Coffee estate guesthouse
Gibbs Farm is a charming farmhouse, first constructed by a German farmer in the 1930's to be the homestead of a large coffee plantation. During the Second World War the property was confiscated by the British Custodian of Enemy Property and in 1948 it was sold to war veteran James Gibb, who returned the neglected property to working order. Now a warm and inviting safari lodge, Gibbs imparts a sense of wellbeing and tranquillity as you take in the beauty of nature, relax into the rhythm of farm life and experience the warm hospitality of the local community.
The lodge consists of 19 one and two bedroom en-suite cottages spaced throughout the gardens. Each is richly appointed with eucalyptus floors, hand-crafted furniture, indoor and outdoor showers, a fireplace and a private verandah. Every one beautifully depicts a theme for example the Mulberry Cottage which features botanical illustrations by artist Riziki Kateyais and is surrounded by established, fruit bearing trees used to make mulberry jam and preserves for guests.
The main farmhouse boasts a charming living room, two dining rooms and plenty of private nooks in which to curl up with a good book. Roaring fires create a cosy ambience during the cooler months whilst the outside verandahs and spacious patios are the perfect spot to soak up the sunshine surrounded by lush, soothing gardens and sweeping views of the valley. The property’s extensive grounds are a cool oasis for a late afternoon or early morning walk while the vegetable garden supplies the kitchen with delicious organic produce and attracts many spectacular species of birds.
During your stay you can enjoy a whole host of safari and wildlife experiences including guided drives through the famous Manyara National Park to see hippos gathered at sunset and bush walks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The 6 hour wilderness walk ascending the slopes to the crater rim takes in untouched forests, unique plant life, animals and rare birds with a stunning finale of magnificent views of the crater floor below.
You can be as actively involved in farm life (or not!) as you wish to be. Avid birders are encouraged to join naturalists for an early walk around the farm to observe morning birdlife for census and behaviour, and contribute to any new sightings. You can also join the early morning bread making ritual, laugh with the chefs as they go about their daily routine of harvesting fresh organic produce from the vegetable garden or experience traditional coffee cultivation and roasting, just as it has been done for generations.
There are also plenty of ways you can be involved with the local community. You can work alongside the farm’s carpenters to construct and deliver school furniture, meet the students and teachers at Tloma Primary School and visit the town of Karatu. Wandering through a local market, drinking a local beer and having your hair done in a local salon is a fascinating way to observe daily African life.
Combining colonial charm with an intimate, relaxed atmosphere and a whole host of utterly unique experiences, a stay at Gibbs Farm is a wholly authentic insight into the beauty of African life on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Read more: Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara & Tarangire
Why we like it
- Working coffee estate & farm
- Rich heritage & colonial charm
- Wilderness walks to the crater rim
- Build & donate a desk
- Ideal location between Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro Crater