Gibbs Farm - 4 Stars

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Gibbs Farm - 4 Stars

Gibb’s Farm is located at the entrance to the highlands of northern Tanzania, midway between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater, five kilometers from the village of Karatu. Gibb’s Farm is an oasis of green, calm, and beauty, in a landscape that can often be parched, dry and dusty. The main facilities, consisting of a sitting room, reading room, dining room (which serves fresh, home-cooked meals), bar and gift shop are situated in the old farmhouse. Coffee is grown, processed, and roasted on Gibb's Farm, and a vast ten-acre fruit and organic vegetable garden provides nearly all the fruit and vegetables to the guests, who wake up to fresh coffee, a multitude of flowers, and breathtaking views.
 
The old-colonial farmhouse, built by German settlers in the early 20th century, still has the character of a well-looked-after-private house with roaring fires and friendly service. The farm, neglected through the war years, was bought by James Gibb, a British war veteran, in 1948 who returned it to production. In 1959, he married Margaret, who was born in Tanzania to British parents. Soon, Margaret started a small vegetable and flower garden. In 1960, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established adjacent to and north of Gibb's Farm. In 1972, Gibb's Farm became an accommodation for travelers. James Gibb died in 1977 and the coffee estate, except for a small section for use by the lodge, was sold in 1978 to the Tanzanian Coffee Board. Gibb’s Farm is still owned by Margaret Gibb and her husband Per Kullander.
 
Accommodations
The Gibb's Farm lodge offers 20 twin rooms with en suite bathrooms set among the gardens.
 
Activities
  • Bird walk: with over 200 different species of birds at Gibb's Farm, take a bird walk with one of the lodge’s naturalists or you can spend the day on your own checking off your bird life list.
  • Waterfall Walk: Take a guided walk (2-2.5 hours) to the top of a nearby waterfall and see caves made by elephants. The trail winds its way in and out of the forest highlands with breathtaking vistas; you will often see wildlife and a multitude of birds.
  • Coffee and Garden Tours.
  • Local community visit: The Iraqw is the local tribe that has inhabited the immediate Ngorongoro highlands near Gibb's Farm for over 200 years. Walk or drive 4 kilometers to a traditional Iraqw home built entirely using traditional materials and methods of construction, just as it was 200 years ago. You will see many of the traditional tools and weapons used by the Iraqw. Try your hand at grinding maize using grinding stones and listen to a presentation and demonstration of traditional Iraqw skirt making.
  • Local school visit: Visit a local primary school to get a glimpse of a rural Tanzania school system.