Gorgora Resort – There is Nothing Like it in All Africa

When PM Abiy declares with supreme pride and without any hesitation that there is no place in Africa that represents the ultimate expression of ecotourism like Gorgora Resort, he speaks the raw and unvarnished truth.

I have visited Gorgora and Gorgora Resort many times and followed the resort’s construction from the very beginning.

Gorgora is a small village/town with an estimated total population of over 5 thousand, set on a peninsula (a piece of land projecting into a body of water) on the north shore of Lake Tana, Mother of Abbay (also known as Nile) River in the Amhara State of Ethiopia. It is barely an hour’s drive south from the historic city of Gondar and a pleasant boat trip on Lake Tana from the port of Bahr Dar.

Gorgora preceded the founding of Gondar and was one of Ethiopia’s earliest capitals during the reigns of Emperor Susenyos I and his son Fasiledes, the founder of Gondar, in the 17thcentury. During one of my visit, I was told Gorgora was named in honor of Gregory the Illuminator, founder and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Gorgora is the ideal ecotourism destination. Old-style tourism is about going to a destination, having fun and going back home. Ecotourism is about visiting natural areas to interact and learn about the culture and traditions of local people and communities, enjoying the natural flora and fauna of the area, helping conserve the environment and empowering and improving the lives of the local people.

Gorgora Resort sits on an elevated rocky promontory (cliff-type) with a breathtaking and spectacular view of Lake Tana and several inhabited islands. It is a resort ready to provide visitors amenities and personal services available at any world-class 5-Star hotel.

But to me, Gorgora, it is more than luxurious vacation spot. It is a place of special spiritual experience. Watching the sun rise over Lake Tana from Gorgora hill is an uplifting experience. Tana changes its color from copper tan to blue to green and everything in between depending on the season and position of the sun. There are unique species of fauna and flora to behold. It is a haven for bird watching and fishing. And the weather, ahh! It is perfect (for me): Averaging around 74F (23C) daytime.

Visiting the magnificent ancient monasteries and churches in the vicinity of Gorgora and being blessed by the monks and priests has been my most memorable experience. By watching and interacting with those monks, I have learned unforgettable lessons in humility. So much can be learned from those who have totally and completely committed their lives to the service of the Creator.

As an ecotourist, Gorgora Resort inspires me to action.

There are many natural and cultural resources that need to be protected, repaired and conserved. There is a problem of soil erosion and environmental degradation from unplanned use of natural resources. I want to help in an organized conservation effort. The people in the local community rely on subsistence agriculture with few other alternatives. I want to be part of an organized effort to help create jobs and educational opportunities for the young people in the Gorgora area. I want to promote ecotourism and recreation on Lake Tana in general.

Every time I visit Gorgora, I whisper to myself the lyrics of a very famous old song called “Sweet Dreams.” The lyrics appeal to me because Gorgora Resort and Lake Tana are dreamland/water for me.

“Sweet dreams are made of this

Who am I to disagree?

I traveled the world and the seven seas

Everybody’s looking for something

(Hold your head up) movin’ on, (keep your head up) movin’ on…”

To me, sweet dreams are made of Gorgora Resort and Lake Tana. I have travelled the world and seven seas and have never seen a place like Gorgora Resort or a lake like Tana. If you are looking for something (spiritual), you will find it in Gorgora!

Truth be told, I have not seen any place that rivals the recent collection of world-class Ethiopian resorts either, including Wanchi- Dendi, Chebera-Churchura, Halala Kela Resort and for that matter Adwa Memorial Museum. Nothing in Africa compares to these magnificent ecotourism and urban tourism destinations.

To me, the Great Star in the Ethiopian crown jewels of ecotourism destinations is Gorgora Resort. It is a sight to behold and a state of being to experience! The serenity is celestial and its natural beauty breathtaking.

Many have contributed to the construction and completion of Gorgora Resort and performed their jobs beyond and above the call of duty. When the story of the resplendent Gorgora Resort is told and future generations bask in its awesome beauty, they will learn that the descendants of those who built the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the obelisks of Axum, Fasil Ghebbi Palace and other artistic and cultural monuments continue that great Ethiopian tradition.

My special thanks to PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Ecotourism-in-Chief and inspirer of the Gogora Resort project.

Special thanks to the contractor and project managers who insured construction of a world-class resort with meticulous care. Special thanks to the engineers and architects who designed and implemented the project and the thousands of workers who worked with energy and determination.

Rah, rah!

Let’s all go to Gorgora

And enjoy the fauna and flora!



Recommended For You