Home Up Blue Nile Falls Bahir Dar Gondar





THINGS TO DO IN BAHIR DAR: ECOTOURS LAKE TANA CHURCHES & BLUE NILE FALLS, Oldest stone bridge South of Sahara, Awesome wildlife, Countless birds, etc.

Top 10 Things to do in Bahir Dar

With of about 200,000 inhabitants, the Bahir Dar is the second largest city of Ethiopia, after capital Addis Ababa, from which it is 578km away; another 175km to Gondar to its North. Built on the south shore of Lake Tana at about 1,800masl, Bahir Dar is the city of hospitality for all those who want to visit the top 10 things to do Bahir Dar, like the Lake Tana churches and monasteries and the Blue Nile Falls, while it is the gateway towards the city of Gondar with its Royal enclosure - Fasil Ghebbi - Fasiledes Castle, Fasilides Bath and Menthewab's Castle and the Simien Mountains National Park.


Why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market. As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eathern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes will be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip for an incredibly low price!


Converting from a strictly rural country, Ethiopia is rapidly urbanizing and Bahir Dar is the fasted growing city after the capital, with - for African conditions - surprisingly well designed palm-lined boulevards.


Taxis are plentyful, but there are even more tuktuks or Bajajs - rick-shaws - which will get you to your destination almost as fast for even less while they are fun to ride.


The vast majority of the city's inhabitants are Amhara belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but some 8.5% of the people are Muslim. The city founded in the sixteenth or seventeenth century by Jesuits, from which time the Pedro Páez building dates. One of Emperor Haile Selassie's built one of his palaces in the city, overlooking Lake Tana.


There is a small daily market and a large market on the weekends. There is not much of nightlife but there are some bars with music. The Bahir Dar University teaches to more than 40,000 students.


The Blue Nile Falls - Tis Issat - are located at about 30km from the city. Since the construction of a hydroelectric power dam and a regulation works at the outlet of Lake Tana into the Blue Nile, the water passing the falls is more constant, albeit, with much less dramatic peaks during the wet season. Nevertheless, the Blue Nile Falls are still a fabulous highlight of Bahir Dar, even during the dry season, when the falls are much narrower.


Bajajs or tuktuks are three-wheeled rick-shaws common in Bahir Dar and Ethiopia Bajajs or tuktuks are three-wheeled rick-shaws in Ethiopia are actually quite fun to ride

Bajajs or tuktuks are three-wheeled rickshaws common in Bahir Dar and Ethiopia.

Inside a Bajaj or tuktuk. They are are three-wheeled rick-shaws in Ethiopia and actually quite fun to ride.


Chaotic looking construction sites are everywhere in Bahir Dar and new high rises shoot up like mushrooms.

The Jamia Grand Mosque is the prime place of worship for the about 20000 Muslims of the city.


Like in all cities of Ethiopia, side walks of Bahir Dar serve as food markets.

While most of the shores of Bahir Dar are private real estate, there is a short promenade, where citizens go to swim and bath.


Built on the city's public promenade is the jetty from where excursion boats depart for the Lake Tana churches.

Shaded metal excursion boats to Lake Tana's churches are simple but adequate.


Fisherman in Tankwa with endemic fish for the local market at Bahir Dar.

Tankwas, canoe-shaped rafts carry people across the Blue Nile Outlet.


Located in a little bay, the Ghion Hotel restaurant has the best view over Lake Tana of all hotels on the lake.

The simple but rooms of Hotel Ghion are more than compensated by the lovely garden and gorgeous view over the lake.


No doubt the most beautiful resort hotel on Lake Tana is Koriftu Resort with swimming pool and wonderful garden.

At Koriftu Resort, beautiful rooms clustered in tastefully designed sleep the guests of the finest resort hotel of Bahir Dar on Lake Tana.


Lake Tana church with frescos on the inner corridor, famous for their bright colors.

Even during the dry season, the Blue Nile Falls are impressive and well worth your visit.

Oldest bridge in Ethiopia built under Emperor Susenyos across the Blue Nile River Devil's Nose Rock, a basaltic monolith or hoodo, near Addis Zemen, 75km north Bahir Dar on road to Gondar. Recommended stop for birdwatchers as important roost Ruepell's vultures

Oldest bridge in Ethiopia built under Emperor Susenyos across the Blue Nile River.

