Tis Abay.
The sudden plunge of the Blue Nile form a mile wide curtain to 45 meters depth creates the spray of the water and the mist, which drench wide area of the slope facing the waterfall. Nowhere is it more spectacular than when it thunders over the Tisisat Falls. Here millions of gallons of water cascade over the cliff face and into a gorge, creating spectacular rainbows, in one of the most awe-inspiring displays in Africa, earning its name ‘Smoking Water’.

While walking to the falls, the 17th century footbridge can be seen. This footbridge was built during the reign of Emperor Susynios (1607-1632) in 1620. It is the first bridge built over the Blue Nile River with the help of Indian mason who had came to Ethiopia under the service of Portuguese Military Mission to the country. At the spot of the soot bridge the river goes down to the depth of 70 meters.

Check Related Trip:
Trip to Bahir Dar ..

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