The word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable and valuable, and the same could certainly be said of the pearl of the North Coast – known as Ballito.
This upmarket coastal town which lies approximately half an hours drive away from Durban and nestles in the heart of sugar-cane country, boasts some of the most spectacular golden beaches along the warm Indian Ocean belt. With a friendly village atmosphere, laid-back life style and superior modern amenities, the area has become a welcome holiday haven from the fast pace of big city life.
The town’s origins date back to the early 1950s when a group of entrepreneurs began investigating developing a township in the Compensation Beach area. The name Ballito, which means “little ball”, gleaned its name from a magazine article and this small but dynamic seaside town has certainly lived up to its name sake.
Geared towards tourism, Ballito and surrounding regions offers a host of attractions that can be visited by those who have the pleasure of holidaying in this small town. The cultural sites, such as the King Shaka Heritage Route, embedded in European, Zulu and Indian history offers a unique and fascinating experience of hidden treasures that grace this region of KwaZulu-Natal.
Adventure seekers can take an educational boat tour of the Ocean Wilderness Trail from Salmons Bay, swim with the dolphins or take a low-altitude flight over the bay in a piloted microlight. The town lights up when the sun goes down with a plethora of eateries offering Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and French cuisine available at some of the finest authentic restaurants that dot the streets of the neighbourhood. Rejuvenation of mind, body and soul on the Dolphin Coast is an easy feat with the town offering a full range of health and beauty spas, such as the award winning Camelot Spa at the nearby Zimbali Lodge.
Property in Ballito is an extremely sought-after commodity, and has a reputation for being a sound financial investment in property circles. This belt of the coast is known for attracting savvy investors who in recent years have reaped excellent returns on their investment. Recent statistic released by Lightstone reveal that there have been a total of 408 property transfers that have taken place in the area in the last 12 months. The average price paid for a freehold property was R1 780m and the average for repeat sales in the sectional title sector of the market was R726 000. Interestingly, estate living has proven popular with a total of 73 transfers taking place at an average price of R1 581m.
It is not surprising that with the new King Shaka Airport being recently built on the North Coast, development in the area has soared. The statistics reveal that first-time sales, across all sectors of the market, are prevalent.
Recently-published property articles indicate that although property ownership in the town was once predominantly utilised for holiday purposes, estate agents in the area report that Ballito has specifically seen a shift in this modus operandi. A number of investors have purchased property in the area as their primary residence and now call Ballito home.
This coastal gem certainly does seem to have all the right trapping of the finest elements that coastal living has to offer. If the recent upgrades to shopping centres, road infrastructure and facilities in Ballito are an indication of things to come, the area it seems is set to retain its rightful ranking and remaining one of the country’s premier holiday destinations.