Zimbali & Ballito Beaches

North Coast (Dolphin Coast)

Sink your toes into the warm, sandy beaches of Ballito, a holiday town located in Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Northern Coast. With numerous locations to choose from, this article will help you discover which picturesque beach on the North coast is be best suited to you and your specific needs, whether you are a local, or a visitor. 


North Cost Beach General Features: 


The dolphin coast – lives up to its name, being a coastline populated by dolphins, where their sightings are common and magnificent! 



  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Body
  • Boarding
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Wind Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing


  • walking/running
  • marine life observation
  • picnics
  • sporting actives
  • tanning
  • relaxing
  • amenity use (restaurants, showers, ablutions, viewing decks, etc) 

Beaches in Ballito:

Zimbali Beach

The Zimbali Coastal Resort offers what seems like an endless stretch of warm, secluded beaches. Guests and Residents are granted access to the unspoilt 3km stretch via various gateways located within the estate. The beach is not limited to occupants of the Zimbali Resort but does call for a far walking distance for the general public to access it. With the contrasting beauty of Zimbali’s green forest estate, alongside the blue hues of the Indian Ocean, the Zimbali beach is perfect for individuals and families to enjoy. While swimming is not allowed along this 3km stretch, due to strong currents and steep sand slopes, there is a dedicated area adjacent to Zimbali’s Valley of The Pools where lifeguards are on duty in season. Here, swimming is safer and more enjoyable. This beach spot too has volleyball nets where visitors can enjoy a game with friends.


  • Secluded, private feeling beach with private/easy access for Zimbali guests & residents
  • Quiet & tranquil
  • Untouched & serene
  • Great for relaxing, fishing, family actives, & sports
  • Do not swim at this beach (Not allowed and dangerous due to rocks and currents)

Willard Beach

Undoubtedly the most popular beach in Ballito, Willard Beach (main beach), has earned the title of a Blue Flag beach. Being one of the few Blue Tag beaches in SA, it was awarded this title for its safe conditions and excellent facilities. Willard is known for its vibe, being called the “party” beach within Ballito. The beach is busy 3 year-round, especially during holiday seasons, and is a popular spot for surfing with numerous tidal pools within its proximity.


  • Plenty of parking & surrounding amenities such as restaurants, broad walks, ablutions, & showers
  • Surfing hotspot, being the home to the Ballito Billabong Pro surfing competitions
  • Great barrels (waves) for surfing and bodyboarding
  • Excellent swimming beach thanks to the typography of the beach site, as well as on-duty lifeguards

Salt Rock Beach

The waters of Salt Rock Beach are perfect for swimming, surfing, body-boarding, paddle boarding, fishing, and water sports galore! Snorkelers are particularly fond of this beach due to its thriving reefs where marine life can be observed. Granny’s Pool, is a tidal pool here that provides a different sea swimming experience, being a place protected from the crashing waves.


  • Tidal Pool
  • Excellent for snorkelling, swimming, surfing, and more
  • Adequate parking and amenities such as ablutions & showers

Thompson’s Bay

Beach Titled the most beautiful of all the swimming beaches in Ballito,

Thompsons Bay offers more than just a sandy beach to be enjoyed. Thompson’s Bay features rocky title pools and caves which make this beach special and make it feel private and secluded. Visitors can walk through the “hole in the wall” here, a portion of limestone, rocky surroundings adjacent to the beach. Though the beach has a secluded feeling, this does not detract from its safety, as the beach has lifeguards on duty and shark nets.


  • Limestone rocks/caves
  • Tidal Pool
  • Lifeguards & shark nets, with water that is great for swimming
  • Parking & walkways

Clarke Bay

Beach 4 Tranquil and relaxing, Clarke Bay is another stunning option for beach-goers. A 15- minute walk, or a short drive from Willard Beach, Clarke Bay is great for those that want more privacy and tranquillity, while still being able to enjoy a beach that is safe and monitored by lifeguards. The atmosphere here is great for families, and a variety of water/beach actives can be enjoyed.


  • A wooden decked viewing point with seating lies adjacent to the beach and can be enjoyed by the public
  • A quieter public beach
  • Great for swimming & water sports
  • Parking, ablutions & showers are features here

Sheffield Beach/Christmas Bay Beach

This beach is located slightly further up the Northern Coast. The beach is similar to the Zimbali beach in its secluded, private nature. Quiet walks and private beach visits can be enjoyed here, leaving visitors feeling the presence of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s wilderness. There are no lifeguards on duty here, but thanks to the little coves and rock pools, there are spots where swimming can be enjoyed. The most common users of this beach are divers, fishermen, and Sheffield residents who gather as families or walk their dogs.


  • secluded/private
  • untouched/wild
  • an abundance of rock pools

When you get hungry from spending a day at the beach, here are some restaurants you can enjoy. If you prefer to eat in Ballito then take a look at Fiamma Grill