Lake Tana Tour
Lake Tana on the northwest of Ethiopia was formed by volcanic activity, blocking the course of inflowing rivers in the early Pleistocene times circa 5 million years ago.
The lake was originally much larger than it is today. Seven large permanent rivers feed the lake as well as 40 small seasonal rivers. The main tributaries to the lake are Gilgel Abbay (Little Nile River), and the Megech, Gumara and Rib rivers.
Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia and has a number of islands, whose number varies depending on the level of the lake. It has fallen about 6 feet (1.8 m) in the last 400 years. There were 21 islands, seven to eight of which had monasteries on them “formerly large, but now much diminished.
The monasteries are believed to have been built over earlier religious sites. They include the fourteenth-century Debre Maryam and the eighteenth-century Narga Selassie, Tana Qirqos (said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant before it was moved to Axum), and Ura Kidane Mehret, known for its regalia. A ferry service links Bahir Dar with Gorgora via Dek Island and various lakeshore villages.