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The picturesque village of Hilton lies nestled just 12 km away in the hills above Pietermaritzburg, at the start of the Midlands Meander. Misty rains maintain the area in perpetual greenness, Hilton is one of the loveliest residential districts of KwaZulu-Natal.
Hilton has managed to retain a distinctly English country village feel with tree-lined streets, some Tudor-style architecture, only two traffic lights, a country club and garden clubs. Annual flower shows are held here, and the well-known Hilton College Arts Festival brings the village to life with drama, music and arts and crafts during the month of September.
A few stunning natural attractions in the area include World’s View, Howick Falls and Karkloof and the resort at Midmar Dam offers more exciting activities such as canoeing, fishing and boating. The town has a lovely shopping centre set in the grounds of the old Hilton Road Quarry and if the village feels a little small some days, Pietermartizburg offers a host of extra “things to do” and attractions.
Catering for tourists, the town and countryside has restaurants, farmers markets, pubs and almost every type of accommodation from Hotels, Guesthouses and B&B’s to self-catering cottages and camping!
Things to do and see
- Hilton Railway Museum
- The Saunter
- Queen Elizabeth Nature Reserve
- Doreen Clarke Nature Reserve
- Hilton Farmstall
- Howick Falls
- Hiking & MTB Trails
- Midlands Meander
- Midmar Dam
Hilton receives approximately 897 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the mid-summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 4˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily local flights into Pietermaritzburg Airport, approximately 21 km away via Mbubu Road. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Nyazake is the Zulu name for the town of Hilton, which means 'His Feet', and is derived from old Zulu war trails connecting the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg region with Kranskop.
Voortrekker farmers were the first to settle in the 1840's when they were granted land by the British Government and two of the earliest farms where Groenekloof and Ongegund. The 'village' of Hilton began when prominent residents of Pietermaritzburg purchased property to build cottages as a retreat from the summer heat and dust of the town.
Today Hilton owes its name to Jane Henderson, wife of farming pioneer and financier Joseph Henderson, who no doubt was nostalgically thinking of Hilton Park in her native Staffordshire when she first named their farm Hilton in 1860. Their farm adjoined Philip Zietsman's Voortrekker farm, the 'Groenekloof' farm.
In 1872 the reverend W.O. Newham opened a school in the original farmhouse and this became known as Hilton College, today one of South Africa's leading private schools.
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