If you are short in time or not lucky to see hippos on the boat trip, just go to the bridge (Nile) in Bahir Dar, go down to the water where people are cleaning the cars and search. Some Hippos are just there, easy to see.
Feel the awesome power of nature...!
Also known as Tis Abay or Tis Issat...
It's more than an hour's bus ride from Bahir Dar... and a short (but potentially perilous in wet conditions) hike.
Be forewarned, the falls might appear as just a trickle at times if the hydroelectric power dam nearby is in operation... which may be sorely disappointing... but i was very lucky!!!
About 30km from Bahir Dar is the place called Tis Isat, better known as the Blue Nile Falls. The falls are about 400 metres wide and 45 metres high. The original name is Tis Abay which means Smoke of the Nile. It must be very impressive to see the volume of water pouring down into a narrow gorge. This is possible during the rainy season but during the rest of the year the amount of water is depending on the power plant above the falls.
To visit the falls you need to take a bus from Bahir Dar to the village of Tis Abay. The first bus leaves at 6.00 am and needs more than one hour. In the village you first need to buy a ticket in the Information office at the end of the road. Guides will wait for you but its possible to find the way to the falls without them.
Its also possible to do a circular walk: First go to the Portuguese Bridge and follow the path to the main view point. Have a walk to the bottom of the falls and continue upstream until you reach the ferry station to cross the river and end up in the village.
The last bus to Bahir Dar leaves Tis Isat at 3 pm. If you will miss it you will be trapped here and have to stay in one of the basic Hotels or camp near the falls. Guards can be organised at the police station for about 40 Birr.
On top of the Bezawit Hill is a palace of Haile Selassie. Most of the time the palace is closed for the public and fotography is forbidden but you can be lucky! Anyway – the hill offers some excellent views of Lake Tana, the Nile outlet and the city.
There might be some Hippos in the river below the Hill.
The best view is at the back side of the palace. Walk around the fence towards the power line. Its also possible to walk down to the river and cross it by a papyrus boat ferry and do a circular walk to return to Bahir Dar.
To reach the palace you need to cross the Blue Nile bridge and then turn immediately right. Pass the new monument and follow the road for about three kilometres. If you are standing at the bottom of the hill leave the road to the right to take a short cut up the hill. You will end up near the entrance.
Also in the remote areas, as along the Mola road to Bahir Dar, we saw a lot of kids.
The kids were very anxious to look at us and, allthough first a bit shy, the brave ones started to talk to us and they liked to be photographed.
Many children are wearing green clothes, the colour of the hope. Some have the traditional tattoos or are wearing the local crosses.
Form Dejen to Bahir Dar we didn't take the main road through Debre Markos, but the very scenic smaller Mola road through an agricultural undulating and arcadian landscape.
Because we had time enough to reach Bahir Dar, we walked some parts instead of sitting in the bus. So we could meet the friendly local people with their donkeys along the road, walking to the market in the next village.