Page information: Lake Tana overview, Islands and monasteries on Lake Tana, means of visit, Health information while visiting Lake Tana and accommodation options in Bahir

Often described as the source of the nile, Tana is one of the most visited lakes for more than its sheer beauty. Lake Tana is home to several islands, each hosting monasteries and churches of high historical value. You will have to board motor boats early in the morning for a full day of adventure to visit all the important islands on lake Tana. During this unforgetable trip you will also be able to see the intersection point of the Nile river and Tana, amazingly both maintaining different colors. Among the monasteries to visit is the famous Tana kirkos church, said to have hosted the arc of the convenant for centuries. Hypos and traditional rafts or tankuas add to the beauty of the lake.


Although the maximum depth of Lake Tana does not exceed 15 meters, it is not favorable for swimming. It is however well suited for fishing. The city of Bahir Dar is home to several hotels and lodges, from which you can enjoy the unique beauty of the lake during sunrise and sunset.

The city of Bahirdar is among the top visited in destinations in Ethiopia. This is mainly because of Lake Tana. In addition to the monasteries on the islands of the lake, there are nearby attractions too. One of the major ones is the Abay fall. A few hours drive will get you there.




It is however sad that the fall does no longer have the glamor it once had in our HD image. the level of water has gone down over the years with natural causes and damn constructions playing their respective roles. The fall is shallow during week days. The water fall is more attractive on Sundays as the nearby electric damn releases the contained flow. Make sure that you time your visit to the fall for a Sunday morning.


Visiting lake Tana

Transportation: There are daily flights to Bahridar. You can therefore use local Ethiopian airlines flights to visit Lake Tana. If you take off early from Addis Abeba on a 4wd you can have an interesting journey to Bahirdar, with several stops on the way to reach Bahirdar before night fall. It is not recommended ( but possible) to use public transportation to go the Lake Tana. ( If it is your first time on the road there are several stops that you would like to make. This won't be possible on public transport)

Accomodation: You have an abundant choice of hotels, starting from luxury resorts all the way to cheap hotels. Please visit hotels in Bahirdar for more information.

Health risks: There is Malaria risk. Always good to take precautions

Security risks: Minimal; it is however advisable to walk in groups at night and avoiding wearing expensive jewleries.


Other Ethiopian Lakes:






Our full listing of Ethiopian lakes coming soon



At EVG we dpend on your comments and feedbacks to make our web page complete. Please send us your comments or feedbacks at or send us any queries