If you are looking for things to do in Ballito, look no further. Welcome to KwaZulu Natal’s best-kept secret of the North Coast. A subtropical paradise filled with an immense diversity of local fauna and flora, a place where young and young at heart come to play, welcome to Ballito!
Ballito, situated on the North coast of Durban KZN, is a magnificent coastal town known for the Bottlenose Dolphins that frequent its waters. It extends from Zimbali in the south to the northern Tugela River. With no further introduction, this coastal town is one of the best and (most well-liked) holiday/resort towns in and around the North coast.
There is no lack of activities for locals and tourists to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous holiday, from sand to sea, mountains and beyond, get stuck into nature or enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, relaxing walks along the beach, enjoy local cuisine, or recuperate doing as little as possible, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your time spent in Ballito, this flexibility makes it such a well-loved holiday spot.
Our List of Things To Do In Ballito
Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve
Mangrove trees are recognised by their dense tangle of prop roots that make the trees appear to be standing on stilts above the water. Mangrove forests stabilise the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. The intricate root system of mangroves also makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators. For these reasons, it is essential to protect the Mangroves along the coasts of South Africa.
Located on the northern side of the Umgeni River Mouth, you’ll find the largest forest of indigenous black, red, and white mangroves along the KZN Coastline. This hidden gem in the heart of the busy KZN capital city is open to the public every 3rd Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm.
Learn about the Mangroves and their importance to our ecosystems, or take a romantic or relaxing nature walk on the elevated boardwalk that leads through the dense mangrove forest. Grab a bite to eat or drink at Forest Café, enjoy guided bird walks and tours or shop for your next plant!
Fancy yourself a reptile fan? You’ll love Crocodile Creek, overlooking the Utongati River flood plain; Crocodile Creek is home to over 10 000 crocodiles. At the same time, you get to bask in the splendour of the Nile, West African Dwarf, slender-snouted crocodiles and American alligators through guided tours and demonstrations. You will also get the opportunity to meet other animals and reptiles, including snakes, tortoises, rabbits, wild monkeys, and banded mongoose. End the day with a trip to the Learning & Party area or grab lunch at the restaurant.
Sugar Rush Park
For a day of fun and family quality time, sugar rush park is the place to be. There are so many things to do that the kids are bound to run out of energy. Each activity at Sugar rush park deserves its titles, and so here they are:
The Jump Park
Who doesn’t love jumping on trampolines? At jump park, spring up and down, doing tricks while getting a good workout on the indoor trampolines that cover 700 square metres! From wall to wall. The perfect weekend spot for families and adrenaline junkies. All trampolines have been designed to be safe for both children and adults. When you’ve had the time of your life, after getting in a good workout, relax and enjoy free Wi-Fi while munching down on yummy food and drinks as you observe your kids from the viewing area. Jump Park is not something you’ll want to miss out on when you visit Ballito.
Nothing better than a little challenge now and again. Get up and test your skills on the tree trails, balancing on high ropes through the treetops, and enjoy the testing and exhausting obstacle course specifically designed to test your mental and physical fitness.
The Sugar Rush Express & Tractor Rides
If your little one is tired of walking, but there are still so many activities they want to take part in, give their little legs (and yours) a break when you take a tour of Sugar Rush Park on the Express and Tractor rides. A truly magical experience for the kids who will enjoy riding on a train or a tractor. They will also get to see many sites.
Love a little scenery and serenity, enjoying the greenery in and around Ballito, then head over to the Holla Trails at Sugar Rush Park, the perfect place to get a good walk or run in while on holiday. Or take your bike along and cycle the various trails for a lovely workout and semi-challenging ride.
Unicorn Slime & Craftopia
There’s no denying that since 2019 the idea of slime has just appealed to kids all over the globe, and although it took a little back seat, it’s still super popular, especially when you get the chance to make your own. You can head to the Unicorn Slime and Craftopia workshop at Sugar Rush Park. Watch their little faces light up with joy as they little ones get their hands stuck into slime and glitter and various colours as their creative imaginations run wild. Unicorn Slime and Craftopia host the best parties for the little ones if you need a perfect party spot.
If you’ve never wanted to experience paintball but have the fun of being outside playfully blasting your friends in a little Call of Duty real-life simulation, then you need to get on board with Laser rush; it’s like laser tag; get on board with laser tag, a high energy great fun, activity, that everyone can enjoy. It’s an outdoor activity that gets your adrenaline flowing, and the bonus is that you walk away from the action primarily unscathed, except for your pride (if you lose to a bunch of kids).
Ndlondlo Reptile Park
Sugar Rush Putt-Putt
Did you know Sugar Rush Park is home to the Ndlondlo Reptile Park? It sounds dangerous, but it’s a fun place to visit with your kids; give them a hands-on experience interacting with reptiles (Guided by professionals.) Go on educational tours with the family and teach the young ones about conservation and the natural world all around them.
