Transportation and Flights

Bahir dar is located on the cross road from Addis Ababa to Gondar and is also a hub of transportation for the Amhara region. It is reached by three modes of transportation.

Road: Tourists can drive to Bahir dar in different options of road transport. Among different alternatives:

  1. They can use public transportation which provides daily transportation services to/from Addis Ababa and other towns in the region. Private transport companies such as Selam bus, sky bus, Abay bus and Ethio-bus provide fast and more efficient transportation services from Addis Ababa to different regional towns including Bahir Dar.
  2. Tourists can hire 4 wheel cars from tour operators and car rental companies in Addis Ababa. This is option better for privacy, security and flexibility. Up on arrival most of hotels give transfer service from airport to hotels.

Air transport: Bahir Dar has international air port known as Bahir Dar Ginbot Haya international air port. It has 6 flight to Addis Ababa per a day and international flight.


Water transport: Bahir dar is one of few towns in Ethiopia that have access of water transportation. The peninsular and island monasteries are reached by motor boats and local wood made or papyrus made boats (tankoas in Amharic). For travelling to islands nearby the city, tourists can use small private motor boats that are easily accessible at the lake shore. Most of them give short distance boating services with reasonable and affordable prices.

Hotels like Tana Hotel and Grand resort also give boating services for their customers.


Tourists who want to travel in large group can contact Lake Tana transport enterprise which rents fast and big ships. The enterprise gives both cargo and passenger transportation to the islands of the lake and it connects about eleven ports of the lake. The ships have different carrying capacities that range from 15 to 800 passengers. Tananesh with a capacity of 800 passengers is the biggest ship in the lake followed by Hibir which has capacity of containing 350 passengers but not functional currently due its high fuel consumption.

The enterprise also gives cargo transportation and dual purpose ships. These forms of ships give service for hundreds of thousands of local communities around the Lake Tana who want to transport their goods to Bahir dar city and the island of the lake.