Ballito and summer holidays go together like fish and chips, gin and tonic, or milk and cookies.
This little town in KwaZulu Natal sees almost year-round sunshine and is home to some gorgeous beaches. This makes it a stunning spot for a family vacation, a honeymoon to remember, or a beach getaway after a very busy year. The dolphins can be spotted all year round as they surf the waves and jump out to spy on the human visitors inquisitively. Whales can also sometimes be seen during the latter half of the year.
But, this is more than just a beach destination. It is close to the rolling hills of KwaZulu Natal, the towns that are irresistible for shopping, and the natural vistas that make it particularly memorable. It’s also less than an hour from Durban and its international airport.
With so many things to do and see and beautiful places to stay in Ballito, we’ve shared some of our favourite finds.
A BIT OF A SPOIL
This luxurious home in Salt Rock is idyllically perched right on the beach. Its wooden deck stretches for the length of the lodge and showcases the ocean views to perfection. These views are a feature of each bedroom in the lodge too. The décor is chic and sophisticated and the amenities superior. Laze on loungers around the pool and soak up the sun or views of the dolphins in the waves. This is the ultimate in total rest and relaxation.
The gorgeous apartments here overlook Ballito’s scenic Thompson’s Bay, which is a hotspot for swimming, surfing, and exploring the rock pools (thanks to an ocean temperature of between 20 and 27 degrees all year round). The apartment has four bedrooms, three of which are en-suite. It sleeps a total of eight people, is wheelchair-friendly, and has a massive veranda with breath-taking sea views.
Salt Rock is just minutes from Ballito’s centre and is a gorgeous destination for a getaway. This home-away-from-home has excellent facilities in each of its units; including air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom, and lovely linen. Each suite also has a patio overlooking the pretty garden. The swimming pool and outdoor braai invite guests to make the most out of the hot summers and warm winters.
Right on the Ballito beachfront, in the heart of the little hub, this self-catering penthouse is ideal for up to seven guests. Glass sliding doors and a covered balcony bring the exquisite ocean views right inside the apartment, celebrating the natural beauty of KZN. The coast on its doorstep includes Granny’s Pool, which is a semi-private beach that, while small, is awesome for families. The penthouse is great for outdoor entertaining too, thanks to the sun loungers and large table outside. There is a communal swimming pool in the complex.
Sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and its soft, white sandy shores are the order of the day at Tinley Manor Hil’s B&B. When you’re not splashing around in the waves or cooling down in the lagoon, you can watch whales and dolphins, go bird-watching, or hang around with friends around the outdoor braai. The rock pools have crayfish and loads of mussels for visitors to pick off and sample. A licence for these is available from the guest house.
MAKE YOUR WALLET SMILE
This budget-friendly option is a fantastic 3-star venue on the Dolphin Coast. It has a homely look and feel, and is set within pretty gardens. There are self-catering log cabins and suites that have satellite TV’s, ceiling fans, patios, BBQ facilities, and sea views. It’s less than a kilometre from the main beach where watersports, swimming, and sun-tanning are the best ways to spend a South African day.
These three tastefully-appointed apartments are close to the beach, the shops and many of Ballito’s restaurants. Each apartment sleeps two in a king-size bed and has comfy areas in which to relax and soak up pretty views. There is an irresistible swimming pool for the use of the guests.
A safe and comfy spot awaits visitors to the Dolphin Coast that are after a good deal. Villa Jaime boasts a gorgeous garden with water features and aviaries that are home to exotic birds. There are seven units that each sleep two people and are individually decorated. They have Wi-Fi, DSTV, air-conditioning, and barbecue facilities. There are golf courses, nature reserves and pristine beaches nearby.
Clean, simple and safe accommodation is on offer at the Regal Inn Ballito. This hotel is only 3km from the beach and an easy 20 minutes from the international airport in Durban. The elegant rooms have air-conditioning, satellite TV, a tea and coffee station, and big windows that let in plenty of air and light. It is just a few minutes’ drive away from a number of restaurants.
Make the most of your KwaZulu Natal break by indulging in some deliciousness.
Fine dining and friendly, efficient service are the Fiamma Grill trademarks. The menu includes a range of traditional Italian-inspired dishes with contemporary twists. The wine list is nothing short of impressive, with hundreds of varieties and labels from which to choose.
With its distinctive Portuguese influences, this menu offers an extensive and moreish variety of dishes. The dining area is cool and modern, with light flooding in and giving the entire area a cosmopolitan look and feel.
This hot diner showcases Afro-Portuguese dishes and flavour profiles, all within a really vibrant setting. A tasty selection of options includes fresh seafood, grilled chicken, spicy prawns, tender calamari, and steak trinchado.
Enjoy gorgeous views and hearty meals (including some fantastic seafood platters) at The Galley Beach Bar & Grill. The kids love The Galley too, thanks to the relaxed vibe and the children’s menu.
Whether you’re after a quick coffee or a decadent indulgence, this coffee shop is the perfect stop. There are freshly-baked goods, light lunches, and heartier favourites. There is an indoor dining area as well as a shady spot outside.
Ballito is a sunshine-soaked beach destination that is home to world-class beaches. Here are some more ideas on what to do and see during your time here.
Because the waters here are part of the Indian Ocean, they are warmer. This makes the Dolphin Coast awesome for year-round surfing, stand-up paddling, kite-surfing, canoeing, snorkelling and SCUBA diving.
The Sugar Rush Market has a fab assortment of organic, homemade, local or handmade goodies. Sample delicious flavours and stock up on gifts and keepsakes.
Let the kids burn some energy
Travelling with children means having to find plenty of kid-friendly activities along the way. Visit the Sugar Rush Park, where they can cycle, climb the jungle gyms, or go exploring in the pretty surrounds.
Visit some farm animals
The Flag Animal Farm in Umhlali has been rated the best of its kind; and is home to more than 1 000 animals. You can pet and feed many of them, and come face-to-face with snakes, foxes, iguanas, wolves, alligators and fantastic birds. There are also a train and pony rides.
Less than an hour from Ballito, this trail takes visitors through the history, culture and non-stop vibe of this area. More than an insight into Apartheid, this tour delves into Gandhi’s initiatives, John Dube’s Ohlange Institute for African boys, the Inanda Seminary, and the Shembe Church.
More popular attractions
Ballito has so much to offer. If you’re spending some time there, here are other must-sees:
- The Ballito Boardwalk
- The Umhlali Country Club
- Ballito Cable Ski Park
- The King Shaka Heritage Route
- Ndlondlo Reptile Park
- The Great Railroad Brewing Company
- Canopy tours
Find all of these Ballito Accommodation gems and more on www.SA-Venues.com. Instant bookings make planning and confirming your stay there that much easier.