The Blue Nile is a river originating at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. With the White Nile, the river is one of the two major tributaries of the Nile. The upper reaches of the river is called the Abbay in Ethiopia, where it is considered holy by many, and is believed to be the River Gihon mentioned as flowing out of the Garden of Eden in Genesis .According to materials published by the Ethiopian Central Statistical Agency, the Blue Nile has a total length of 1,450 kilometres, of which 800 are inside Ethiopia.
The Blue Nile flows generally south from Lake Tana and then west across Ethiopia and northwest into Sudan. Within 30 km (18.6 mi) of its source at Lake Tana, the river enters a canyon about 400 km long. This gorge is a tremendous obstacle for travel and communication from the north half of Ethiopia to the southern half. The power of the Blue Nile may best be appreciated at Tis Issat Falls, which are 45 m (148 ft) high, located about 40 km (25 mi) downstream of Lake Tana.
The Blue Nile
Known locally as Tis Isat ’Smoke of Fire’ the Blue Nile Falls is the most dramatic spectacle on either the White or the Blue Nile rivers. Rivaling the attraction of the Blue Nile Falls are the thirty-seven islands scattered abouton the 3,000 square kilometer (1,860-square-mile) surface of Ethiopia’s largest body of water: Lake Tana, which gives birth to the Blue Nile.