In a time when practically every inch of the earth has been mapped by contemporary technology, the Blue Nile in Africa continues to hold its own behind a veil of torturous, almost inaccessible geography. While the White Nile has long been chronicled in popular and scientific discourses, the Blue Nile is still difficult to explore and even less to romanticize about.
Known locally as the Abay Wenz, the Blue Nile seems deceptively calm at its origin as it leavening Lake Tana But only about 40 kilometers, later, it thunders over a volcanic shelf at Tis Isaat Falls. From then on the Blue Nile carves a semi-circular gorge in the Ethiopian plateau, a deep trench that at first heads south and curves west and eventually turns northward as the river spills out onto the hot plains of Sudan.
Among the very few chroniclers of the river is Alan Moorhead whose The Blue Nile is considered a definitive history of the river. In it he writes how the river rages down the gorge, too fast for any boat to survive on its surface. However after leaving the gorge, the Blue Nile meanders across the Sudanese plains until it meets the While Nile at Khartoum. These two rivers with their distinct colors flow side by side for many kilometers, fusing in slow spiraling swirls, a sight which has been described by Arab poets as the longest kiss in history.