Lake Tana, Source of The Blue Nile

Zege Ferry, Lake Tana

Zege Ferry, Lake Tana

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Lake Tana is source of the Blue Nile. It lies south-west of the Semien mountains. It is the largest lake in Ethiopia.

According to an article on Wikipedia, Lake Tana is approximately 84 kilometers long and 66 kilometers wide, with a maximum depth of 15 meters, and an elevation of 1,840 meters. Lake Tana is fed by the Lesser Abay, Reb and Gumara Rivers and its surface area ranges from 3,000 to 3,500 km² depending on season and rainfall.

Lake Tana is dotted with more than 30 islands many of which are the sites of monasteries and churches.

About 30km from its outleft from Lake Tana, the Blue Nile fall makes a spectacular scenery plunging down 45m high rock face. This spot is known loacally as Tis Abay (Smoke of the Nile) or Tis Isat (Water that smokes).

Tis Abay

Blue Nile Falls (Tis Abay)

Bahri Dar is the ideal centre from which to start exploring the lake and its island monasteries. Bahir Dar is convenient in terms of tourism infrastructure including flight from Addis Ababa.

It is possible to visit the islands by taking cruise to the island monasteries.

Bird lovers will not want to miss Fasilids Island, which is especially famous as an important wetland (Tenalem Ayenew(Ph.D),2009).

Around Lake Tana's shores the farming system is mainly fishing. The lake yields prolific numbers of tilaphia, white fish, catfish, and Nile Perch caught from papyrus canoes called tankwas. Lake Tana also has some endemic fish to itself.


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