The Litchi Market – Umhlali (Ballito)
Filed under: Travel SA
The best thing about this market is the availability of honey made from sugar cane blossoms.
Great stuff! Tastes just like cane syrup and this market is the only place I have found it in more than twenty years. That is unusual since I live in the highest sugar cane producing area in South Africa.
But, that’s not the only reason I like this market.
Even though all flea markets are the same in many ways, each one has a personality all its own and that is very true for The Litchi Market.
Situated in the middle of a litchi orchard – literally – along the Dolphin Coast north of Durban – just a few kilometers north of Ballito – it has a vibe as strong as any other. You wouldn’t think it but there is plenty of parking – throughout the orchard – and much of it under shade.
It isn’t large by flea market standards but it offers great variety and the owners are expansion minded. As the market becomes more popular, they don’t hesitate to enlarge and have recently doubled the under cover area for vendors.
- Farm fresh meats (some organic)
- Fresh veggies (some organic)
- Baked goodies of all kinds. We’ve tasted a few and haven’t been disappointed. One vendor offers a mud cake (chocolate no bake cookie) that I can’t pass up.
- Jams, honeys, nuts of all kinds (macadamia reasonably priced), biltong (beef jerky), chocolates, other sweets, etc.
- Coffee prepared in a variety of ways: filter, espresso, cappuccino, latte, etc. With a roastery on site they also offer fresh roasted coffee beans (which can be ground to order) and several styles of coffee implements and machines.
- Personal items: clothes, jewelry, pocket books, hand crafted items, toys for kids and so on.
- An art gallery.
- African hand made items.
- Live music.
- Tables and chairs spread throughout for eating or relaxing.
- A well stocked nursery.
- A restaurant café.
Unusual things found at the market:
- Caged gardening to protect veggies from monkeys. Obviously this is for a small home garden but it’s a great idea for the DIY minded.
- A worm farm. Not a science project but a system for producing a very rich form of fertilizer naturally. The worms eat veggie scraps from the kitchen and produce a wee that is diluted and used as fertilizer.
The market organizers value sustainable living and several vendors reflect this sentiment.
Most stalls are cash only but some do take credit cards.
Two big events on the Litchi calendar:
- The Litchi Fest – 16 December operating from 12 PM to 6 PM
- Christmas Market – 18 December operating from 8 AM to 1 PM
1st and 3rd Sat 8 AM till 1 PM
Friday evenings 6 PM till 9:30 PM (occasional)
Wed – Sun 8 AM to 3:30 PM
Mon – Fri 7 AM to 3:30 PM
Sat 8 AM to 12 Pm
Contact Jeremy Eb (084 205 6151) for:
- Take the N2 highway (four lane) north from Durban approximately 55 kilometers to exit 214 (Umhlali, Salt Rock Road, Shakaskraal).
- Take the exit and turn right.
- Go approximately 300 meters to the first right turn (large FOXHILL sign).
- Turn right and go approximately 80 meters to first left hand turn.
- Turn left and go 10 meters to first left (entrance to orchard).
- Turn left and travel approximately 50 meters up through the orchard to the market.
The same bustle and buzz found at any market is obvious here. You can smell the coffee as you walk from the parking area.
Visit the market. Tell us what you THINK!AboutIt.
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