Literally on a hill on a crest someway above Durban, Hillcrest was once a little hamlet that bordered on the Valley of a Thousand Hills, surrounded by green pastures and farmland. It was a retreat away from the hub of the city, somewhere one could escape to cooler air and guaranteed peace and quiet.
And then the property boom occurred, and Hillcrest was jolted out of its former drowsy insignificance to become, almost overnight, a boom town that now serves as a suburb to Durban, where people seek a safer, less crowded country lifestyle far from the madding crowd. Hillcrest’s Main Road, once a cosy residential idle, is now rezoned for office and commercial use.
Vacant land has been given over to retirement villages, equestrian estates, gated security communities and golf estates. There’s little in the way of heavy industry out in Hillcrest, which, despite the boom, means that Hillcrest manages to retain its country village feel.
There’s also plenty to do. Durban is a mere 20 minutes’ drive, the Shongweni Farmers market every Saturday morning provides a wonderful place to buy organic and fresh produce, and contributes even further to the feeling of country living, and the plethora of farm stalls, nurseries, country pubs and artists’ havens mean that one doesn’t have to leave the charm of country living or head off to malls to shop.