Ballito Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

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"Beachside Paradise and Family Fun"

Ballito Tourism

Located in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, Ballito is a charming coastal set along the Dolphin Coast. It's a luxury travel destination with world-class beaches, and upscale resorts and restaurants. This small town is located along the Dolphin Coast and is perfect for relaxation, swimming, and surfing. One of the unique attractions of Ballito is the presence of around 200 Bottlenose Dolphins that can be seen in its waters throughout the year, along with occasional whale sightings.

It's known for its stunning beaches, making it a popular destination for luxury travel. The most famous beach in Ballito is Willard Beach, and there are other beautiful beaches like Thompson's Bay and Granny's Pool Beach. With its world-class beaches, upscale resorts, and delightful dining options, Ballito offers a wonderful coastal experience. Beyond the beaches, visitors can enjoy exciting activities such as zip-lining and skydiving.

Must Know Before You Travel to Ballito

  • Local Transports: Since public transport is scarce, having a car is necessary for getting around. Fortunately, many hotels are situated near the beach, making walking a convenient option.
  • Pleasant Climate: The weather remains delightful throughout the year, with an average temperature of 27°C (80°F).
  • Participate in Surfing Contest: The annual Gunston 500 surfing contest, now known as Ballito, takes place in July.
  • Beach Hike: Consider taking a guided beach hike and exploring the entire coast in a single morning. It can be organised by the hotel or tour operators.
  • Snorkelling: Though it is possible to go snorkelling by oneself, it is recommended to hire a tour guide who knows the best snorkelling spots. The snorkelling gear can be rented through the guide.
  • Advance Booking: Pre-booking is recommended for water sports, tours, upscale dining, and accommodations, especially during peak seasons and events in Ballito.
  • Accommodation Scams: Be cautious of accommodation scams where people list permanent homes as rentals, taking money from tourists in advance, but providing no actual place to stay upon arrival.
  • Drinking Water: As there is no concrete proof that tap water is potable in Ballito, it is recommended to drink only bottled water.
  • Explore Multiple Destinations: Durban, Umhlanga, and Salt Rock are ideal nearby destinations to combine with a trip to Ballito.

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Shopping in Ballito

Ballito offers a range of shopping experiences, from boutiques to craft markets and malls. The Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito Junction Mall, and Ballito Bay Mall are prominent shopping destinations. Visitors can find coastal-inspired clothing, accessories, and souvenirs in these areas. The Litchi Orchard Market and Shaka's Rock Village Market provide opportunities to explore handcrafted items, artisanal foods, and local crafts.

Nightlife in Ballito

Ballito offers a vibrant nightlife with a mix of beachside bars, music-filled establishments, and a friendly atmosphere catering to various preferences. The Galley Beach Bar & Grill are popular venues known for their lively atmosphere, music, and events. Zara's Café at Salt Rock Beach and The Hops Bar provide cocktails and ocean views, while The Village Centre features bars and restaurants for relaxation. Other options include Crush Nightclub, Shaker’s Cocktail Bar, Hot Shots Nightclub, and Drop Zone Beach Bar, known for its energetic ambience and themed parties.

History of Ballito

Originally inhabited by Zulu communities, the area saw European influence with the arrival of British settlers in the 19th century. The town's development gained momentum when it was declared a township in 1954, leading to increased urbanization and infrastructure expansion.
Over time, Ballito evolved from a quiet coastal village into a thriving residential and tourist destination, thanks to its picturesque beaches and natural beauty. The construction of modern amenities, upscale resorts, and residential complexes further propelled its growth. Today, Ballito stands as a bustling town that attracts both residents and visitors, offering a blend of historical roots and contemporary appeal.

Festivals in Ballito

  • Ballito Pro Surfing Festival (July): This renowned event gathers surf enthusiasts and professionals from around the world for exhilarating surf competitions.
  • Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival (September): A harmonious blend of local seafood delicacies and live jazz music sets the stage for this festival.
  • Ballito Rage Festival (December): Geared towards the younger crowd, the Ballito Rage Festival spans a week of music, entertainment, and revelry.
  • Ballito New Year's Eve Street Party (December): Visitors can celebrate New Year's Eve at the Ballito Street Party with live performances, food stalls, and a lively countdown to the new year.
  • Ballito Street Food Festival (February): This festival is a culinary extravaganza that showcases an array of street food offerings from various cultures.
  • Ballito UIP Beach Festival (March): Aimed at families and beach lovers, the Ballito UIP Beach Festival is a family-friendly affair filled with beach-themed activities, live entertainment, and a relaxed coastal ambience.

Best Time to Visit Ballito

How to Reach Ballito

How to Reach Overview

Ballito is easily reached from nearby cities by air, road, and bus. The closest major airport is King Shaka International Airport in Durban, just 30 km (18 miles) away, while road travel via the N2 highway takes around 45-50 minutes from Durban and approximately 7 hours from Johannesburg. Bus services also operate between Durban and Ballito, taking around the same time by road.

How to reach Ballito by flight

The nearest major airport to Ballito is King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, which is about 30 kilometres away and takes around 30 minutes to reach by road. The airport has flights to and from Durban, connecting it to big cities in South Africa and other countries. For example, a round trip from Johannesburg costs about $120 per person and takes around one hour.

Domestic airlines like Airlink, CemAir, and FlySafair operate on this route. For international flights, you can check the schedule on Skyscanner.

How to reach Ballito by road

Ballito is conveniently accessible by road via the N2 highway. It's approximately 50 kilometres (25-31 miles) away from Durban, and the drive takes around 45 - 50 minutes. Whereas from Johannesburg, Ballito can be reached via the N3 highway. It is around 615 kilometres away and takes 7 hours to reach.

How to reach Ballito by bus

Various bus transportation providers, such as  Greyhound, Translux, and Intercape, operate between Durban and Ballito, offering intercity travel options.

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