A trip to Lake Tana takes you to the largest lake in Ethiopia, in the north of the country, next to the beautiful city of Bahir Dar. It’s the source of the winding Blue Nile which, combined with the White Nile, forms the world’s largest river. The lake is the life-source of Ethiopia, supplying 50 per cent of the country’s freshwater. Slow down on your Laka Tana holidays: see fisherman weaving tankwas
(traditional papyrus reed boats); watch flocks of white pelicans majestically flying overhead; and gaze at hippos as they bathe in the shallows. Fertile forested islands are dotted across the lake and they provide refuge to the many ancient monasteries within. Built between the 14th and 16th century, the ancient treasures they hold are numerous, from historic manuscripts to awe-inspiring murals. With rounded forms, thatched roofs and the omnipresence of wood, they are a haunting, fragile link to a fascinating past that’s protected by UNESCO. The expansive Lake Tana stretches as far as the horizon and is a collision of ancient history and modern industry, natural bounty and mystical atmosphere – close your eyes and soak up the sleepy splendour here as you stand on the incredible shores.

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