EGU2020-841, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Inventory and Assessment of Geosites for Geotourism Development in the southeastern Lake Tana region, northwest Ethiopia

Getaneh Addis Tessema1,2, Jan van der Borg1, Amare Sewnet3, Anton van Rompaey1, Enyew Adgo4, Jan Nyssen5, Kerebih Asrese6, Steven Van Passel7, and Jean Poesen1
Getaneh Addis Tessema et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • 2Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • 3Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • 4Department of Natural Resource Management, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • 5Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  • 6Department of Social Work, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • 7Department of Engineering Management, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium


Geotourism is a niche type of sustainable tourism which focuses on geological and geomorphological features of an area, and associated culture and biodiversity. Geosites are important resources for geotourism development. The southeastern Lake Tana region in Ethiopia possesses several geosites that are of interest to both the scientific community and tourists having a broad interest. The area is also part of an important economic corridor and tourist route in the country. Currently, only the Blue Nile Falls, Lake Tana and its island monasteries are being visited. The objective of this study is, therefore, to inventory geosites in the southeastern Lake Tana region and to assess their potential for geotourism development. To this end, a geosite inventory and assessment methodology was developed. The criteria, indicators and sub-indicators used for assessment were prepared based on a review of publications. The indicators used for assessing the potential of geosites are scientific, educational, scenic, recreational, protection, functional and ecological values. A first list of 114 potential geosites have been inventoried based on stakeholder interviews and a review of relevant documents in the study area. Further screening and clustering resulted in a final list of 61 geosites. Among the major newly proposed geosites are viewpoints; waterfalls; hot springs; a large flood plain; caves and cave churches; rock-hewn churches;  a shield volcano; lava tubes; and volcanic plugs, cones and columns. Quantitative assessment of the potential of these geosites revealed that clustered  geosites received relatively higher scientific, scenic and recreational value scores. For sustainable development of geotourism in the Lake Tana area, it is important to improve access to geosites, and establish visitor centers and accommodation facilities at selected sites.

Keywords Geoheritage . Sustainable development . Volcanic features . Lake . Waterfalls . Flood plain . Geotouristic valorization.

How to cite: Tessema, G. A., van der Borg, J., Sewnet, A., van Rompaey, A., Adgo, E., Nyssen, J., Asrese, K., Van Passel, S., and Poesen, J.: Inventory and Assessment of Geosites for Geotourism Development in the southeastern Lake Tana region, northwest Ethiopia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-841,, 2019


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