This morning rise before dawn, transfer to the airport and catch the short flight to Bahir Dar. Bahir Dar rests on the shores of Lake Tana and is one of Ethiopia’s prettiest cities with its wide avenues, palms and jacaranda trees and stunning lake views. For centuries Bahir Dar has been a trading center for the region and the tankwa, the traditional papyrus boats, still transport goods across the lake, adding a sense of timelessness to city. Head out on Lake Tana to the Zege Peninsula and its famous Island Monasteries. Whilst on board our private boat, keep an eye out for a variety of bird species and, of course, the traditional tankwa crossing the lake. After a short hike through local villages and coffee farms, reach the monastery of Ura Kidane Meret, home to an important collection of crosses and crowns dating back to the 16th century. The painted maqdas, colorful and well-preserved, tell the stories of Ethiopian saints. The second monastery visit, Azwa Maryam, is a smaller construction set amidst pleasant gardens. This afternoon there is an optional excursion available to the Blue Nile Falls. Alternatively, we you can choose to explore Bahir Dar’s market, enjoy a cold beverage overlooking the lake or bird watch in the lush gardens at the hotel. Overnight at Kuriftu Resort and Spa.
Optional excursion: The Blue Nile Falls is considered by many one of the most spectacular falls in Africa. When in full flood the falls are impressive at 400m wide and 45m high, however the river was recently dammed upstream and the river levels are now controlled. Considering this factor, the falls are still an interesting site with good bird watching opportunities on the easy 30- min walk to the viewpoint. Hippos and crocodiles are occasionally spotted on the banks of the river, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. The road to and from the falls is packed gravel and can be rough and dusty.