Nestling in the hills above Pietermaritzburg, at a distance of twelve kilometres, lies the picturesque village of Hilton. Enjoying a very pleasant all-year round climate, its park and English village like setting, boasts a wealth of botanical splendour. Regarded as the 'Gateway to the Midlands', it is here that travellers from the coast receive their first glimpse of the distant uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Mountains. Consisting of a number of leafy undulating suburbs, including Sweetwaters and Winterskloof, Hilton lies within close proximity to popular beauty spots such as Worlds View, Howick Falls and Karkloof. Now part of the uMngeni Municipality Hilton has over 3 000 happy inhabitants who have chosen to occupy the peace and tranquility of the many gracious homes with which the area abounds.
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 they first named their farm Hilton in 1860 which adjoined Philip Zietsman's Voortrekker farm, named 'Groenekloof' and was used as access to the early wagon routes.
The Zulu name for Hilton is Nyazake, which means 'His Feet' and is derived from old Zulu war trails connecting the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg region with Kranskop, approximately where Hilton farm is today. The earliest record of Europeans in the Hilton area goes back to the early 19th century when transport riders travelled into the hinterland over World's View, making overnight stops at Ketelfontein, Sedgley and The Knoll at Winterskloof.