Ballito, the heart of the Dolphin Coast lies nestled between rippling fields of KwaZulu-Natal's famous Green Gold and is flanked to the east by golden beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Ballito is the Pearl of the Dolphin Coast. The town's origins date back to 1953, when a group of entrepreneurs began investigating land to develop a township in the Compensation beach area. Proclaimed a township in 1954 Ballito, whose name was gleaned from a magazine advertisement meaning Little Ball became a town board in 1966. The town which reached borough status in 1986 is well known for its superb and safe beaches. For the small price of a licence which can be purchased at the Natal Sharks Board, you can pick your own mussels off the rocks, collect oysters or bring in fresh crayfish from the Indian Ocean. Ballito's friendly village atmosphere is a welcome haven from the fast pace of big city life, yet it offers all modern amenities and services to residents and holidaymakers alike. Shopping Centres: Modern shopping centres cater for all your needs. There are busy supermarkets in three main shopping complexes and a variety of specialist shops where you can buy clothes, gifts, books, trinkets and curios, electrical goods, hardware, furniture additions for your home, jewellery, cosmetics, medicine, and much more. You can have your hair done and visit a beauty parlour or shop for fresh produce. As in small towns, the hospitality of the shopkeepers will be remembered long after your visit to Ballito is over. Entertainment: Entertainment is a priority in Ballito too, with discos and movie theatres. Whether you are looking for a fancy dinner, slap-up meal, holiday-snack or take-away, there are restaurants and pubs to suit all occasions. Your taste buds could enjoy a trip around the world with restaurants catering for all types of cuisine from mouth-watering seafood specialities, spicy Indian curries, Portuguese, Italian and Mexican dishes. One could also enjoy a typical pub grub meal and watch sport on the big screen in an English pub atmosphere. Beaches The beach, of course, is the prime attraction for most visitors and Ballito's main bathing beach, Willard Beach, provides safe swimming and qualified life-guards on duty seven days a week and is also protected by shark nets. It has a fully equipped first aid station. Lifeguards and shark nets are also provided at a second beach Clarke Bay, to ensure that parents have a worry-free holiday and the children one of pure pleasure. Further south is the Ballito Tidal Pool catering for big and small with two different sized pools. They are well maintained, kept clean and are home to a wide variety of sea life. Salmon Bay is a popular surf-spot and location of the Ballito inflatable boat clubhouse. Ballito also provides good opportunities for the angler, spear- fisherman and scuba diver. Natal Sharks Board staff regularly patrol the beaches, both to assist anglers and also to ensure that restrictions are observed. A pamphlet explaining coastal fishing and regulations is available free of charge from the Natal Parks Board coastal offices or the Dolphin Coast Publicity Association in Ballito. Thompson's Bay lies a little north of Ballito and here you will find Charlie's Pool, an Olympic-sized tidal pool built by one of the area's early settlers, Charles de Charmoy. There are also secluded beaches, rocky coves and shallow paddling pools to provide endless hours of fun. Lifeguards keep a watchful eye and ensure it is safe to swim. A marine trail starting at the Hole-in- the-Wall natural rock formation leads north to the legendary High Rock of King Shaka.