We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wouldn't do this again...ever”
Review of Lake Tana

Lake Tana
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Bahar Dar
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I'm not sure what a full day visit to the Lake Tana monasteries and churches involves, but the half day tour (3-4hrs) is pretty skimpy. We visited 3 monasteries, the blue nile (which is just a place in the water at the far end of the lake), and Hippoland (which is a rip off because apparently the Hippos are only there for a short period during the year, but they sell it as a sight to see all year round - meaning you go see a tall grassy area and you see no hippos). All of the monasteries look alike and women are not allowed in all of them. The cost to enter each monastery at this time is 100 birr pp. It probably didn't help that I had a crappy guide who literally knew NOTHING about the monasteries. So, as these places didn't offer much visually, if you do a half day ride, I would highly recommend getting a guide who is knowledgable about the history so at least you can learn something on your trip.

1  Thank hunnybunns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (445)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

246 - 250 of 445 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2012

Visiting Bahir Dar we did a half-day tour of the main attractions of Lake Tana, the island monastries. We felt this was a bit off a scam/rip-off, as the entry fees for the monastries were high to Ethiopian standards, and way higher than we were led to believe. These fees were also not negotiable. The fees were also not communicated before we reached the island and were thus a surprise to us and the fellow visitors. As a result nearly all of the visitors didn't go into the monastries and walked around the small islands which were not particulary interesting.

Eventually we entered one monastry, as I recall Kebran Gabriel which was very nice.

I would suspect all monastries are nice, it is just spoiled by the unexpected high entry fees. Please check before you get on the boat!

3  Thank Menno V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

Fortunately, one of them is the best in all of Ethiopia, as far as I am concerned. Narga Selassie is some 3 hours by boat, and its isolation is one of its charms. The church grounds are large and quiet; covered with wildflowers when I was there. The paintings are magnificent. The quay and walk to the churchgrounds are lovely.

3  Thank Peggy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

There are several monasteries to visit via boat. I found them so so, the boat ride on the lake is loooooong ...

Thank caipirina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We took a boat ride with a stop at one of the monasteries. The paintings and history were quite intriguing.

Thank gpotvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Lake Tana also viewed

Bahar Dar, Amhara Region
Bahar Dar, Amhara Region
 
Bahar Dar, Amhara Region
Bahar Dar, Amhara Region
 

Been to Lake Tana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing