Coming over the hill one is engulfed in the splendour of one of Africa’s great sights, the Blue Nile falls in Ethiopia.

If there was a heartbeat to the Nile River then the Blue Nile Falls would certainly be it. Many tributaries contribute to the Nile, but nearby Lake Tana is the main source.

The falls are located thirty or so miles south of Tana, and dramatically fall of a precipice creating a stunning scene, with a beautiful lush African backdrop.

Getting to the Blue Nile Falls

 

Getting there one takes a bumpy dirt road deep into Ethiopia’s countryside. Through villages of farmers with their livestock, and donkeys and carts rolling along, an image of times gone by.

blue-nile-falls-ethiopia

Once at the start of the trail to get to the falls you cross over and into a small village with children saying hello and displaying their various football teams t-shirts.

hiking in ethiopia at blue nile

Heading further up the trail and over the top of a hill you get your first glimpse of the Blue Nile making a descent over the cliff.

Hiking further along the trail you will see the local people making their way to fields with their cattle. Joining with them in a fast pace to get closer to the falls you arrive at the best viewpoint directly opposite.

The thunderous roar of the falls is spectacular, and is best in the rainy season in august when there is much more water.

river at blue nile falls in ethiopia

The Blue Nile Falls.

the blue nile falls

Getting closer.

the blue nile falls in ethiopia

Further along the local villagers bring their cattle with them to cross a bridge that would make Indiana Jones proud. One could just imagine how many people have mocked the machete bridge scene from Temple of Doom.

You must cross the bridge to get directly under the falls, and its not for those with a head for heights. The farmers use the bridge to take their cattle across.

blue-nile-falls-bridge-1

Of course some cows are generally not happy at having to make this crossing, and it’s a good idea to stay out of their way!

crossing bridge in ethiopia

Once across you descend further down to the very bottom where you are hit by the misty spray and the mighty roar. There is only so far you can go until you have to stop before becoming soaked. I got no pictures that close due to there being to much water.

After hanging around for a while you ascend back to the bridge, and onto the trail to see the sun go down on the horizon. Then you go back along the trail and through the villages, with the children still running around and having a laugh with you. Then you hit the dirt road back.

woman in bahir dar ethiopia

And with an African thunderstorm in the distance, and the fresh breeze on your face, its been a good day.

going to blue nile falls

You can easily visit the Blue Nile Falls as a day trip from Bahir Dar, the main town next to Laka Tana. Just ask in your guesthouse/hotel and they can help arrange transport for you.

Interested in Ethiopia? Have a read of my complete travel guide to Ethiopia.

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Jonny Duncan is a travel blogger and freelance photographer. He specialises in adventure and budget travel with over 20 years of experience. He started blogging in 2013 to give advice for other travellers. He has lived in Japan, Amsterdam, Kiev, and more.

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