Lake Tana (Ethiopia): journey between monasteries and waterfalls


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In the scenario of the austere mountains of Ethiopia, Lake Tana is an interesting destination to discover, thanks to the ancient monasteries and the impressive waterfalls that the Blue Nile forms not far away, a natural environment of great landscape interest.


Tourism Lake Tana

This lake, of volcanic origin, is the largest in Ethiopia and is located at 1800 meters above sea level in the central part of the Amara region, in the north-western sector of the Ethiopian acrocoro, a complex of mountains that affects Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, whose peaks have heights between 1500 and 4500 meters.

Its waters, descending from Mount Giesc, constitute the source of the Blue Nile, the river that forms some impressive waterfalls a few kilometers further south, creating a suggestive natural environment.


The fishermen, with their traditional papyrus boats, sail the lake, populated by various species of sedentary and migratory birds.

On the southern shore is Bahir Dar, which is the only true city of Lake Tana, designed by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th-17th centuries and whose name means near the water.

In Bahir Dar there is an airport with routes to Addis Ababa and Gondar, nearby you can see one of the buildings that belonged to Hailé Selassié, an ancient Ethiopian emperor who wanted to move the capital here.


On the surface of the lake there are 37 islands, where churches and ancient monasteries abound, custodians of precious artistic testimonies.

Many monasteries date back to the late 16th century or early 17th century, but most are even older.

Among the most suggestive monasteries, Ura Kidane Mihret, Kebran Gabriel, Dega Estefanos and Narga Selassie are highlighted.

Ethiopia - Monasteries Around Lake Tana (January 2023)


Tags: Ethiopia
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