Known locally as Tis Isat - 'Smoke of Fire' the Blue Nile Falls is the most dramatic spectacle on either the Blue Nile rivers. Four hundred metres (1,312 feet) wide when in flood, and dropping over a sheer chasm more than forty-five metres (150 Feet) deep the falls throw up a continuous spray of water, which drenches onlookers up to a kilometre away.
This misty deluge produces rainbows, shimmering across the gorge, and a small perennial rainforest of lush green vegetation, to the delight of the many monkeys and multicoloured birds that inhabit the area.
To reach the falls, which are about thirty-five kilometres (22 miles) away, drive south from the town of Bahir Dar for about half an hour and stop at Tis Isat village. Here travelers will quickly find themselves surrounded by a retinue of sometimes overzealous youthful guides who, for a small Fee, will show the way and point out several places of historic interest en route.
After leaving the village the footpath Meanders first beside open and fertile fields, then drops into a deep rift that is spanned by an ancient, fortified stone bridge built in the seventeenth century by Portuguese adventurers and still in use. After a thirty-minute walk, a stiff climb up a grassy hillside is rewarded by a magnificent view of the falls, breaking the smooth edge of the rolling river into a thundering cataract of foaming water.
A rewarding but longer trek is to walk along the east bank all the way to the back of the falls; crossing the river by papyrus boat known as 'Tankwa'.