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Rivers of Ethiopia

rivers of ethiopia

The Blue Nile

Ethiopia is often referred to as the water tower of East Africa because of the many rivers that pour off the Ethiopian highland plateau. The Blue Nile, also known as Abbay, originates from Lake Tana. From here it starts its long journey to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, where it meets the White Nile forming together the Great Nile River, the longest river in Africa. The Great Nile River provides water and life to Sudan and Egypt before draining into the Mediterranean Sea. The Blue Nile makes about 80 % of the volume of the Great Nile River.

The Omo River

The Omo River tumbles its 350 -kilometer way through a steep, inaccessible valley before slowing its pace as it nears the lowlands and then meanders through flat, semi-desert bush eventually running into Lake Turkana. The river passes varied scenery, including an open gallery forest of tamarinds and figs, alive with Colobus Monkeys. Under the canopy along the riverbanks you can see birds like Goliath Herons, Blue-breasted Kingfishers, White-cheeked Turacos, Emerald-spotted Wood Doves and Red-fronted Bee-eaters while monitor lizards scuttle through the undergrowth.

Beyond the forest, hippos graze on the savannah slopes against the mountain walls and waterbucks, bushbucks and Abyssinian Ground Hornbills are sometimes to be seen. At the border of the Mago and Omo National Parks, which are situated along the Omo River, live the Karo and the Gelab people. Since 1973, the river has proved a major attraction for white-water rafters.

The Baro River

The Baro River, in the western part of Ethiopia near the town of Gambela, offers great fishing grounds and for the more adventurous also rafting possibilities. On his shores lay the tribal villages of the Nuer and the Anuak people.

The Awash River

The great Awash River has its origin on the highlands west of Addis Ababa. The river carries a lot of sediments along, before it tumbles over a 100 m cliff into a deep canyon forming a muddy waterfall. It continues its way to the north before flowing into extinction in the lowland of the Danakil Depression. It never reaches the sea.


African Adventure Tours can organize rafting trips on the Omo, the Awash and the Baro River. For this we have experienced local rafting guides with best equipment.
The season for rafting begins in the rainy season, between September and October, when the water level of the rivers is high.

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