1. The Blue Nile Falls are among the greatest falls in Africa

  2. They are 37 - 45m high and about 400m wide

  3. In Amharic they are called "Tis Abay", meaning "smoking water"

  4. The Blue Nile drains Lake Tana and its tributaries

  5. Nearby the Blue Nile is crossed by the oldest stone bridge of Africa

  6. Since 2003 a hydro-electric plant has reduced the flow of the falls

  7. The Blue Nile is not blue, but brown with sediments

  8. The Blue Nile forms part of the headwaters of the Nile, the world's longest

  9. The falls formed a barrier for fish, which allowed the upstream fish to develop into separate endemic species

  10. The Blue Nile has carved out a the Blue Nile Canyon, almost as long as the Grand Canyon



Blue Nile Falls Facts

Blue Nile Falls Facts: are 37 - 45m high; the largest waterfalls of Ethiopia at a distance of ± 35km from Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. They can be conveniently combined with a visit to Lake Tana, the origin of the Blue Nile. In Amharic they are called "Tis Abay", meaning "smoking water".


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!


Originally, the water content of the falls varied greatly, but since the regulation of Lake Tana and the construction of a hydro-electrical power plant, the water has become much more consistent, although water is still much more abundant during the wet season. There are many voices whining that the falls are no longer what they used to be, which is an obvious fact, but claims that they are no longer worth visiting are total bogus. Our pictures below were taken during the dry season and they show that the falls are still beautiful and every bit worth of visiting.


Ecologically, the falls have been important as they formed a barrier for downstream fish, which allowed the fish populations in Lake Tana and its tributaries to develop into separate endemic fish species, some of which are quite large and served in restaurants in Bahir Dar.


Not far from the falls you can visit first stone bridge of Ethiopia, built under Emperor Susenyos in 1626 by Afonso Mendes, a Catholic priest in Ethiopia.


At Blue Nile Falls, the river falls rushes down a 40m basalt cliff From the top one has a beautiful view of the Blue Nile Falls

The Blue Nile Falls as they thunder down a 45m basalt cliff, creating an eternal noise and white fog.

Blue Nile Falls "visitor cente"r.

One gets to the falls from Bahir Dar over a rural dirt road until a crossing with a tourist ferry.

One pays the entry fee at the local "visitor center".

The tourist ferry at the Blue Nile Falls is simple but solid. Near the Blue Nile Falls: the Oldest stone bridge of Africa south of the Sahara built under Emperor Susenyos in 1626.

The tourist ferry at the falls is simple but solid.

Upon visiting the falls, it is worth the effort the see the oldest stone bridge of Africa south of the Sahara built under Emperor Susenyos in 1626.

Watching the Blue Nile Falls from the top. Blue Nile Falls seen from under a tree.

Blue Nile Falls from the top.


Upon arrival, visitors first get to see the falls from the top. It is a wonderful sight to see how the slow flowing river suddenly turns wild and thunders down over a 40m high vertical basalt cliff.

A scenic view of the Blue Nile Falls from the surrounding gallery forest. A refreshing mist rising from the Blue Nile falls at sunrise.


Blue Nile Falls from  a distances as they fall down with a thunderous noise into an erosion hole, created by  thousands of years of crashing down over the basalt cliffs that create the falls. 

A refreshing spray cools the visitors at the bottom of the Blue Nile Falls. Enjoying the Blue Nile Falls from the bottom in the cascade bowl.


The fact is, Blue Nile Falls are still not overrun by tourists, and one can have a wonderful moment to oneself while listening to the roar of the falling water and enjoying the cool spray that spreads across the area on an otherwise hot day.


The Blue Nile Falls are 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

5 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.



In fact, the Blue Nile Falls are even prettier in the dry season when the water is clear and the falls are white.

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!!!


Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
Email: [email protected]

Talk or chat with us on Skype in English, Spanish or French. Our Skype name:


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National Parks Tours 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.