As the year draws to a close, there is one thing on everybody’s minds: Holidays! You itch violently behind your desk dreaming of the endless, empty days stretched out before you…filled with hours and hours of doing exactly what you want. But more often than not those days begin with *sigh* “so what are we gonna do today?” Ballito has got to be the most awesome place to be (not biased, at all) and there is an abundance of things to keep yourself and your family busy for the next month. Here is our guide of thirteen things to do this summer!
Just a five minute drive outside Ballito at Collisheen Estate, Holla Trails is the perfect setting for a refreshing bike ride, any time of day. The system of over 300km of marked mountain biking trails takes you on a scenic ride through the tranquil, unspoiled beauty of Ballito and surrounds. You don’t have to be Lance Armstrong either – the trails cater for experienced mountain bikers and novices. Day permits available.
082 899 3114 | www.hollatrails.co.za
Flag Animal Farm in Sheffield has it all – and then some. Pony rides, animal feeding, bunny holding (aaw!) playgrounds, jumping castles, obstacle course, sand pits and jungle gyms…the list is endless. If you or your kids are a bit more hands on, join the milking classes or bottle feed a calf. Bring a picnic or braai or enjoy a light meal at the coffee shop. The farm is almost completely level, so prams and wheelchairs are no problem!
032 947 2018 | www.flaganimalfarm.co.za
If you are looking for a thrill, head to Ndlondlo Reptile Park (just off the M4) for a day of getting to know some of nature’s slipperiest creatures. The park’s two underground snake enclosures house 15 species of indigenous snakes. Also see iguanas, tortoises, lizards and bearded dragons on a guided tour. The staff’s hands-on approach makes the experience fun and educational. If your fearless side wavers, or if you need to rest, there is a play and seating area.
082 561 4969 | www.ndlondloreptilepark.co.za
Cinnamon and Silk is like the eye of a storm. Amid the buzz of Lifestyle Centre the gorgeous, charming shop is a firm favourite with its friendly staff and trained barristers. Biscuits, fudge, cupcakes and devilishly delectable cakes can either be devoured on the spot or wrapped up in cute boxes to take home. Or pick up a scented candle or handmade bracelet, gift-wrapped on the spot while you have your coffee. And the best part…free wifi!
032 946 1985 | www.cinnamonandsilk.co.za
Surrounded by hills of luscious greens, Rain Farm is a private sanctuary of beauty, wildlife and adventure. Guests are treated like African royalty, spoiled for choice with giraffe, zebra, antelope and wildebeest peeking out from the three hectares of beauty. The lodge overlooks the thunderously magnificent Umhlali Rapids? Enjoy a meal prepared by gourmet chefs at the restaurant, open seven days a week.
032 815 1050 | www.rainfarmgameandlodge.co.za
Siggis Restaurant. Guten Tag, Ballito! The restaurant and pub nails the atmosphere of a German pub so well that you may as well be chilling on a street pub in Berlin. A lovely mix of regulars and visitors frequent the restaurant to try out their range of German beer and dishes, including kassler rippchen (pork chops and sauerkraut), eisbein (pork shank) and kaisershmarren (caramelised pancakes).
032 525 7460 | www.siggisgermanrestaurant.co.za
Why not take a walk on the wild side? ClubVenture is situated 15 minutes outside Ballito and offers a range of exhilarating activities for the daredevil in you. An absolute must at ClubVenture is the Zipline: a 1,5km eco-tour along zipline cables. Slide from platform to platform over the Sampoya River, with a stunning view to take your mind off the craziness. There is also a sizeable field for a spot of good, old-fashioned paintball!
032 942 8014 | www.clubventure.co.za
Burnedale, situated in Umhlali, is a piece of the country just 15 minutes from Ballito. Spend the day browsing through hand-crafted items at One of a Kind, Natural Living or Bon Bon Maison or shop for trendy items at Brooklyn and Muze. Fill your tummy with a famous burger or slice of cake at the Burnedale Café while your kids are looked after at the secure playing area. Have your nails or make up done at the on-site Make Up Your Mind.
032 947 0133 | www.burnedale.co.za
Thompson’s Bay seems to be a real favourite over the holidays. Perhaps it’s the Hole-In-The-Wall – this unique rock formation is stunning, especially when the sun is rising or setting. Thompson’s Bay gives you the best of everything – the tidal pool is perfect to take it easy while the waves are nothing to sniff at if you want to surf. Climb up on to High Rock to do some whale spotting or fishing…or explore the rocky outcrops up North.
With the motto like “from our family to yours” it’s not hard to imagine why Fiamma Grill is always full. The restaurant comprises three parts: indoor dining area, outer deck with a gorgeous pool and fully-stocked bar. A family owned business, they serve everything from steaks to seafood in an Italian grill style. The vibe is great, too – perfect for a family sit down dinner or that romantic, quiet
032 946 1029 | www.fiammagrill.co.za
Sage Centre pretty much ticks all the boxes. The Deli boasts a line of homemade treats including pestos, sauces and sausages. You can’t help but relax when you pull up a chair under the shade at the Sage Café – offering a range of healthy breakfasts, lunch and early dinners. Let the kids play themselves into a frenzy while you enjoy some pampering at Shine@Sage – anything from a mani to a massage. Dinner is available on Friday; booking essential.
032 525 8059 | www.sagecafe.co.za
The Litchi Orchard forces you to slow down and appreciate nature with its towering trees and blankets of soft, green grass. The country café prides itself on buying and cooking local, and the brew at Beanstruk Coffee Roastery is something of a legend. Grab a bespoke cupcake at Lemon Canary bakery or round up a few mates for a chill sesh at Monkey Country Pub. Litchi hosts great Farmers Markets twice a month and an awesome Night Market once a month.
032 525 5118 | www.litchiorchard.co.za
The 5FM Ballito NYE Street Party is beyond legendary. It takes place every year in Sandra Road in the Ballito Village (downtown Ballito). Widely recognised as the biggest street party north of Durban, the 5FM crew takes over Ballito and lines up some of SA’s best live. This coincides with Matric Rage, so the party is extra huge as teens celebrate the end of their career.