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Reviewed December 24, 2011

I really should have put a review in about this place earlier. My family stayed here in April 2011 and we loved it. The scenery is magnificent, it set quite high in the hills and is therefore wetter and more lush that most of the surrounding geography. On arrival it was lovely to be met by staff with wet towels to refresh ourselves after our day on safari

My first comment must be about the staff who were excellent and are really proud of the hotel and speak with pride about the how much of the hotel food they produce themselves. They food itself was excellent and my children loved the fact, that as we eat, we could watch a bush-baby visiting the bird table for scraps. We were amused to find out that the speciality pumpkin soup was off as the porcupines had carried out a raid on pumpkin patch!
The rooms seem to come from a colonial period and have a wonderful atmosphere that seems to have seeped into them through the ages. This is not a modern hotel; but a colonial home that has been adapted and therefore you may have to walk to your lodge through the gardens. Let me assure you though the gardens and views are lovely. I should warn you that the elephants do pass close by the lodge and can be noisy at night – we loved this but some may not.

We went on the walk to the elephant cave with the guides. The knowledge these guides displayed when talking about the flora and fauna was amazing. In most countries these men would be teaching botany. All the staff really makes the effort to introduce you to the local culture and I hope you make the most of the opportunity.

Now if you are visiting the Ngrongoro crater this lodge is very close and much cheaper than those that are on the crater. Our guide’s opinion it that this is one of the best places to stay in the area, I can only say that we loved staying here and if we visit again we will definitely stay longer. There is poignancy about this place, it is a reminder of a simpler time and it is lovely place to say.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Croxley-Hopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2011

A wonderful expereince. A working farm and coffee plantation where everything you eat is fresh and super-local (grown within a quarter mile of where you eat it). The food is amazing and roaming the groups is lovely. The birds too are colorful and delightful.

The cottages are old but have been nicely restored. The indoor and outdoor showers are nice and the staff light a fireplace in our room each night.

This is a great resting spot in the midst of safari.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BEonVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2011

Perfect retreat to end an adventure across the Serengeti.

Surrounded by lush gardens, we were greeted in a very cordial manner and were offered wet towels. Our rooms were designed like cottages with a beautiful seating area in the balcony that overlooked Karatu's green bliss. It's tough not to fall in love with the way the cottages are designed. Each one is uniquely designed in warm colors, wodden floors, painted bathrooms, outdoor/indoor shower, bathtub, fire place...

Considerable attention to details. It is evident all over such as the way the toilet paper was packed in cloth sack, locally made slippers in the hotel room, the utensils in the dining room, table cloth, kitchen ware, jug full of boiled water placed in the bathroom, art work, blankets, chandeliers, exotic flowers in the garden and fruit trees....even avocado!

The best part of my stay was the sound of the rain. It was all so natural!

Overall it was a pleasant stay and wish we stayed an extra nights to fully enjoy the facilities. I would have loved to try out their spa, but unfortunately there was no time.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Sarah F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2011

We spent two nights here as part of Thomson Safari trip. After nights in the safari tents, this was a welcome bit of luxury. Facilities are top notch. Food is great and scenery is beautiful. Options exist on various events to see, we visited a local school.
Highly recommend

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank TXtraveler67_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2011

We were pitched a stay at Gibbs farm is a great way to relax for a couple of days before the early starts for game drives on the rest of our trip, or, as a couple of days R & R at the very end. We could have definately stayed there for more than the 2 nights we had! It was great!

After about a 2 hour drive from Arusha we arrived at the farm (set on a coffee plantation) and met with a chorus of 'Jambos'! (hello!) We were then escorted to our room which was called the Library and was the furthermost room from the main lodge where dining and reception was.

Immediately we fell in love. The library is a fully self contained house with double room and toilet downstairs with kitchen and dining table, then upstairs another bedroom with 2 single beds. Top that off with an amazing panoramic view of the plantation and the surrounding hills from the verandha and we were in awe!

There is so much to do at this camp....90% of what they put on a plate for you during your stay is grown on the farm. The food is awesome! As a result you can help in the picking of vegetables for the evening meal, assist with the coffee roasting in the morning or amble around the last gardens taking a guide to describe all the flora and fauna along the way.

Being fitness enthusiasts we were keen to get out and stretch the legs. We did what the camp calls 'The Elephant cave walk'. You pay $20 US and enter the ngorongoro conservation area with a guide from the farm and also a ranger. Here you amble along a very good path, through the forest (the walk is not difficult) and come to what we describe as an Elephants quarry! They quarry into the hillside to get nutrients from the soil and as a result these cave like structure appear. Sadly we didnt see any elephants on our visit, but thats luck of the draw. We saw a few buffalo and several monkeys as well as learning alot from the guides about the plants, land etc.

The next day we did a mountain bike ride from the farm to the local village called Tloma again with a guide from the farm. Pascal actually grew up in the village and gave us a real insight into how people live there. It is very humbling. The children chase after you on the bikes shouting 'Muzungu' meaning 'white man'!!! Be sure to take something to hand out if you go to the shool or visit a local household ie crayons, lollipops, fruit from the farm. Visiting local villages like this one were among some of the memories that will stay with us and is well worth doing if you want to absorb a bit more of the local culture. The bikes needed a bit to TLC and in some parts the climbs are a little steep, but having said that you can go on more flat roads around the farm, although you may not get the same experience we had.

In the evening, the local Masai do a talk on different topics around the Tembo (elephant) fire its a nice way to interact with them and others in the camp.

We could have stayed for several more days as we really wound down in this environment. thank you to the general manager Peter, who was very friendly and hospitable and all the staff who made our stay so memorable.

At the time of our stay they were doing some rennovations to the farm and im sure will be even more special when they complete them.

Room Tip: The Library was excellent, especially if you are travelling in a group of 4 with one double and two single beds
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank rossmcneill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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