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Bahir Dar

The State of Amhara
Bahir Dar
Type of Location
About Location


Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

Addis Abeba Bole International Airport (IATA: ADD). Ethiopian Airlines operates scheduled flights between Bahir Dar and the capital, Addis Ababa as well as with Gondar to the northwest.Flights to Gondar continue onto Lalibela and Aksum.

By Bus

The city is also connected by daily buses to/from Addis Ababa and Gondar.Many private minibuses also run to/from Gondar and Addis Ababa.They often do not leave from the bus station but are instead arranged through your hotel or by local touts (who will find you before you find them).The minibuses are more expensive but faster,especially to Addis Ababa.Try Selam bus or Sky bus for a more comfortable (and potentially safer) ride.To get to Bahir Dar from Lalibela by bus, take a dawn bus to Gashina (about two hours south of Lalibela) and change there to the Woldia - Bahir Dar bus, which passes through Gashina around 10am.To get from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, take the 6am Bahir Dar - Woldia bus and catch the last Lalibela bus at Gashena, which passes through around 3pm.

Key places to visit
Blue Nile Falls, Lake Tana, Bahir Dar wildlife, Dega Estefanos


Places to Visit

Blue Nile Falls

The Blue Nile Falls are a waterfall on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia.They are known as Tis Abay in Amharic, when translated, means "smoking water" They are situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana.The falls are considered one of Ethiopia's best known tourist attractions.The falls are estimated to be between 37 and 45 metres high, consisting of four streams that originally varied from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 metres wide in the rainy season.Regulation of Lake Tana now reduces the variation somewhat, and since 2003 a hydro-electric station has taken much of the flow out of the falls except during the rainy season.The Blue Nile Falls have isolated the ecology of Lake Tana from the ecology of the rest of the Nile, and this isolation has played a role in the evolution of the endemic fauna of the lake.

Lake Tana

Is the source of the Blue Nile.If you take a boat trip ask the 'driver' to take you to the place where the river flows out of the lake.It is very atmospheric,and probably the best place to spot Hippo.Bahir Dar has a quite big and colorful market.

Bahir Dar wildlife

Is fairly minimal, and mostly consists of beautiful black-and-white Colobus monkeys which can be found across the city and Lake Tana region.Large numbers of Nile crocodile can also be found around the lakeshore.Bahir Dar birdlife is rich and diverse, with a range of habitats supporting a multitude of species.Lake Tana is a key birding area, in particular 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.

Dega Estefanos

A particularly interesting site is Dega Estefanos (which houses a Madonna painted during the reign of Emperor Zera Yaqob (1434-1468) and, more importantly, the glass-sided coffins containing the mummified remains of several of former emperors of Ethiopia, including Yekuno Amlak, restorer of the Solomonic Dynasty to the throne in 1270; Dawit, late fourteenth century, and Zera Yaqob, fifteenth century, to name but a few), Dek, Narga, etc.Most of these churches are off-limits to women, but those of the Zaghe peninsula and the churches of Ura Kidane Mehret and Narga Selassie can be visited by women.

Right Time to Visit

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