Focus on Ballito, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Ballito, the heart of the Dolphin Coast, lies nestled between rippling fields of Natal's famous "green gold" and is flanked to the east by golden beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
The area known as the Dolphin Coast borrows its name from the Bottlenose dolphins that frequent the Indian Ocean coastline.
One of the best sights is to observe these dolphins leaping and surfing in the wild. The dolphins favour this stretch of coastline because of its relatively clear and shallow water allowing the dolphins to swim close to the shore in order to feed.
Surveys of these waters suggest that they are frequented by a school of about 200 dolphins which breaks up into smaller groups. They are reported to be friendly creatures and will follow boats and surfers, playing and swimming alongside the humans, and even turning over on their backs to get a better look at them.
Ballito is "The Pearl" of the Dolphin Coast. The town's origins date back to 1953 when a group of entrepreneurs began investigating land to develop a township in the Compensation Beach area.
Proclaimed a township in 1954, Ballito, whose name was gleaned from a magazine advertisement meaning "Little Ball", became a town board in 1966.
The town, which reached borough status in 1986 is well known for its superb, safe beaches. For a small price of a license, you can pick your own mussels off the rocks, collect oysters or bring in a fresh crayfish from the Indian Ocean.
Ballito's friendly, village atmosphere is a welcome haven from the fast pace of big city life yet it offers all the modern amenities and services to residents and holiday-makers alike.
Modern shopping centres cater for all your needs. There are busy supermarkets in three main shopping complexes, and a variety of specialist shops where you can buy clothes, gifts, books, trinkets and curios, electrical goods, hardware, furniture additions for your home, jewelry, cosmetics and medicine, and much more. You can have your hair done, and visit a beauty parlour, or shop for fresh produce at a farm stall. As in small towns, the hospitality of the shopkeepers will be remembered long after your visit to Ballito is over.
Entertainment is a priority in Ballito too. Dance the night away to disco music or take in one of the latest movie releases.
Whether you are looking for a fancy dinner, slap-up meal, a holiday snack or take-away, there are restaurants and pubs to suit all occasions.
Your taste-buds could enjoy a trip around the world with restaurants catering for all types of cuisine from mouth-watering seafood specialities, spicy Indian curries, Portuguese, Italian and Mexican dishes.
The beach, of course, is the main attraction for most visitors and the Dolphin Coast has a magnificent coastal stretch of golden beaches and sheltered coves to lure the sun lover.
The main bathing beach - Willard Beach, provides safe swimming with qualified lifeguards on duty seven days a week and is also protected by shark nets. It has a fully-equipped first aid station and during peak holiday seasons the John Rolfe Rescue helicopter is on hand for emergencies and keeps sun-worshippers entertained by performing rescue demonstrations.
Willard Beach is also a popular spot for the surfing and body boarding fraternity and competitions are organised regularly providing beach-goers with the best moves and grooves on the waves.
Lifeguards and shark nets are also provided at a second beach, Clarke Bay, to ensure that parents have a worry-free holiday and the children one of pure pleasure.
Further south is the Ballito tidal pool which caters for the big and small with two different size pools. They are well maintained, kept clean and are home to a wide variety of sea life.
Moving south is Salmon Bay which is a popular spot for surfers and jet ski riders. The Ballito inflatable boat clubhouse is also located here.
At Ballito's southern point is the beautiful stretch of beach known as Port Zimbali which will delight the nature lovers. Natural, indigenous bush hugs the dunes and fishermen are treated to several excellent fishing spots.
Ballito is home to plenty of fishing spots which guarantee keen fishermen of at least a good bite and perhaps the catch of a lifetime. There are also numerous diving spots for the spear fisherman and beautiful reefs for the scuba diver.
Natal Parks Board staff regularly patrol the beaches, both to assist anglers and also to ensure that restrictions are observed. A pamphlet explaining coastal fishing and regulations is available free of charge from the Natal Parks Board coastal offices or from the Dolphin Coast Publicity Association office in Ballito.
One can either soak up the sun or take a leisurely stroll along our scenic beach-front promenade. Breathe in the fresh sea air and feel the breeze on your face whilst taking in the natural beauty of Ballito's coastline on an easy 2,5km walk.
Article from: www.bday.co.za