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In order to visit the historic monastery of Tana Kirkos, you will have to make a 3 hour trip on a boat to cross lake Tana. The trip is one to enjoy by itself as you will be cruising on the lake often described as the source of the Nile. If you are making your journey to the island hosting the monastery early in the morning, you will get the chance to have a rare glimpse at hypos .

lake tanahypo in lake tana


Tanna Kirkos is enclosed with a natural wall and unless accompanied by a guide you won't be able to know which way to go to reach the monastery. The island is a natural fortress providing an exceptional view.

view from the tana kirkos island view tana kikos


Tana Kirkos is home to precious religious items which have survived for centuries. The monastery is also said to have been sanctuary to the arc of the convenant.

The church is one of many monasteries that you find scattered on different islands on lake Tana. This one get more focus because of its age. Dwellers on the island would tell you that the monastery dates 1,500 years. There is also a specific spot on the island where the arc of the convenant has settled for years in a tent.

In addition to the historical interest for researchers and tourists, the self sufficient life style of the monks is a source of interest.

Information on how to visit Abune Yemane

Modes of transportation: Tana kirkos can be reached from Bahirdar; You can make the long but interesting trip to Bahir Dar by car( 10-12 hours) or take a flight to bahirdar ( clich on flight schedules in Ethiopia for up to date information)

Temperature: average temperature is 28 degree celcius.

What to wear: anything; avoid wearing shoes with hills for better comfort; wearing a hat could be useful.

Guides: When you hire a boat from Bahir Dar, the "capitain"( make sure you pick the one with good english command)will be your guide so there is no need to get a guide for this specific visit.

Security risks: none

Hotels: available in different quality and standard. Click on Hotels in Bahirdar for Tourists for a complete list and full description.

Nearby attractions: Fasil of Gonder, Abay fall

Entertainement: Azmari bets or traditional night clubs.



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