The Blue Nile falls into a canyon to form one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Africa, --150 feet high and about a half mile wide, these millions of gallons of water gush downward creating a cloud of mist which is called Tisisat--"a Smoking fire".
The first person to make his way to the source, perhaps in search of the Ark of Covenant, was the Scot James Bruce. James Bruce, in his search for the source of the Nile, came upon the falls in 1770 and described it perfectly as:
“The river ... fell in one sheet of water, without any interval, above half an English mile in breadth, with a force and a noise that was truly terrible, and which stunned and made me, for a time, perfectly dizzy. A thick fume, or haze, covered the fall all around, and hung over the course of the stream both above and below, marking its track, though the water was not seen. ... It was a most magnificent sight, that ages, added to the greatest length of human life, would not deface or eradicate from my memory.”
The second chapter of the book of Genesis refers to the rivers that flow through the Garden of Eden:
“And the name of the second river is Ghion; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.”
The Blue Nile, sweeping out from Lake Tana in a wide loop, does indeed encompass the ancient land of Ethiopia.
The Blue Nile leaves Lake Tana on an unassuming path lined with grassy banks, gently sloping hills, wild papyrus, green pastures, a scattering of buildings and straw huts on the outskirts of Bahir Dar before collapsing violently down into sharp canyons of basaltic rock. This same river, which holds part of its heart in Ethiopia (over 800km in length), is the longest river in Africa. While the White Nile is the longer of the two streams that join in Khartoum to create the Nile proper, it is the Blue Nile that contributes about 85 percent of the water that powers Egypt, and most of the precious silt that nourishes its banks.
What Happened now??
A new $63 million, 450-megawatt power-generating station (built by Chinese and Serbian contractors) called Tis Abay II is diverting the water just before the fall and re-depositing it a few hundred yards downstream. Now about 75% of this same water is rolling down a giant canal to the west of the river, into a massive concrete spillway. Tourists should expect to see only a quarter of the fall.
Somehow the project sailed to completion without the cognizance of any international environmental watchdog group, or any journalists.