Formerly a sleepy village on the outskirts of Durban, Hillcrest is now a booming suburb that has been incorporated into the greater Durban. The suburb of Hillcrest had become known as a middle-income residential area after the influx of capital in the past 10 years supported the construction of many shopping and lifestyle centres. Today, the town centre is barely recognizable from the way it was a decade ago.
In 1895, the town was founded on a rise in the main road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg as a "weekend" village in an agricultural region. At that time Hillcrest was considered a good distance from what was then the emerging port of Port Natal, but the town has recently seen an incredible influx of inhabitants from more central suburbs in Durban.