Blue Nile Falls

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2016

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We headed from Lake Tana to the Blue Nile falls and after getting through a busy tuk tuk filled town, the 20km drive was on a very wide, dusty, pot holed track and so the windows had to go up and down every time we either caught up the vehicle in front or passed something. It took around 45 minutes and at the entrance picked up an obligatory guide and drove down a narrow track to the Blue Nile River separating Gojjam and Gondar provinces.

A motor boat was whistled up (the locals take a ferry which a young boy poles to the other side). After alighting, we had a steep climb before it levelled out although we had to cross a lava field. The guide pointed out fields of onions, chat, sugar cane and cabbages but he walked very quickly and as it was by now around 3pm, it was very hot, so we tried to slow him down.

We came to the first viewing area and after a short walk to the second to find the waterfalls which are currently about 40 foot wide compared to previously 400 foot. A hydro electric dam, built 15 years ago and which takes off 80% of the water, the fact that it was the dry season accounted for the lack of water. We decided to trek down a hilly bank to get nearer the spray, but this involved scrambling on wet, muddy rocks. I volunteered to do this with the aid of the guide whilst Roy acted as chief photographer.

Having got safely back to the top we saw a long suspension bridge, built four years ago by the Swiss and funded by a NGO to help the lives of country people who previously had a journey of one and a half hours. We had a photo stop on the bridge just before a large group of people and donkeys caught up with us.

Back on the boat across, we dropped off and tipped our guide, and it was back down the dusty road. Before getting on to the asphalt road we stopped to see an animal market which was still in full swing with lots of cattle, sheep, goats and people all milling around seemingly without any organization.

Helen Jackson

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