Ethiopia's largest lake
The Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve
Lake Tana is Ethiopia's largest lake and supplies 50% of the country's freshwater. It is shallow, with an average depth of just 8 meters, and scattered with thirty-seven low-lying islands. Over the centuries beautiful Ethiopian-orthodox churches and monasteries have been built on these islands and on the lake's shores. These have provided the small patches of sacred forest surrounding them with protection, forming islands of biodiversity and an invaluable natural retreat for indigenous plant and animal species. Wetlands, swamps and lagoons surround the lake. These are home to wetland plant species such as papyrus, as well as providing a habitat for rare bird and fish species.
The Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve was officially inaugurated during a two-day event at Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on the 3rd and 4th of December 2015. Please find the official press release here.
The Lake Tana region has a high level of biological diversity and is considered part of two biodiversity hotspots: the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot and Horn of Africa Hotspot. Its invaluable ecosystems and habitats are of local and international significance. mehr →
Approximately 2-3 million people live around Lake Tana and in its catchment area. Many of the communities directly depend on the lake and its resources for their livelihood. mehr →
Lake Tana and its surrounding wetlands are of immense ecological value and provide the means of existence for millions of people, however increasing human activity is causing the destruction of this unique area. Ecosystems are being degraded through the high pressure on natural resources. mehr →