Gibb’s Farm is one of the oldest guesthouse properties in North Tanzania, having been established by German settlers as part of a coffee estate in 1929. We tend to suggest it as a two-night base from which to visit the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. The farm has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, parking, and Wi-Fi. Young guests incur a reduced rate – please contact a member of our team for all the details.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The property can be accessed via 2 hours’ road transfer from Arusha or 30 minutes’ drive from Lake Manyara Airport. Set among coffee plantations on the edge of the Ngorongoro hills, it also has extensive gardens attracting a lot of birdlife!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are 17 guest cottages, including one for family or group use. All are situated within the grounds. Constructed using timber and stone, the cottages feature shiny eucalyptus floors and furniture made by hand. Each has a distinct theme, thanks to Gibb’s artist in residence. Entering the cottage, you’ll find a small entrance hall with a vase full of fresh flowers. This space flows through into a lounge, complete with cosy fireplace! In the bedroom, there are two queen-size beds, bedside tables and lighting, storage furniture for clothes and other items, and a second fireplace that’s shared with the bathroom. In the latter space, which is accessed through a sliding door, there’s a flush toilet, twin washbasins, a spacious shower, and a big bathtub beside a window with views of the gardens. With every cottage providing a private veranda too, this really is impressive accommodation! The family or group cottage contains an additional bedroom – this has an en-suite bathroom and is designed to sleep a maximum of two guests.
Gibb’s communal areas are found in the property’s decades-old farmhouse, approached from the cottages along neat stone paths. The building retains a number of its original features, not least the low ceilings set with sturdy beams! In the lounge, leather and cowhide armchairs are positioned around ornate coffee tables, and the walls are adorned with beautiful wildlife artwork. There are a couple of stoves too, and you can order drinks from the property’s well-stocked bar. Gibb’s has two dining rooms, both boasting lovely garden views. The chef uses ingredients from the farm’s own gardens, guaranteeing some seriously fresh food! Delicious buffet breakfasts and lunches are presented daily, while dinner is a formal three-course meal. Separate tables are the norm, and guests are welcome to eat out on the terrace. The farm’s coffee is available for purchase from the boutique, along with a great range of craft and curio items, and works by the artist in residence. Anyone in need of a little time to relax will love whiling away a few hours in the gardens, and in-room spa treatments are available – a separate spa is planned for later this year (2018).
The farm offers an exciting variety of things to do. You could certainly begin by exploring the extensive grounds, taking in the herb garden, rose garden, vegetable garden, and all the resident birdlife, in the company of an experienced horticulturalist! Several other walks are available. You can take a look around the farm, including the coffee fields and cattle herd. If you’re interested in traditional medicine, you’ll relish strolling through the Ngorongoro forest with Maasai healers and being introduced to a range of health-giving plants. Forest walks with a naturalist are also possible here. You can get really involved in farm life too, joining in with bread making, vegetable harvesting, and coffee roasting! Community and cultural experiences on offer include meeting Gibb’s artist in residence, taking a trip to local village Tloma, and travelling to Karatu for a town tour. And of course a number of safari activities are available, such as walking along the Ngorongoro Crater rim, discovering the elephant caves deep in the Ngorongoro forest, and enjoying game drives within the crater and in Lake Manyara National Park. The crater is home to all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to numerous smaller predators and herbivores, and ample birdlife. Highlights of Lake Manyara include the tree-climbing lions and vast flocks of flamingos!