Hotels in and around the Ballito suburb
Originally dubbed the Caribbean of South Africa’s North Coast, Ballito remains popular for its coastal holiday appeal, coupled with its friendly residents and rich supply of tourist attractions. It is only 40 km north of the bustling metropolis of Durban, making it accessible, while it benefits from the isolation from hectic city life. This part of KwaZulu Natal is known as the Dolphin Coast for its abundance of these magnificent creatures. Schools of dolphins frequently dive out of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean as visitors and locals alike watch them from the pristine sands of the South African coastline.
Ballito was initially established as a private township in 1954 and was part of Basil Townsend’s sugar cane farm. Plots were sold for less than ZAR800, and investors hailed from all over the world. Since then, it has grown into a well-established community. It finally reached borough status in 1986.
Today, Ballito is still home to many sugar cane farms. However, its attraction lies mainly in its gorgeous beaches, temperate climate and abundance of things to see and do. International visitors will likely land at OR Tambo in Johannesburg. From this commercial capital, it is just over 500km, or 322 miles, to Durban. Flights are available daily, as are shuttles. The King Shaka International Airport is due for completion in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. This will be situated only 30km north of Durban, which places it very close to Ballito. This will prove to benefit not only the football fans planning to attend the World Cup™, but also those desiring a leisurely coastal holiday at other destinations, like Ballito. The roads are in a safe condition and signage is generally good. However, visitors are cautioned not to pick up hitchhikers or to stop for those needing assistance on the side of the road.
While Ballito is recognised for its relaxed vacation ambience, it does not compromise on its promise to keep even the most discerning of visitors occupied. The ample beaches boast clear blue water, warm white sand, plenty of sunshine and the ideal venues for a host of water sports (e.g. Willard Beach, Clarke Bay, Salmon Bay and Thompson’s Bay). Many offer dolphin- and whale-watching excursions, as well as SCUBA diving opportunities. The water from the Indian Ocean is warm, and shark nets ensure that these beaches are safe for swimming. Ballito is also recognised for golf courses such as Prince’s Grant and Umhlali Country Club. The Harold Johnson Nature Reserve and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Park are home to some of the region’s beautiful array of wildlife and provide visitors that share an appreciation for the outdoors with a fantastic opportunity to see the local fauna and flora. For those visitors that are interested in the South African culture and history, the King Shaka Heritage Route and the Albert John Luthuli Battlefields and Forts promise a most rewarding day trip for the entire family. Shops, restaurants, coffee shops, bars and pubs mean that there is something for everyone after a day spent relaxing on the shore, stocking up at the huge shopping centres or taking in the natural sights and sounds of southern Africa. Alternatively, indulge in a luxurious weekend away at Zimbali Lodge (Camelot Spa), or the Impilo Beauty Spa at Hotel Izulu. These are fantastic options for honeymooners too.
Ballito enjoys balmy summers and temperate winters. Summer officially extends from December to February, but hot days are generally enjoyed for most of the year. Summer highs reach 30 degrees Celsius or more, and cool down to about 20 degrees in the evenings, with afternoon thundershowers. Winter lows do not normally drop lower than 10 degrees Celsius, and days are still generally warm enough for a refreshing swim. The winter months are from June to August. Summer sees an influx of visitors from around the world. However, winter is a beautiful time of year and many popular tourist attractions and accommodation suppliers lower their prices during this time to encourage visitors. Take advantage of these special offers by scheduling a trip to Ballito in the cooler months.