Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar

Travel to Bahir Dar – Gateway to the Blue Nile

Bahir Dar is a city in north western Ethiopia, and the capital of the Amhara Region. Bahir Dar, also spelled Bahar Dar, is located on the southern shore of Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake.

The city represents the most convenient centre for visiting the famous source of the Blue Nile and the Blue Nile Falls known as Tississat or ‘Smoke Fire’. Bahir Dar port provides access by boat to a number of historic lakeside churches and monasteries.

The city grew around a Jesuit settlement founded between the 16th and 17th century. In the mid-19th century, the city was the camping spot for the army of Emperor Tewodros II who was later forced to move his troops to Begemder as his army suffered from cholera.

Bahir Dar has known many invasions, mainly by the Italians, but was evacuated on 27 April 1941 becoming the national capital under Emperor Haile Selassie.

Travellers to Bahir Dar can enjoy visiting the splendid Blue Nile Falls; fascinating museums with illustrated manuscripts, historic crowns, and fine royal and ecclesiastical robes; historic lakeside churches and monasteries near Tis Abay and Lake Tana; the historic old building in St Geoge’s church compound; Bahar market, a good place to buy injera baskets; and the fish market on the lake shore where you can see a great many papyrus tankwa boats and often large numbers of pelicans.

  • Take a trip out of town to see the source of the Blue Nile and Blue Nile Falls.
  • Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Tana and discover islands with hidden monasteries.


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