The Devil's Nose Rock, is a basaltic monolith or hoodo, located near the village of Addis Zemen, 75km north Bahir Dar on the road to Gondar. It is recommended stop for birdwatchers as it is an important roost and possibly nesting place for Ruepell's and other vultures.

Bahir Dar is part of this fabulous travel itinerary:




Ethiopia Historic Circuit by car

9 days. Price: $1249. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals included. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Ethiopia Historic Circuit by plane

7 days. Price: $2195. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals, included. Prices may vary depending on fluctuating air fairs. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR, road distance ± 580km;

  1. Stop at the bridge across the Blue Nile Gorge, comparable in size to the Grand Canyon in the USA and supposedly the largest canyon of Africa;

  2. In the evening visit the Blue Nile falls if arrival before dark;

  3. Sleep at simple but beautifully located Ghion Hotel at the waterfront of Bahir Dar.


  1. Airport pickup;

  2. Hotel in Addis Ababa;

  3. Afternoon rest, visit Crafts and Art market street or a museum of choice.

Day 2: LAKE TANA - BLUE NILE FALLS, road distance ± 35km

  1. Day excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  2. Visit of the Blue Nile Falls;

  3. Sleep at Ghion Hotel.

Day 2: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR by plane

  1. Visit of the Blue Nile Falls;

  2. Sleep at Ghion Hotel.

Day 3: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR, road distance ± 175km

  1. The Devil's Nose Rock, is a basaltic monolith or hoodoo, located near the village of Addis Zemen, 75km north Bahir Dar on the road to Gondar. On its top is an important roost and possibly nesting place for Ruepell's and other vultures.

  2. Check in in the hotel at Gondar after which a visit to Mentewab's Castle and/or Fasimile's Bathroom depending on available time;

  3. Hotel in Gondar.


  1. Day Excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  2. Sleep in Ghion Hotel.

Day 4: GONDAR - AXUM, road distance ± 350km

  1. Early in the morning visit the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Road trip to Axum;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 4: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR by car

  1. Visit Royal Enclosure Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Visit Mentewab's Castle, Fasimile's Bathroom and Fasil Ghebbi, the Royal Enclosre;

  3. Hotel in Gondar

Day 5: AXUM - MEKELE, road distance  ± 250km

  1. Visit the famous beautiful Stellae at Axum

  2. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  3. Ride to Mek'ele;

  4. On the way, visit Yeha Temple;

  5. Hotel in Mek'ele.

Day 5: GONDAR - LALIBELA by plane

  1. Visit Lalibela Church Treasury Museum;

  2. Visit Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches;

  3. Hotel Tulkul in Lalibela.

Day 6: MEKELE - WUKRO - MEKELE, road distance  ± 45km

  1. Visit Rock Hewn Churches in Wukro;

  2. Visit Palace Emperor Yohannes IV;

  3. Hotel in Mek'ele.

Day 6: LALIBELA - AXUM by plane

  1. Visit Stellae;

  2. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 7: MEKELE - LALIBELA, road distance ± 430km

  1. Leave early in the morning for Lalibela;

  2. Church treasures museum Lalibela

  3. Hotel Tulkul in Lalibela.

Day 7: AXUM - ADDIS ABABA by plane

  1. Time permitting before connecting international flight: Visit Crafts and art market, museum or Mount Entoto;

  2. Transfer airport for international flight or to hotel.

Day 8: LALIBELA - DESSIE, road distance ± 300km

  1. Visit the churches of Lalibela;

  2. Drive to Dessie;

  3. Hotel in Dessie.


Day 9: DESSIE - ADDIS ABABA road distance ± 340km

  1. last day of the Ethiopia Historic Circuit and return trip to Addis Ababa;

  2. Transfer to hotel.


Daily comfortable affordable flights Adis Ababa - Bahir Dar - Gondar with brand new Dornier Turbo Props.

Daily comfortable affordable flights Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar - Gondar with brand new Dornier Turbo Props allowing you to do the top 10 things in Bahir Dar to your heart's content.


Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $25 - $35 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!


Ecotravel Worldwide is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA, a social responsibility and conservation company. About CO2 emission offset for your travels.

Phone USA:

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Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
Email: niks

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