Ethiopia: Kent’s trip report #3 – Bahir Dar

January 28, 2011  By: Kent

From Lalibela, Bahir Dar is just 20 minutes by plane. A very pleasant town of 250,000 people, Bahir Dar sits at the south end of Lake Tana. Tana is Ethiopia’s largest lake and the source of the Blue Nile, which meets the White Nile in Khartoum and then flows to Cairo, Alexandria and the Mediterranean Sea.

In Bahir Dar, we spent the morning visiting the Ura Kindnemihret monastery, one of many that are located on islands and peninsulas on Lake Tana. Getting there by boat makes for a pleasant excursion, especially if you get to see some reed canoes, white pelicans and more. The monasteries feature some vivid and colorful paintings illustrating scenes from the bible.

After a tasty lunch we headed to the Blue Nile Falls. Much of the river’s water is diverted to the hydroelectric dam so in the dry season the falls are not impressive. Even so, there were plenty of interesting sights to enjoy, making for a fun afternoon.

That night, we enjoyed authentic Ethiopian food in the stylish dining room of our hotel, Kariftu Spa and Resort. Set right on Lake Tana, the hotel is beautiful with huge rooms with wrap-around balconies. The hotel also has a large pool and wide deck with lake views. Guests also get one massage, pedicure or manicure (per room) at the hotel’s spa.

Other hotel choices include Summerland, Abyiminch, Tana Hotel, Tana Resort, a Sheraton property.