It’s no secret that Ballito is one of the KZN North Coast’s most popular holiday towns. People love the beaches, the subtropical climate, the outdoor lifestyle and now, the close proximity to the airport. If you’re in town for the weekend and looking for things to do, here are a few ideas.
The Litchi Orchard Market
It’s worth organising your weekend to coincide with the The Litchi Orchard Market. It’s that much of a gem. The focus is on high quality, locally produced products, ranging from irresistible edibles to fresh flowers to art, clothing and jewellery. The market has a wonderfully warm atmosphere and the stallholders are always up for a friendly chat. Try the creamy fudge at Homemade, the mouth-watering fresh bread from the boulangerie table and the delicious Beanstruk coffee.
Where: The Litchi Orchard, Seaforth Avenue, Salt Rock
When: 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, 9am-1pm
The Waterberry Coffee Shoppe
The Waterberry is a Ballito institution and a fantastic place to take kids. The café is set in a private forest with indoor and outdoor seating. If you sit outdoors you can keep an eye on the kids (there’s a playground) while you indulge in some fabulous coffee and cake. There’s a short trail through the forest where you can spot birds and if you’re lucky, a duiker or two.
Where: Corner of Dolphin Crescent and Leonora Drive, Ballito
Milk Café, located in the old Ballito CBD, is the place for gourmet milkshakes and waffles. Here you can try a cookies-and-caramel milkshake or a Peppermint Aero waffle with a sea view. Breakfasts and lunches are also available.
Where: Shop 18, Compensation Beach Road, Ballito
The Ballito promenade
Ballito is known for its 4km promenade that runs from Salmon Bay to Willard Beach (the main swimming beach). Walking here is a great way to view the Ballito coastline and access the town’s main attraction: the beaches. The promenade is a favourite with walkers, runners and dogs (make sure you bring the necessary bits and pieces to clean up any canine “landmines”). On a clear day you’ll have a magnificent view to Umhlanga and beyond.
Where: Ballito beachfront
Ballito has two official, lifeguarded swimming beaches; Willard Beach and Clarke Bay. Parking is limited, so if you’re staying on the beachfront walking may be the more convenient option. There’s a tidal pool nearby Clarke Bay and other popular beaches are accessible via the promenade. Ballito’s beaches are sandy with rocky outcrops and warm waters (although you may prefer a wetsuit in the winter months)!
Shopping for Africa
Ballito has become something of a shopping destination. There are three major shopping centres (The Lifestyle Centre, Ballito Junction and Ballito Bay Mall) just across the road from one another. You’ll find almost all of the major supermarkets, clothing chains, interiors shops, department stores, restaurants etc. that you’d find in a big city mall, here.