Pelican flying over Tana lake, 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.

Tiss Abay Falls on the Blue Nile, Ethiopia
Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Blue Nile Falls

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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A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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