Get yourself some time on the green with an 18-hole putt-putt course. So it’s not golf, but what better way to train your future golfing buddies young? A perfect activity for the entire family! Challenge the kids by teaming up with your partner or enjoy the victory of beating the high scores.
Fitness is not something you have to miss out on when you visit Ballito; why not give the gym a break and join an awesome outdoor group for whole-body functional training? Get fit or keep your fitness level, increase your strength or get up and going with the intention of building up your fitness. Suitable for both beginners and advanced gamers, the interaction alone is a reason to go. It’s a fun and motivating activity you don’t want to miss.
Litchi Orchard Market
Who doesn’t love a day out in the countryside, enjoying a fruit market, mainly when Litchi Orchard Market is located on an established litchi farm? A favourite amongst the locals, spend quality time with family and friends, celebrating delicious food, décor and design. Enjoy a range of food stalls, lifestyle shops, restaurants, pottery, art studios, and vegetable and fruit market. Let the kids play in the renovated and upgraded Muddy Boots Garden Centre. There are even seasonal night markets to enjoy; keep an eye on these websites. The perfect evening to snuggle up with your loved one and relax under the night skies listening to music and munching on delicious local cuisine.
Flag Animal Farm
Home to rescue animals that are given a haven and sanctuary to live. Bring the family around for a full day of activities. Have a top-notch real farm experience, and walk freely and safely among the animals; kids will have a great time getting up and personal with the gentle farm animals as they learn amongst them; there is also a pirate ship, indoor play centre, reptile room, tractor and train rides, and an obstacle course. While the kids run around with the farm animals, parents sip on some well-deserved coffee and food.
Fly Microlight Flight Experience
Experience the thrill of flying over the dolphin coast shores but hate the idea of learning to fly a helicopter, then give microlight flight a chance. Book the safe experience of a lifetime with fly Microlights. Enjoy feeling the wind on your face as you take in the beauty of the landscape, horizon, and wildlife. An activity that the entire family can enjoy.
Step into heaven for a moment and find equanimity, harmony, and relaxation. Simbiosis is on of those hidden gems in ballito. Set against the rolling hills of the famous Durban sugarcane fields and sparkling oceans. Take the journey to renewal with a team of dedicated specialists devoted to your restoration and relaxation process. If you want to grab a game of golf or brunch before being pampered, head to the Simbithi Country Club first.
Ballito Junction Regional Mall and Ballito Lifestyle Centre
Retail therapy is top on the list of this to do in Ballito. Spend the day at the Ballito Junction Regional Mall to make the most of this and max out your partner’s credit card. With more than 200 stores, restaurants, and various entertainment options, head to the Ballito Lifestyle Centre for an array of high-end boutiques, surfing shops, and restaurants. There is no shortage of great malls in Ballito and you can find more of them here.
Simbithi Country Club & Golf Course
Head out onto the greens at the Simbithi golf course. An excellent 18-hole golf course. The fairway is pristine, and the layout is complex. The Simbithi Country Club is a perfect place for the whole family to visit, and the Fig Tree Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Ballito.
Club venture is an adventure playground for the entire family to enjoy. First, you need to head to the 1.5-kilometre zipline tour, where you’ll get to Parazip, which is unique to Ballito and South Africa; if Parazip has caught your curious eye, then you need to experience it! Once you’re done taking to the skies, head down to the scuba diving training centre, which has a massive scuba training pool and learn the fantastic techniques you need to get down deep with the serenity of the ocean.
This beautiful unspoiled forest is a unique woodland area bounded by the Ohlanga River and the sea. Home to many animals and birds and containing many different tree species, and is a must for nature and bird lovers. The Hawaan forest trails are not open to the public to continue preserving the area. Still, one can join a guided path through the unique ecosystem inhabited by a bush pig, genet, duiker and sometimes, pythons.
Umgeni River Bird Park
It’s said that the sound of a bird song soothes the soul. Why not take time amongst these magnificent creatures on your day off? The Umgeni River Bird Park is home to more than 200 bird species and is one of the beautiful undiscovered gems on the dolphin coast. Have fun touring the educational centre or take one of the guided exhibitions, learn about how we can play a part in the preservation of the natural world around us, or stroll around and enjoy the sweet sounds of nature’s songbirds.
Albert Luthuli Museum
Walk in the history of one of the most profound leaders, freedom fighters and peace advocates in Southern Africa when you visit the Albert Luthuli Museum. Walk through the original 1927 home of Chief Albert Luthuli, which is today declared a national monument.
Engage the history and achievements of the first man in Africa to have received the Nobel prize for peace. A leader when the country needed him the most, Mr Luthuli, was a commitment to non-violence, non-racialism, democracy and human rights and left an incredible legacy. Walk around the Modern Interpretive Centre and check out the historical exhibits that portray the history and heritage of Chief Luthuli, participate in workshops and tours—walking through the country’s history, paying homage to a true leader.
KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board
Get up close and personal with sharks at the KZN Sharks board exhibits. Watch a dynamic audio-visual presentation that lets you see the tight close-ups of shark behaviour: Book an early morning Boat Tour up and down the magnificent Golden Mile of Durban.
Beanstalk Boutique Coffee Roastery
Get yourself a personalised coffee from one of the best baristas in Ballito. The Beanstalk Coffee Roasters, located within the Litchi Orchard Market, sell some of the most delicious coffees for miles, are dedicated and passionate about making coffee and provide excellent barista courses you can take part in. The company is dedicated to providing a personalised coffee bean roasting service and supplies freshly roasted coffee beans to avid coffee lovers. The variety and Beanstalk Boutique Coffee Roastery come from Guatemala, Honduras, Malaysia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. This is one coffee boutique where you’ll find excellent service, freshly roasted coffee and relaxation.
Catfish Beach is a secluded beach in Shakas Rock, located right next to Ballito. A good destination for families and individuals who prefer to escape the crowds of the busy Ballito beach. Launch yourself from a boat launch site or spend the day with kids paddling in the rock pools. Surfers can catch some great waves away from crowds. A perfect place for families with tidal pools, calming views, and warm water makes catfish beach one of the best.
Salt Rock Beach
Salt Rock beach is one of the best beaches to visit in Ballito and the dolphin coast. Not only known for its privacy but also for the large tidal pool called Granny’s Pool for both parents and kids. The other great thing about Salt Rock is that the reef runs parallel to Salt Rock beach, where you can enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving with the Tidal Tao group. The ocean is ripe with fish and so many popular fishing spots for the fishing enthusiast. A warm and inviting beach is perfect for families with young kids and people who love a little sea adventure.
This beach is one of the few beaches offering good fishing because of the incredible reef formations home to crayfish, oysters, and mussels—a 20-minute drive from Ballito. Sheffield beach is small, intimate, and known for its serene coves and rock pools. It’s a famous beach. It’s also home to scuba divers and spear-fishing enthusiasts. Enjoy the beautiful view of Durban’s coastline and the occasional school of dolphin sightings.
Kitesurfing in Ballito
Kitesurfing is one of the best activities you need to do when visiting Ballito. As one of South Africa’s best surfing places on the North Coastline. There are many places where beginners can learn the incredible art that is kitesurfing. Head to the International Kiteboarding Organisation, which will guide and teach you how to kitesurf with great instructors to help with the necessary skills.
Burnedale Farm and Nursery
Get in line at Burnedal Farm Coffee Shop, a brilliant coffee shop that offers excellent coffee and a petting farm, café, and deli. You can find unique, gorgeous garments in this clothing store, take a pottery class or two, and visit the painting studio. This is where you can relax and enjoy the Durban coffee culture with a taste of what Ballito and the dolphin coast have to offer.
Harold Johnson Nature Reserve
Situated on the south bank of the Tugela river, it boasts incredible and enthralling flora and fauna. You can expect fantastic wildlife on the reserve, such as zebra, bushbuck, impala, blue, red and grey duiker, vervet monkey, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, banded mongoose, porcupine and bushpig, as well as birds, both endangered and otherwise. Flora and fauna in full bloom also attract various gorgeous and unique butterflies, up to one hundred and fourteen species.
Rainfarm Game & Lodge
If you want to get up close and personal with nature, then the Rain farm Game and Lodge is a place you need to make your temporary home.
Experience the beauty of South Africa at this luxurious game lodge stay on one of ten self-catering cabins or one of the six luxury tree-top tents. Enjoy a lovely breakfast, lunch and supper overlooking wildlife such as the giraffes, impalas, buffalos and many more animals that get to roam free against the beautiful African skies.
There are also a variety of activities at Rainfarm Game and Lodge, including rock climbing, paintball, and archery. Choose the type of game drive you want to go on, whether you enjoy one of the hourly daytime drives with our experienced game ranger or prefer to take in a spectacular sunrise or sunset game drive or find some time to take them all!
Ballito Brewing Company
Fancy yourself a connoisseur of craft beer or gin and tonic, then don’t leave Ballito without a chance to taste the best craft beer in Ballito! Join Gary, the brewer and plant manager, on one of the brewery tours to learn about the craft beer brewing process.
You’ll also get to taste the craft beers; Dingaans Premium Lager, Shakas Impi Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, a classic Pilsner with a twist, German Weiss beer, Irish Red Ale, Ballito Belgian Ale, Belgian Witbier and the Ballito Olde English Ale. You might even get to the brewery when they’ve completed formulating the popular Indian Pale Ale.
Once the tour is done, you’ll head home with your 3-beer package to take home. The Ballito Brewing Company also has craft Gin & tonic in various flavours.