Lake Ziway

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles71 reviews
Excellent
27
Very good
30
Average
11
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Chrisbeeoxford
Oxford, UK571 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Solo
The town of Ziway is not the attraction. It's the usual dry season dusty, untidy, and active mess one expects with a concentration on commercial flower growing in kilometre long green houses. The attractions are birds on the shore and a boat ride on the lake to see hippos, birds again, and the view.
The birds onshore on the way to the boat jetty come in crowds through which one wades. Great White Pelican stand about with beaks sagging. Marabou strut around budging grudgingly as one walks amongst them or perch heavily in the willows. Sacred Ibis and Hamerkop pass among them on the ground. Malachite Kingfisher dive into the pools, all supported by occasional sightings of other bird species.
Around 1600 a cart arrived with fish waste from the market and a free for all feeding frenzy for Marabou and Pelican. It is like a football crowd out of control.
Moving on to the boat ride is a matter of bouncing down the track to the jetty. It is the washing and drying centre for many locals. The lake water is a milk chocolate brown. Even the youths are washing their clothes. Naked children swim. Climbing aboard the boat is the best description; first over a barrier and then from the steps into the high-sided boat. Ten minutes of speeding brought us into the hippo sighting area marked by a couple of other boats going round in circles. Some sightings I was told can be very close but today the hippo surfaced 100-150 metres away, just within my camera range. My trip included a tour along the side of the island that is the nesting site for Darter and Cormorant. Scores perch in the thin bent trees/bushes that hang over the water and in which are their nests. The smell of guano wafts gently to the nostril. On the way back Gull-billed Tern, Ethiopian Swallow, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull pass by. Landing is the reverse process of climbing aboard but the drying laundry added vivid colours to the approach to the jetty.
Written December 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tanja S
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia1,366 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
On 25 October 2013 my husband and I went boating, a half day trip, on Lake Zway. It was a happy reunion, this time organized by the Ethiopia Community Tourism. We had very good guides (on boat and on the island) as well as swimming vests - security first! We most enjoyed!

What did we do? We boated to Tullo Gudo (1.5 hours one way) which is the biggest of the 5 islands dotting Lake Zway, enjoying the beauty of the Lake. It was a real pleasure, going with the flow! According to tradition, the island's Monastery (now a ruin) once housed the Ark of the Covenant. Indeed, the museum attached to the (new) church has some very old manuscripts on display. A real treasure trove! A new museum is under construction (private donation) to properly show case the manuscripts. A pleasant walk (15 min) links the island's jetty to the church, passing one of the 3 villages of Tullu Gudo. We also saw several Papyrus boats! A real treat! On the way back we passed Bird Island. Nice! We also saw zillions (or so it seemed) of Pelicans! In short, it was a pleasant trip steeped in beauty and history! Warmly recommended!

Eager beavers can hike to the ruins of the old monastery. This Tour is longer and hence more expensive. Makes sense! A fish lunch can be prepared on the Island, to be ordered before hand. A shorter, cheaper trip allows one to go hippo watching. This trip also passes by Bird Island, stopping at Debre Sina Island for a church visit.
Written October 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

whytea3
Dublin, Ireland61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016
Lake Ziway offers a huge array of fun things to do. When we went we could see hippos and babies swimming. We saw a huge array of nesting birds and a holy monastery on the smaller of the islands. We ghad a great day out and took a boat from one of the local hotels. We even picked belles(Cactus fruit) and ate it on the island.
Written May 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wavedavey
Waterford, Ireland115 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Family
Good to do and we saw hippos and some storks while is cool on the covered boats and pleasant even mid-day.
Written April 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gadissa M
Ziway, Ethiopia4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Solo
Very nice place, to stay and Enjoy with your Family specially the service is very nice.
The staffs are help full, You can visit the interesting islands and hippos ,
Written February 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CestLeVie
Penrith, Australia296 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Friends
Lake Ziway is the home of the monastery which lays claim to being one of the hiding places of the Arc of the Covenant (at one time). It was the first monastery that I had been into in Ethiopia and it was a nice introduction to the art work which lines most churches and monasteries in the country. As per usual women entered through one door, while men entered through another and we had to remove our shoes.
The monastery we visited was a rebuild of a more famous monastery on the island, which is now destroyed. The walk to the newest monastery is about 30 mins up stairs which at times were quite steep.
As part of the monastery tour we were able to visit the 'museum' which was nothing more than a shed where many ancient biblical tablets and recordings are now shown to you through a window with bars. It was quite disturbing seeing these artefacts not being taken care of as they should be.
There are pit/drop toilets available to use for tourists, but they were not of the greatest condition.

The boat trip out was about 1 hour, going via an island with much bird life which we could view from the boat.
We left from a jetty of sorts but had to stretch to get into the boat to save getting our feet wet.
We left in the morning and came back in the afternoon but at no times was the boat too rocky, although I was lead to believe that at times the lake can get quite rough.
Overall it would be a great start/introduction into the biblical history of Ethiopia and I was grateful to start at the 'beginning'.
Written August 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Crazy Parrotlady
60 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Loads of waterbirds at the shores of this lake : flamingos, pelicans, marabous, herons, egrets, lapwings,... plenty to see out there !
Written August 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walk in Ethiopia Tour and Travel
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia280 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
We just had a great time a boat trip is amazing bird life , hippos it’s just a butifull fresh water lake in the great Rift Valley.
Written July 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen K
Manchester, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
Go here to see birds and hippos close up and personal. Use the guys at the guide service they are excellent name check Abraham from Meki.
Written April 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PeteLek
Ayutthaya, Thailand197 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Solo
From Addis Ababa airport, there are no bus to Ziway lake. The best way is to catch a taxi to the southern terminal in kality town, and board a mini-van from there. Be prepared for being overcharged. It's a norm here.

Airport taxi will cost you 300-400 birr, (it's a long trip for more than half an hour) and let him bring you on foot to the car. Taxi driver may ask for more if road conditions turn bad.

There will be touts and mafia hanging around to illegally charge entry fee (into his own pocket).
Bus fare costs around 100 birr for two-hour travel, but you may have to pay more for your baggage (loaded on the roof).
Check to make sure your baggage being loaded. (Not be taken away)

Space inside the mini-van is quite cramped. Tall person will have problem sitting inside since leg room is minimal.
Written January 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 38
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Lake Ziway - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars