The truth about Bahar Dar and the Blue Nile Falls

You came a long way to see the Blue Nile Falls and hopefully they are turned on when you arrive.  The damn was open for our visit but getting there is the trick. First, you can take public minibuses there but be warned that the road is horrible and the drive is 90 minutes. A tuk-tuk is also a very uncomfortable and expensive option.  The touts in the street will badger you constantly for “tours”. So when you start talking to one of these guys, and you should interview several, this is what to keep in mind.

  1. What is the price?
  2. What does it include? Entry fees, etc
  3. What kind of vehicle is transporting you?

You may be lead to believe you are getting a tour but probably you are getting transport to and from the falls.  Entry fees, guide fees, and ferry fees are not likely included. This can quickly get irritating, especially if you have been in Bahir dar for a day already.

When you arrive at the falls the “guides” will tell you there are 6 or 7 trails so you need to go with them.  They are lying. There are plenty of people selling goods on the way that will not let you veer of the path because they want you to walk by them. The prices offered will be outrageous and the touts will not leave you alone. I finally got rid of one and found a boy that was nice and we made a deal for 6 of us.  Our young guide helped carry on older woman’s bag and told us a bit about the place.  He was very nice and his name was Johannes.

If seeing the Blue Nile Falls is vital to your existance then, by all means, go.  If it is not then do not waste your time with Bahir Dar.  Regretably, it is THE ONLY place in Ethiopia I would ever tell you not to visit.  You will be harassed every second in the streets and if you stay the the NGG Hotel, they allow touts in their lobby. I LOVE Ethiopia but Bahir Dar and Blue Nile Falls I can do without.

DSC01781If you do go, go with a great friend.

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