Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Bahirdar is found in the southern end of Lake Tana. Lake Tana got many different names from different scientists. The Greek scientist called it Strabo Sebo. The Egyptian scientist, Glaudios Pavlov called it Cobo. And newer scientists called it the great lake.

Lake Tana is the widest lake in Ethiopia. There are about 20 island with church. The two monasteries Entos which holds only females there are about 20 females there and no males are allowed there. And the other one is only for and this island holds about 40 monks. The distance between these two islands is short but they are very separated with many things since females aren’t allowed in men’s island and males aren’t allowed in Females Island.



Another island which is connected to water in three sides and connected with land only in one side is called Zege. In Zege Island there are three well known monasteries and seven churches. There are 10,000 inhabitants in Zege Island which is found in Lake Tana. The peoples trade mainly coffee and vegetables with Bahirdar, Ethiopia for a living; there is no farm is Zege, Ethiopia.

Transport in Lake Tana is started since ancient civilizations of Ethiopia but modern boat transportation had started following Italian’s attempt of colonization of Ethiopia. An Italian army were in Gondar getting supplies through Lake Tana. When Italian’s were defeated they sank there boats in the lake and left. Then using of boats made from wood started in 1940 by an Italian named Buski. Then following this in 1942 an organization Navigi Tana was founded by Italians and Ethiopians this organization takes out the boats which were sank by Italians and started the modern transportation in Lake Tana. This organization continue is work with a new name Lake Tana transportation. There is a boat called which was used for Emperor Haile Selassie named Fasiladas this boat has a symbol of Lion of Judah which was used by King Haile Selassie. Fasladas boat can hold 80 people and move by 17km/hr. Still nowadays there are people who use traditional boats named Tankua. Most of the peoples use those Tankua’s to transport wood from the islands to Bahirdar and trade it with other commodities.

The level of Lake Tana varies depends on the season from April to July it decreases its level while after August it becomes full since it gets many amount from its supplier rivers.



Tana Lake produces around 14,000 tons of fish. Nile River while its path to Mediterranean passes near Lake Tana. In Lake Tana there are about 45 islands and some also says there are even more. There are different kinds of endemic plants in Zege Island. The plantation in Zege is very dense and it helped the coffee plant which is found there since it doesn’t need exposed sunlight. After taking half hour walk you will find Ora Kidanemihret Gedam or monastery it is founded by Emperor Made Tsion. This church have 12 doors and 12 windows. Its floor and seiling is made from 400 animal skin. This church is well known for its wall arts.
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About Daniel Eshetu

Daniel Eshetu is CEO of Habesha Entertainment, blogger and medical student at Black Lion Hospital Addis Ababa. Follow @danieleshetu99

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