The most popular outing on Lake Ziway is the half-day Short Boat Tour (one to four people Birr750, plus Birr200 for the mandatory guide), which visits the historic monastery on Galila island, takes a close look at Bird Island's residents, finds the hippo pods and stops to climb up to a viewpoint. Bookings for boat trips are made at this office near Haile Resort.

Another half-day trip (Birr2750, plus Birr200 for the mandatory guide) goes to Tullu Gudo, the largest island, to visit the Zay village and the legendary Maryam Tsion monastery. According to tradition it housed the Ark of the Covenant for 70 years when priests, fleeing the destruction of the city of Aksum at the hands of Queen Gudit in the 9th century, brought it here. A full-day Tullu Gudo trip (Birr3700) provides enough additional time to climb up to the ruins of the original monastery. Fresh tilapia is served at a small community-run restaurant on Tullu Gudo.