To those of you who are planning on visiting Tis Abay

Sit your asses down for there ain’t nothing to be seen!

Three times I have been there, and you would be a fool to expect to see the falls the way they are shown on the back of the one birr bill. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the national bank is going to replace the bill with a coin.

The last time I saw it, loser looked like two people were standing on the cliffs and pouring the water with a jug.

An observation: the Amharic letter of ti resembles a fall

And I am telling you that it does not even have the amount of water that ti does.

You can even chill by the water’s edge. And do not think that is a good thing – given the way things used to be.

So, don’t do it if disappointment is not your thing.

But, should it be the case that you are hell bent on going over there (the hard-headed never learn), take heed because I don’t want none of yeall to get ripped off and disillusioned at the same time.

  • At the Bahir Dar bus station, forget the people who try to lure you into minibuses and take one of the bigger buses. I hope you will agree with me when I say 10 birr is a much better proposition than 350 birr (adjustments based on world oil markets apply.) It is only 30 or so kilometers of pista menged. A big plus is the chance to mingle with the locals. But as soon as one of them starts giving off vibes that they want to show you around once you get there –mingling over. Just kidding. Tell them that you already know the place and you are going back to see if the water has dried up or not. And you could continue chatting about all matters dry.
  • stay away from a certain Aba Tes….’s car. It is green and does not work.
  • midway, at a town called Andasa, you can buy zeituna
  • once you are in the Tis Abay bus station, you will see in front of you the gate to the power station. Walk towards it a bit and to your left you will find that there are two adjacent small houses: one has got a transmitter or something in its compound and the other is where you buy tickets for the “big visit.” Ethiopians prepare 3 to 5? birr and  foreigners … it is posted on the windows. Not exorbitant I tell you. When asked if you have got a video camera on you -and I know you do- say no. I don’t condone lying but it is a small lie when compared with the bigger lie that goes by the name Tis Abay. 
  • in the meantime, resist the advances of all those who try to be your guides, some even force-50birr-fully  claiming that they have permits. However they badger you, state your case calmly; tell them that you know that there are two ways of getting there viz  cross the bridge that Atse Fasil/ the Portuguese built with eggs and stuff or take a boat (the manner in which I did it on all three occasions.) Never, under any condition, give them the finger. I cannot guarantee your safety if you do that.
  • now where were we? Yeah, the ticket booth. Turn around and walk a little. Do you see to your right that little shop, the on painted Coke-red? The first one? Take that narrow road next to the shop and walk on. Have no fear of being lost. As I say in situations like this, think Magellan, Columbus, Moses,…
  • in no time, you will see the banks of Abay
  • keep on moving and you have reached the dock. A boat will get you to the other side – a one minute affair- for a 10 birr return trip. The 10 birr is to be paid on the return leg.
  • before or after you have crossed the river there will again be people trying to show you around. You may need someone to take group pictures and a local boy or girl may come in handy (“ready?” and all that.) Be judicious in the way you acknowledge their services.
  • now you are on the other side. Congrats if you have made it alone  thus far! And you can go the rest of the way by just keeping on going 🙂 more often than not, there will be people returning from the falls. And if you are taking a local, he is likely to show you a plant known as yesew neger a.k.a. the sensitive plant a.k.a.  Mimosa pudica. What this plant’s leaves basically do is shrink when touched. You will not miss it if you travel mindful of  the plants around you.

  • there you have it – Tis Abay, to your right.
  • knock yourselves out and a happy disappointment.


P.p. 1. some may wonder why I try to bring our tourism industry into disrepute. My answer to that would be: truth over tourism, bitches.

P.p. 2.  I hear a friend is coming into town. No doubt he is going to want to visit Tis Abay.

October 15, 2010.

Well, Tis Abay put me in my place. Saw it some weeks back with some friends and, impressive! And yet, it was not at its most impressive!

Respect, frigging respect, man, I mean water!

Disclaimer: seasonal changes still apply.

nice images

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the robe of the priest at entons yesus. peep the " yeetiopia " . last time i was there, the deacon wore a t shirt with "bacardi "on it. asi globalization !


the guys at kuriftu are so polite that i bet, when off duty , they break out into a staccato of obscenities. i kayaked by the way!

Copy of DSC00982

i seem to have lost my head

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