Mindolo or Mindola (used interchangeably) is a dam located about an hour from Ndola and about 20-30min from Kitwe. If you are from the Copperbelt you’ve probably heard of it and maybe have been, but would you want to go camping at Mindolo dam?
The set up The dam is split up into two sides upon entering. To the left will take you to the day side. Here they have braii stands and a few different covered eating areas. There are swings, the pool area, an old rickety lookout and boat rentals. To the right side upon entering will take you to the campsite and the members boat club which is also by the motor cross training area.
Recommended time of year to go
But really any sunny and dry day is a good day to be here.
Recommended amount of time to stay
There is a fair amount of stuff to do with the different boats as well as motorcross and a swimming pool. I’ve stayed one night before and enjoyed that, but this trip we planned for two nights and we stayed a third! We both agreed that we definitely could have stayed another night (or more).
Braii and picnic
Festivals and events
For boating there are many options - going with your own or a variety available for renting. They have 3 pontoons (K500 for half day), large double decker pontoon, row/paddle boats (K40 per 30 min or K20 per 30min for members) as well as crew rowing 2 and 4 seaters (The crew/rowing training and boats are currently closed due to covid but I hope to try it out sometime soon and will update - I haven't rowed since college! But in the meantime, the paddle/row boats were really fun.)
We did not go to the game park but we did see plenty of impala especially in the quiet hours when we were the only ones there! They have Zebra and lots of other smaller animals. They no longer allow personal vehicles but they have a safari vehicle that fits up to 10 people and that costs K350.
I haven't hiked around but they have 4 different paths to choose from ranging from 3-15km!
The dam is more commonly used for day outings but they do have camping! Their camping facilities are currently shared with the member boat club side but they are planning to move the camping site to be more private in the near future. Each camping space has a picnic table, braii stand and most have an electric outlet and a light. The bathrooms with hot showers are right there attached to the bar. The fee is just K40 per tent per night and is not restricted to members.
I've camped here before and come several other times for day trips but I'll just tell you about our experience over the weekend (September 2020).
When we arrived on Friday, we had the place to ourselves! The barman welcomed us in and showed us around and we set up camp within a few minutes. We had a lovely braii dinner and nice evening.
Saturday turned out to be pretty busy! We were the only ones in the late morning when we went out on the water but not by the time we came back. Most of the boat club member side tables were filled and the non member side was fully packed with an event. It was a nice vibe. We ended up joining in with a birthday party on the double decker boat that evening. And this is why Zed is known as the friendliest African country.
Sunday was a little more chilled. We had a nice slow morning and then went out with some friends on their boat. We stopped in the middle and swam around making sure to be quick and rev the engine to scare off any crocodiles and monitor lizards. We had such a fun day on Sunday that we ended up staying another night spontaneously!
Monday morning, we woke up and were literally the only ones there because all employees are off work that day. Woke up about 8am, packed up and left by 9am. Had a slow breakfast in Kitwe and back in Ndola for a half day at work by 11am. This was my last weekend before schools open so it was extra fun to extend it last minute.
Wait, crocodiles and monitor lizards?
The dam connects to the Kafue river where crocodiles hang so sometimes young crocs swim into the dam by accident. They said it's not common, but there have been crocodile sightings. They told us the monitor lizards are more common and very large...so I probably shouldn't recommend swimming there...but there is a pool by the center boathouse when entering the property.
This is about as budget as you can get for such an amazing weekend getaway! We stayed 3 nights which was just K120 ($6) in all! The total weekend getaway all inclusive for 2 people was around k600 ($30).
Check out and like their facebook page to stay updated and hear about the different events they host!