Each one of the buildings here overflows with history and character, lending an ambience that is only enhanced by the surfeit of greenery.
Gibb's Farm is located near the village of Karatu, halfway between Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara in northern Tanzania. At over 5,000 ft above sea level, the arid plains give way to clean air and lush vegetation, making the farm's vantage point all the more idyllic.
Accommodation & Facilities
All of the newly renovated cottages maintain a rustic charm, mirroring their original style with the addition of contemporary amenities. Each one comes with a private veranda, beautiful wooden floors and spectacular views of the flower gardens and Ngorongoro Crater beyond. Light, airy and with wraparound windows, there are also wood fireplaces to keep you warm during the cooler evenings. The en-suite bathrooms feature large baths surrounded almost entirely by windows, perfect for getting in touch with nature. The outdoor showers are sheltered by large, exotic banana plants – resulting in one of the most exhilarating showers you will ever have!
The main farmhouse contains a cosy living room, library/reading room and wonderfully decorated dining room, where you'll be able to sit down to delectable meals made with ingredients that have travelled only the short distance from the garden! Organic coffee, fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs are all grown here. The hotel also operates a bakery alongside a pig, chicken and dairy farm.
The 'Living Spa' at Gibb's Farm provides specific treatments for weary travellers that utilise indigenous Maasai healing techniques, passed down through many generations. Holistic massages can be taken in your room, and a new wellness centre will be opening in December 2018.
Most of the food you eat will be sourced from the farm itself. Meat will be procured either from the farm or an employee farm, so there is no doubt as to where your food came from – and everything is organic. This farm-to-table fare is an undoubted highlight for guests at Gibb's Farm. Breakfast is usually a buffet; homemade granola and muffins as well as sausages, eggs and bacon. Lunch is also a buffet, with lots of homemade soups, pies and breads baked in the on-site wood oven, as well as some legendary desserts. The packed lunches may be the best you've ever had on safari! Try enjoying one while perched on the rim of the crater.
A huge range of activities are available to you during your stay. Guests are always welcome to join in with the coffee roasting or take a tour of the gardens, and the area is also fantastic for birdwatchers, with over 220 species. There are visits to the local village, Tloma, where you can take a tour of the primary school or explore the village for an intimate look at traditional Tanzanian life. The Artists-in-Residence program, 'Sanaa', allows you to watch these masters at work, and even purchase a piece or two. There are lots of walks to take part in, either around the village, in Ngorongoro Forest, through the farm or up to the crater; there is even an indigenous medicine walk. Other options include a night game drive, visits to the waterfall/elephant caves, or a Hippo Pools Sunset Safari. The staff at Gibb's Farm enjoy jogging, so you are welcome to join them (if you can handle the altitude), as it’s a really good way of seeing the village with people who know it well.
Gibb's Farm is a family-friendly destination which offers child-minding services and a range of children's farm activities. A minimum age of 15 is required for those wishing to hike to the rim of Ngorongoro Crater.
If you want to ensure you give back to Tanzania during your stay in the country, there are few better hotels than Gibb's Farm. The largest solar panel in northern Tanzania heats 90% of the farm's water, while 100% of the grey water is recycled into the organic farm and garden via a reed-plant filtration system. All kitchen and food waste is either fed to the farm pigs or composted for use in the gardens. Glass wine bottles are stored in bulk and donated to various
causes, such as a small NGO where handicapped artisans recycle the glass to make jewellery. Policies are also in place to promote cultural preservation, wildlife conservation, community health and education, socioeconomic development and poverty relief. Guests can even choose to donate a desk to the Tloma Village Primary School.