Pelican, Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Lake Tana

Lake Tana plays host to some of the most spectacular monasteries in Ethiopia. These monolithic fortresses were the perfect places to hide the many treasures of the Christian faith in times of persecution.

Dating back to 1700, the marvellous churches are adorned with beautiful murals. A boat trip on Lake Tana allows the visitor to access many of the monasteries for an authentic view of early Christian church architecture. Situated on the shores of the lake you will find the town of Bahir Dar, which, though not hugely exciting in itself, offers a comfortable stop for the weary traveller. Coffee shops abound and you will be well advised to take some time out to enjoy the various coffee combinations on offer. Alternatively you may like to visit the Blue Nile Falls, which will evoke the explorer in most.

However nowadays the falls are only a shadow of their former glory as at least two thirds of the water mass is diverted into a hydroelectric scheme. The walk to the falls may be challenging to some and it requires a stout pair of shoes as well as resilience to persistent hawkers. None the less, it is well worth the visit.

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