A lot has been said already about this very unique and special place. We spent three nights here at the end of a two week safari, coming from the North and Ngorogoro. We traveled as a large family (13 of us) and stayed in several of their cottages. We were in #12 STAR and it was something else - must have been at least 1300 square feet - huge bedroom area with two queens and a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the incredibly lush gardens and vegetable gardens below. Bathroom was enormous soaking tub, shower and outdoor shower, his/her sinks and separate toilet. We both slept like logs every night although we wish there were more screens on windows so we could have more windows open during the evening for better ventilation and to keep bugs out!
Food was excellent and all from their organic farms which one can tour and it is highly impressive. One can really taste the freshness in all their food, from the just-picked lettuces to the fresh eggs to fresh milk milked from the cows that morning to the fresh yoghurt to their fresh coffee (they are a coffee plantation where they roast the coffee right there on the restaurant terrace - the list goes on - YUM! The talents of Rachel, the executive chef from South Africa, are Michelin-worthy and I would embarrass her with praise every time I saw her moving quickly about on the job.
What makes Gibb's a real gem however, in my opinion, is the staff, the service, and the variety of activities the farm has to offer. Our original plan was to return to the crater for a day whilst at the farm but our family was all so enamored by the atmosphere and list of activities that we decided to forego another day at the crater! Our safari outfitter was shocked! (okay, perhaps the dusty 4 hour round trip to/from the rim also had something to do with it!)
There were bike rides across the local countryside on EXCELLENTLY maintained mountain bikes to bird walks from a guide who rivaled the best safari guides and was able to pick out many birds we hadn't seen in the last two weeks of travel! The kids loved the farm tour and got to pick vegetables and milk the cows. The artist in residence taught the three younger cousins ( 3 girls 8-10 yrs) how to make paper from recycled old paper, then paint and create art from natural materials like banana leaves and believe it or not - elephant dung! He was an incredible teacher who was so patient and the girls were absolutely enraptured by the class which lasted almost 2-1/2 hours!
The staff all quickly learned to remember us by name as well as our choice of cocktails (!), all under the eye of Gerd, the hotel manager, who was a real superstar. Gibbs, you are lucky to have him. Every request taken without a blink of an eye.
So in summary, when planning a safari to this part of the world, be sure to include Gibb's in your plans. My advice is to plan your safari to run from the North to the South so you can end here, then drive back to Arusha (about 2.5 hours) and catch your flight back home. That way, Gibbs can bathe you in luxury, which for us was a so-welcomed and fitting ending from the previous two weeks of tented "glamping."
Well done Gibb's!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury lodge in Northern Tanzania, Gibb’s Farm offers a welcome respite for the East Africa safari traveller. Immerse yourself in a sanctuary for the senses, where the farm’s gentle rhythms impart a sense of peace and well-being. Experience a sense of place as you recline on your verandah, walk in the Ngorongoro Forest or explore the back roads of Karatu. Replenish with inspired organic cuisine, fresh from the farm’s gardens, bakery and dairy. Surround yourself with the rich traditions of East African life, exclusive to Gibb’s Farm, and share an eternal sense of history and community. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gibb`s Farm Hotel Karatu
- Gibb's Farm Tanzania/Karatu