The distant shape of a pelican seems floating between water and sky on a hazy day on Lake Tana, the largest lake of Ethiopia.
More like an inland sea than a lake, Tana features a great diversity of habitats both along its shores and on its many islands.
Hippos surface to check a passing boat on a quiet shore of Lake Tana. They are the largest mammal species of the region.
Lake Tana harbors hundreds of species of birds and many unique ones, such as this skulky black crake draw here birdwatchers from all over the world.
African spoonbills line up while feeding in the rich marshes of the Fogera Plains on the eastern shore of Tana.
A flock of avocets lands on the Shesher lake, one of the richest of birdlife.
Although highly endangered, papyrus grass is still common on the shores of Lake Tana and its beds harbor a rich life. Here a diminutive a diminutive little bee-eater uses a papyrus stem to perch.
Centuries-old Christian monasteries are one of the most important aspects of Lake Tana. They protect the coptic values and real treasures, of which just a few - such as these paintings in the Ura Kidane Mihret on the Zege peninsula – are exposed to foreign eyes.
The rustling and lively town of Bahir Dar lies on the southern shore of Lake Tana and it is the main center of the region.
A young herder watches his cow at sunset. The whole region of Lake Tana has been inhabited by centuries. Several ethnic groups live on the lake shores.
A young woman pounds coffee while attending to her youngest child. Poverty and difficult life conditions are extremely diffused in the area.
Old agricultural practices are still in place in the region around the lake. Here two men lead their cattle around to thresh the harvest.
Fishing is the main activity on Lake Tana and fishermen row their traditional pirogues made of papyrus.
Human activities and wildlife usually coexist peacefully on the lake.
A young Eurasian cranes (one of the several thousands wintering along the shores of Lake Tana) has been hanged as scarecrow in a cultivated field.
Human and bird footprints on the mud of a wetland. With the establishment of a UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserve in Lake Tana there is hope for the longterm conservation of this unique region.

Lake Tana, Ethiopia s largest lake and the source of the Blue Nile river is one of the natural jewels of East Africa. On this huge freshwater “sea” remote islands hide centuries-old Christian monasteries, local fishermen row their traditional papyrus boats past bathing hippos and hundreds of birds which fly overhead or hunt for fish in the shallows. Its long shores feature lushing forests, unexpected peninsulas, vast marshlands and a unique agricultural landscape.

In 2013 i had the luck to visit and explore Lake Tana on assignment for the German NGO “NABU” and the Michael Succow Foundation to document its astonishing diversity and unique aspects with my camera. The two organizations have been working hard to put this region “on the map” and having it finally included in the world network of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, “for people and Nature”. I am proud of having given my contribution to ensure Lake Tana long-term protection by creating a broad visual coverage of the area.

For more info on the Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve www.laketana-biosphere.com

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