Hillcrest, which is literally on a hill on a crest above Durban, used to be a small hamlet that bordered the Valley of a Thousand Hills and was encircled by lush pastures and agriculture. It was a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, a place where one might find peace and quiet and cooler air to escape to. Hillcrest was suddenly propelled from its previous state of somnolent insignificance to become, almost overnight, a boom town that today serves as a suburb to Durban, where people seek a safer, less crowded country lifestyle distant from the madding throng. This happened as a result of the property boom. Main Road in Hillcrest, which was formerly a cosy residential street, has been rezoned for office and commercial use.
Retirement communities, equestrian estates, gated security communities, and golf estates have taken up vacant land. Although there has been a surge, Hillcrest has managed to maintain its small-town charm because there isn’t much heavy industry there.
There is a lot to do as well. The Shongweni Farmers Market, held every Saturday, is a great place to buy organic and fresh produce and adds to the feeling of country living. Durban is only 20 minutes away by car, and there are a ton of farm stalls, nurseries, country pubs, and artists’ havens nearby so there’s no need to leave the charm of country living or go to malls to shop.