Gibb´s Farm: Our View
Located on the lush outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater lies Gibb’s Farm! Gibb´s Farm is a long-standing favorite of ours in the Karatu Region and overlooks the Great Rift Valley. It takes merely 30 minutes from the lodge to the entrance gate into the Crater.
Founded in the 1920s as a coffee plantation, Gibb’s Farm is perfectly positioned along the main northern Tanzania safari route from Arusha to the Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Lake Eyasi national parks. Heading north to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, Gibb’s Farm is the ideal beginning, middle or end to your safari journey. With sweeping panoramic views over the Ngorongoro Conservation area, Gibb’s Farm provides a welcome retreat for a few days’ respite, or an extended immersive getaway.
Each of the seventeen spacious 1-bedroom English country style farm cottages holds its own story connected to Tanzanian culture and history, told through unique furnishings and art collections.
Famed for their outdoor showers, you have a choice of twin, queen, or king-sized beds swathed in a soft mosquito net. The cottages have recently been refurbished with modern touches to accentuate their classic charm, and comfortably accommodate solo travelers, couples, and families.
Additionally, there are 2 farmhouses, ideal for larger families, featuring two en-suite bedrooms (complete with outdoor showers) and a private living area designed to blend antiques with contemporary Tanzanian art. The beautiful gardens and private spaces of both farmhouses allow guests to enjoy the tranquility of the natural surrounds against a backdrop of singing birds.
Apart from the off-site excursions, guests can participate in daily farming activities including harvesting fresh fruit and vegetables from the organic gardens, milking the cows (we milked our first cow here hurraayyy), feeding the chickens and pigs, coffee picking, or perhaps attending the morning baking class. The farm also hosts artist’s retreats and many of the artworks decorating the property were created in-house by guests.
Activities available include game viewing in the stunning Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Lake Eyasi where you can enjoy meeting the Hadzabe Tribe and learn about their history and traditional way of living. The lodge also offers unique full-day guided hikes with packed lunches up in the surrounding rain forests in the foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater, which alone makes it worth staying an extra night here!
Gibb´s Farm: Quick Facts
- 17 spacious one bedroom cottages
- 2 spacious two bedroom farm houses
- Wellness focused retreat with Spa
- Farm to table fresh organic food
- Full day Ngorongoro Crater Safari
- Half-day safari to Lake Manyara
- Half-day safari to Lake Eyasi
- Cultural encounters with the Hadzabe tribe
- Crater forest walks
- Hands-on farming activities
- Guided walks offered into foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater
Gibb´s Farm: The Details
Established in the early 1900s by a German Duke (Dr. Albert Freiherr von Poelnitz) as a coffee plantation, founders James Gibb and his wife, Margaret, bought the farm after World War II and established the farm in the 1970s, the oldest guesthouse in northern Tanzania. Dr. Albert Freiherr von Poelnitz purchased the land (the area that is now Gibb’s Farm) from his brother-in-law and continued to cultivate it as a coffee plantation. The original farmhouse was built in 1929, and what is today known as the Deutsche House cottage was built to commemorate the German heritage of the farm.
In the late 1920’s a coffee farm was established by a German farmer, which was subsidized by the German Government. During the Second World War, the British took over the farm.
Neglected through the war years, the farm was bought in 1948 by James Gibb, a British war veteran, who returned it to production. In 1959, he married Margaret, who was born in Tanzania to British parents. Margaret was an avid gardener and started the extensive and beautiful vegetable and flower gardens.
In 1960, the Serengeti National Park was partitioned, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established along the north boundary of the farm. To accommodate the influx of visitors attracted to the conservation area and surrounding national parks, James and Margaret built guest cottages in 1972, making Gibb’s Farm one of the first guest houses in northern Tanzania.
James Gibb died in 1977, but Margaret continued to run the farm until 2003, when she and her late second husband, Per Kullander, passed on the Gibb’s Farm tradition to current owners, Rick & Judi. Under their guidance Gibb’s Farm continues to build upon the gracious hospitality and legacy of conservation, an organic farm for over 27 years, carefully cultivated for future generations to enjoy.