It is also known as Tis Abay in the Amharic language which if translated to English, means “the smoking water” named drawn from the fact that the dropping of the water creates a smoke-like bounce of water droplets in a fantastic and magnificent scene. The Blue Nile Falls is considered to be one of Ethiopia’s best known tourist attractions site in the country.
The Blue Nile Falls is located at the upper course of the Nile River about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar which is about some 319.67 kilometers total in distance from the national capital, Addis Ababa.
The waterfalls consist of four main streams that is originally different from a ooze in the dry season to over 400 metres wide in the rainy season as a result of the diversion of Lake Tana which has to some extent reduced the variation of the water since 2003 in pursuant of a hydro-electric station by the Ethiopian government but nevertheless, the falls is still at its best offering a good atmosphere for those who visit the place.
This has caused a decrease in the flowing water of Blue Nile Falls, but the fact still remains that the full beauty of the falls can still be appreciated during Sundays and holidays because the hydroelectric station is believed to only operates during weekdays and for this reason, it is advisable for tourist to visit the place on Sundays or Ethiopian public holidays.
Ecological experts say the Blue Nile Waterfalls has isolated the ecology of Lake Tana from the ecology of the rest of the Nile and this has helped played a role in the evolution of the endemic fauna of the Lake Tana.
The flora around the falls can also be appreciated; there are many plant species endemic only to that area. The Blue Nile Falls are also enriched with different types of wildlife that can only be found in Ethiopia as one of the best scenes in Africa.
The Lake Tana itself is home to many island monasteries which were believe to be built by the missionary man Manuel de Almeida from Portugal. Some of the monasteries can be visited after a short boat ride on the Island and it also has many decent restaurants and hotels along its shores.
From a short distance downstream of the falls, is the first ever stone bridge (Portuguese Bridge) constructed in Ethiopia which was believed to have been built under the command of the legendary Emperor, Susenyos in 1626, serving as a bonus to tourists who visit the Blue Nile Waterfalls.
According to Manuel de Almeida (1580–1646) a native of Viseu, from the Kingdom of Portugal, who entered at an early age into the Society of Jesus, and went out as a missionary to India, Ethiopia and Eritrea particularly in the Lake Tana area in Ethiopia, said stone for making lime had been found nearby along the tributary Alata, and a craftsman who had come from India with Afonso Mendes, the Catholic Patriarch of Ethiopia then supervised the construction of the historic bridge which some call the Portuguese Bridge.
The Blue Nile Falls has an enormous height of 37 to 45 meters or around 150 feet and its width is estimated at about half a mile, making watching the river water drop down the waterfalls truly breathtaking for people who visit the place.
Reaching the Blue Nile Falls is easy as there are various trips that can be arranged as it is a main tourist spot in Ethiopia. There are many locals that make their income from the benefits of tourism; many are selling food and drinks like calabashes and sodas.
The best of accommodation await any tourist who visits the Blue Nile Falls as there are hotels available at a few kilometers away from the falls.
But remember that if you are planning to visit the Blue Nile Waterfalls, it is recommendable that you wear comfortable clothes as the trail on the way to the falls is quite bumpy and not that comfortable but it will be a tour that will live in your memory forever.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa Tourism News