Tana, Ethiopia's largest lake is a principal reservoir of the Nile and home to unique monasteries and spectacular bird life. Tana was known by the ancient Greeks as "copper tinted Lake" or "the Jewel of Ethiopia".
On Lake Tana are more than 30 small islands most of them sheltering monasteries and churches. Some of these monasteries date back to the 13th century. On most inland bodies of water of this size, you might expect powerboats and sleek sailing crafts whipping by, but on Lake Tana, leisure gives way to practicality. Here, the waters are alive with a fleet of 'tankwas' papyrus canoes, carrying charcoal and firewood to market in Bahir Dar.