Written by Luanna Do Coutto
Located on the outer slopes of the famed Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the historic Gibb’s Farm offers a peaceful farm-life retreat for Tanzania safari-goers. Managing Director of Ker & Downey® Africa Brazil DMC, Luana do Coutto, shares her experience of this unique luxury property.
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Located on Tanzania’s northern safari circuit, the district of Karatu serves as a gateway to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Playfully named the ‘Safari Junction’, Karatu is the perfect spot for those who are interested in combining countryside living with an epic safari experience.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is best known for the Ngorongoro Crater – the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera abundant with wildlife that come to feed from the nutrient rich grass shoots. Here, safari-goers can anticipate epic wildlife encounters and spot prides of lion, rhino, wildebeest, elephant, cheetah and leopard.
Find out more about Ngorongoro in Tanzania.
Gibb’s farm is situated on a picturesque coffee estate in close proximity to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In fact, the gate is a short 20 minute drive away. Guests can access Gibb’s Farm by road from Kilimanjaro International Airport – a 4 hour drive, or from Manyara Airstrip, a short 35 minute drive.
Established in the 1920s as a family coffee plantation, Gibb’s Farm covers over 80 acres on the forested outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater. The expansive farmlands comprise a working coffee plantation and roastery, an old farmyard and over 10 acres of organic fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. The farm provides fresh produce, milk, coffee, eggs and meat for guests and meal times will truly be a highlight of your stay.
Gibb’s Farm features 17 cozy one-bedroom Farm Cottages and 2 two-bedroom Farm Houses dotted throughout the gardens. The rooms are uniquely decorated and showcase hand-selected artwork from the artists in residence programmes on the farm. Guests will love the comfort and exclusivity of their private verandah and outdoor showers.
The Farm Cottages can comfortably accommodate solo travelers, couples and families; whereas the 2 two-bedroom Farm Houses – Bustani and Deutsches sleep up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children.
The main farm house and reception area offer a peaceful refuge after a day out on safari and guests can enjoy the artists in the residency gallery, Zawadi Boutique, refreshments bar, and of course farm-to-table dining and fresh organic coffee on the terrace.
Within the gardens, guests can enjoy a refreshing dip in the lap-pool overlooking the terraced gardens and picturesque coffee fields or unwind with a Maasai-inspired treatment at the spa.
A working coffee farm to this day, guests can join the farm’s coffee roasters and experience traditional roasting methods.
Gibb’s Farm offers an authentic farm experience and guests can take part in day-to-day tasks from milking cows and collecting eggs to feeding the pigs in the old farmyard.
Guests can join the team as they go out into the vegetable garden to harvest fresh organic produce for the kitchen that day or simply relax and enjoy the nourishing meals.
Gibb’s Farm offers a number of wildlife experiences to guests from full day safaris in the Ngorongoro Crater to Half Day Safaris in Lake Manyara National Park. However, their signature safari experience is the Crater Rim Walk. Guided by a Gibb’s Farm naturalist and rangers from Ngorongoro Conservation Area, guests can enjoy an exciting six to seven hour wilderness walk through the forested slopes towards the crater rim. Most walkers will encounter elephant, cape buffalo, bush pig, and over 200 bird species.
A highlight of my stay at Gibb’s Farm was the Tembo Fire Tales. Every day at 17h00, a local naturalist & traditional healer share stories about the wildlife, traditional medicine, Maasai legends and tales from tribal folklore. The experience takes place in the lush gardens while refreshing drinks and snacks are served. It was a perfect experience, and in my opinion, one of the reasons why guests should opt to stay for at least 3 nights at Gibb’s Farm.
The property offers guests different opportunities to connect with the local community and learn more about Tanzania’s diverse tribal communities. Guests can visit the nearby Tloma village on a guided walking tour or meet the students and teachers at Tloma Primary School. Other activities include bicycle tours of Karatu Town, Medicinal walks with Maasai healers and the opportunity to meet the artists in residence.