Established in the early 1920s as a coffee farm, Gibb's Farm has retained the charm of life in East Africa during that era. It is 5kms from Karatu, at the entrance to the Ngorongoro Highlands and has spectacular views of the surrounding farmlands. The forested slopes to the rear are home to an abundance of wildlife, including elephant and leopard.
Gibb's Farm has several gorgeous farm cottages in the gardens. The main facilities, a sitting room, dining rooms, internet cafÃ©, bar and gift shop, are situated in the old farmhouse. It retains the character of a well cared-for private house with roaring fires and views of the lovely gardens. It's little surprise that in 2013 Gibb's Farm was voted no. 2 in the Top 15 Hotels in Africa in the Conde Nast Traveller Reader's Choice Awards.
The fruit, vegetable and flower gardens now cover 10 acres and everything is grown organically. The farm also provides the milk, coffee, eggs and meat which are used to create the wonderful meals.
There are many activities available, from an African Spa treatment to a walk in the gardens with a resident naturalist guide. You can also explore by bike, visit a local village and go on game drives in Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Open: Gibbs Farm is open all year.
Location: Gibbs Farm is in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. The nearest international airport is Kilimanjaro and you can also fly into Lake Manyara for Gibbs Farm. It is arranged over 2 main areas, the hillside with the main house and restaurant, and the garden side where the cottages are located.
Rooms: There are 17 or so guest cottages, with wooden floors, hand-made furniture, 1queen size beds and indoor and outdoor showers. They have private verandas. One of the cottages has 2 bedrooms and a living room, providing excellent accommodation for families. Each cottage is decorated according to its own unique theme.
Activities: Take guided walks with one of the naturalists from the farm discovering the many birds, plants and trees, stroll in the forest, explore by bicycle, go on a game drive in Lake Manyara National Park or the Ngorongoro Crater. The farm can arrange visits to a local village, school and to Karatu town. You are welcome to participate in various farm activities such as bread making, vegetable harvesting, milking the cows and coffee roasting.
Facilities: The main farmhouse dates back to 1929 and now houses the living room with its open fireplace, 2 dining rooms, a gift shop selling books, jewellery and artwork and textile. Outside are spacious verandas and a large patio. There is a 10 acre organic farm growing fruit, vegetables and herbs and an on-site dairy and bakery, so the food here is guaranteed to be fresh. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the main dining room. High tea is taken in the garden and includes home-baked scones. Enjoy sundowners with fellow guests by the open fire each evening. The African Spa offers a range of healing and restorative treatments.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is free high speed internet access.
Winning various awards for their sustainable practises, Gibbs really is a beacon for environmentally-freindly lodges. From their own organic farm, to solar power, excellent recycling, & using local skills & materials, they really try very hard to make a difference. And they do.