What to see & do
Although most people will stay on the reserve, there is lots to see around the farm. Most people will also detour to the source of the Zambezi, and keen ornithologists will frequently head into the surrounding area in search of the 'specials' found in this corner of Zambia.
Zambian farms don't come much more remote or well established than Hillwood. Relatively speaking, it's had a lot of time to build up a very self-sufficient yet interdependent community of people.
Of interest here are the farm itself, which these days relies on beef and dairy cows, cereal, and, increasingly, tourism to generate income. The orphanage and the school are also fascinating; the boarding school is used by some of Zambia's more affluent residents, so it's not at all impoverished by local standards.
If you have the opportunity to chat with Pete, Lynn or Pete's father, Paul – do so. You'll get a fascinating insight into the area's past and present. They have always worked closely with the surrounding communities – Pete meets with the local village headmen once a month to inform, involve and share out the maintenance and development work on the reserve fairly between the villages. Roads, bridges, fences and shelters are all built and maintained with local labour and materials wherever possible. This 'Nchila Committee' also helps a great deal to prevent poaching, kept to a minimum thanks to the excellent rapport within the community as a whole. This is built on many years of talking together, mutual trust and help.
Nchila Wildlife Reserve is a 40km2 area of virgin bush within the boundaries of Hillwood Farm. It's a great area for game drives and walks, always accompanied by a guide from Nchila (hence the need to book in advance). See below for more on the flora and fauna, but note that even if you're not a keen 'twitcher', the rolling country is very pleasant walking, with patches of evergreen forests adding a welcome touch of shade.