Area guide to the Dolphin Coast

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

There is something very attractive about the entire Dolphin Coast region, and it's no accident that the area has virtually exploded with new developments in recent years.

About the area

Indeed Ballito, once a small, sleepy seaside town has capitalised on this growth and has mushroomed into a commercial centre that now offers its residents a wealth of shopping and entertainment opportunities. Likewise, nearby Umhlanga has become the go-to place for the majority of hip Durbanites. Excellent restaurants, a slew of good restaurants and all the entertainment on offer at Gateway Theatre of Shopping are just some of the reasons this spot remains a popular choice for revelers.

Part of the increased attraction has to be ascribed to the fact that the airport has relocated to the area. This has led to a number of high-profile businesspeople – who operate out of Gauteng – moving their families to the coast while they commute to work as needed. It appears that it’s quicker to commute between Johannesburg and Durban via air and the Gautrain, than it is to drive between Pretoria and Johannesburg during rush-hour traffic. Good schools along the length of the North Coast, a terrific year-round climate with arguably the best winter weather in the country and a wide variety of secure upmarket estates have added to the attraction and as such this almost nomadic lifestyle trend is likely to continue well into the future.

Locals are also drawn to this somewhat quieter section of the coast and, again, the secure living is a major drawcard. Estates such as Zimbali, Simbithi, Brettenwood, Palm Lake Family Estate and Mount Richmore Village Estate are all well-known and highly regarded places to live. The fact that they are situated away from the hustle and bustle of Durban is an added bonus for those looking for a quieter lifestyle.

Moving to an estate on the North Coast has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. It's the little things such as waking up and watching the sunrise over the estate, with the abundant birdlife flying by as I enjoy my morning coffee that make me feel extremely blessed to call this home.

Sue Clarke, resident

Top schools nearby:

  • Curro Mount Richmore
  • Ashton International College
  • PLG Ballito Academy

Medical facilities nearby:

  • Netcare Alberlito Hospital
  • Gateway Private Hospital
  • Umhlanga Private Hospital
  • Netcare Umhlanga Hospital

Best in food:

  • Seabelle Restaurant, Tongaat
  • Siggi’s German Restaurant and Pub, Salt Rock
  • Al Pescatore Italian Restaurant, Ballito

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a trip through Ballito here:

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Ballito
Small coastal town with a big personality
Ballito, on the Kwazulu Natal North Coast, has grown quickly recently. Upmarket estates, restaurants and shopping centres now inhabit areas that were sugar cane fields not long ago. Many families are relocating to the area to take advantage of the relaxed coastal lifestyle that the area offers, even though it is just 30 minutes drive from Durban. Ballito has 3 excellent malls offering lots of retail therapy, great restaurants, private schools, private hospitals and ample sporting facilities. Beside the houses and flats in the main residential and beachfront areas, there are many newly built, secure estates that provide a choice of property types for those moving to the area.
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