Situated within the town of Karatu on the outskirts of Ngorongoro Conservancy Area is Gibb’s Farm, a perennial favorite for travelers and a ‘sanctuary for the senses in Tanzania’. With cottage-style accommodations, a celebrated focus on farm-to-table cuisine, and a slant towards the experiential, Gibb’s Farm stands out for those wanting a change from tented camps in their East Africa itinerary.
DESTINATION: KARATU, TANZANIA
Gibb’s Farm’s location in Karatu puts it on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater and within driving distance of Lake Manyara, making it a perfect home base for those seeking to blend safari with village visits and a healthy dose of R&R. Originally founded as a coffee plantation, the history of coffee production carries on today with 30 acres of land dedicated to the crop and farm-fresh beans being roasted for your morning boost before heading out to explore. Beyond the farm-to-table focus, Gibb’s offers a range of activities on site from village visits to spa days and evening storytelling (‘Tembo Tales’) around the fire.
Gibb’s Farm fills a unique gap in the Tanzanian accommodation sphere. Set in beautifully lush surroundings, the cottages are gorgeously outfitted with patios, fireplaces, plush beds, and spacious bathrooms, making them the perfect destination for a respite. Cottages are named, not numbered, and we stayed in Oldupai named after nearby Oldupai Gorge. Your morning wake-up call comes with your choice of coffee or tea delivered right to your room, and by night you’ll have a team member visit your cottage to set a fire in your fireplace for the evening. The biggest takeaway from our stay at Gibb’s? Stay longer. I have no doubt I’ll return to Gibb’s on future trips to Tanzania but next time would easily include a minimum of three or four nights here focused not only on exploring nearby areas, but also on enjoying the property itself. With spa services available, beautiful grounds for exploring, the best gift shop in the area (seriously, don’t miss the chance to stock up here) and outrageously comfortable rooms, it’s the perfect place to allow yourself to truly unwind with a day or two dedicated to just being.
Gibb’s Farm is famed for its cuisine, with a farm on-site producing all of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs (and coffee!) used to feed guests and staff. The restaurant is a regional favorite, even for non-resident guests, which is a testament to the quality of cuisine being put out by the property. The farm tour is an absolute must to get a feel for the scope of what’s produced (complimentary at least once per day), and the quality and creativity of cuisine will satisfy foodies on safari. Opt for full board to enjoy the spread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or half board for breakfast and dinner only (a good option for guests focused on days of exploring further afield). Gibb’s Farm was originally founded as a coffee plantation and still boasts 30 acres of coffee which you’ll see roasting fresh every morning. For those that fall in love with local coffee, don’t miss the gift shop where you can purchase a bag or two to take home with you. For tea lovers, don’t miss their afternoon tea where you can enjoy local teas paired with fresh-baked pastries.
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Number of Rooms: 17 one-bedroom cottages plus two-bedroom houses tents Cost Per Night: From $395 per person per night, half board Must-Try Eats & Drinks: The farm started out as a coffee plantation so don’t miss your morning cup of Joe. Food is exceptional across the board. Hotel Highlights: Don’t miss the farm tour to get a grasp of the scope of all of the fruits, vegetables, and coffee grown on-site; also, don’t miss the gift shop (one of the region’s best) Worth the Investment? Yes, a unique experience in the region. They offer Stay 4, Pay 3 packages, too!