Below is a list of superb beaches and superb surfing spots that we recommend in the Salt Rock, Ballito, Umhlanga and Durban areas. Note that this is not a comprehensive list but rather those from which we have had positive feedback from the guests at our YOLO Spaces properties.
Durban’s beaches rest along a part of golden sand known as the Golden Mile. Blessed with warm water, strong waves and vast expansion of sandy beaches, you’ll soon realize why Durban is everyone’s favourite beachfront playground. Durban’s beaches provide public amenities, shark nets, beacons to point out safe swimming, as well as lifeguards.
Salt Rock Beach
Salt Rock beach is right outside The Beach House. Walk down to the beach with a cocktail in hand, a great book and soak up the sun on this wide sandy quiet beach. A small pool is just to the right for the children to play in.
Willard Beach (main beach) has been the home of the Mr Price Pro Surfing contest since 2009 and is undoubtedly the most popular of our beaches in Ballito.
This is the party beach, favoured by hip youngsters and families. Surfers have four main spots to choose from here: Bog, Bathers, Surfers and Sunrise.
The promenade begins here and runs south, hugging the coastline until Salmon Bay. Popular with joggers, pram pushers and dog walkers.
There are many little beaches along the way, with access points all along Compensation Beach Road.
Pros include the close proximity to the caravan park, skateboard park, shops and restaurants; and the presence of shark nets and lifeguards. But if you do not like crowds this beach is not for you so head on back to Salt Rock Beach.
Clarke Bay Beach
A mere 15 minutes from Ballito’s main beach, Willards Bay, one can find Clarke Bay beach.
This quieter beach is protected by both life guards and shark nets, and it offers a lovely tidal pool, where you can show the kids natural sea life. After a day at the beach, enjoy a meal at any of Ballito’s many restaurants.
Thompsons Bay Beach
Thompson’s Bay is arguably the most beautiful of the swimming beaches. Walk through the ‘hole in the wall’ to discover a number of picturesque coves, made striking by the limestone rock formations of the cliffs.
The tidal pool and ‘hole in the wall’ make this spot quite special. A great activity for an active family is to walk from Thompson’s Bay to Willard Beach. Pack a picnic lunch and explore.
Shark nets and lifeguards are in place but this beach can get crowded, so go early and also avoid the harsh midday sun. There is also limited parking.
Salmon Bay Beach
This popular beach, just south of Ballito, happens to be a surfer’s paradise. It is also the designated launch site for Ballito’s cool Inflatable Boat Clubhouse. Aside from this, the beach offers ample parking at its southern end, and a great golden stretch of beach to bask on too.
Umhlanga Main Beach
Umhlanga Beach has slightly choppier waters, but it’s quieter and trendier, and it boasts a whalebone pier that CNN dubbed one of the most beautiful piers in the world. The beach has golden sands and includes a running path that leads from its iconic red and white lighthouse all the way to the spectacular iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a world heritage site. The beach is surrounded by some upmarket eateries and is a stone’s throw from Gateway, one of the biggest shopping malls in Africa.
Bay of Plenty
Making a part of Durban’s lively Golden Mile, the Bay of Plenty is situated in the centre of the beachfront, with high-rise resorts and apartments taking advantage of the spectacular sea view. Together with North Beach and South Beach, the Bay of Plenty is definitely the location for several global surfing and beach volleyball competitions, in addition to being a popular beach with holidaymakers. Surfers rank the Bay of Plenty as being the constant surf spot, providing both right and left hand waves, and just like the other beaches alongside Durban’s beachfront, you can find shark nets.
Durban’s South Beach is just in the centre of the city’s renowned beachfront and is an excellent location for swimming or simply lazing about sightseeing. This sandy beach has safe swimming as well as a surf museum, a theme park, a waterpark as well as an aquarium. Sun worshippers, bathers as well as surfers head to Durban’s vibrant and charming South Beach.