Gibb’s Farm was a completely different experience than the other camps and lodges we stayed during our Tanzania safari. Located about 30 minutes from the Ngorongoro front gate (and therefore 1.5 hours from the Ngorongoro Crater rim entrance) in Karatu, Gibb’s Farm is a peaceful oasis with plenty of space to stretch your legs, explore, and enjoy delicious food.
Gibb’s Farm is actually a farm. They grow coffee beans and have a massive organic vegetable garden. They also raise a variety of farm animals, including chickens, pigs, goats, ducks, geese, donkeys, and cows. If you’re relaxing at the property rather than going on game drives, you can participate in various farm chores like milking cows, picking vegetables for dinner, baking bread, etc.
Rooms are cottages scattered throughout the property. We got a connected one, which had two attached cottages with a door you can open from the inside (like connecting hotel rooms). This was nice because it allowed our kids to run back and forth between rooms. Each cottage had a large room with a sitting area on one end and beds at the other end. They had a patio and a large bathroom with a bath tub and shower, plus an outside shower.
Beds were two queens beds with mosquito netting that wrapped around both of them. There was also a fire place they would light at night if you desired. The beds were very comfortable and our kids actually managed to share one AND fall asleep together! I felt for sure we’d have to split up and go one adult and one kid per bed.
The outside shower was lovely, though definitely a bit chilly at night (due to the air temperature, not the water temps). The inside shower was awkward because it just sprayed onto the bathroom floor, making the entire bathroom floor very wet. So if you needed to go back into the bathroom once you had socks or shoes on, you got wet or tracked water everywhere.
At dinner you could arrange for wake up service in the morning with tea, coffee and/or hot chocolate brought to your room. DD5 really loved hot chocolate on the patio in the morning. Our patio looked out right onto the walking path leading to the reception and restaurant, so it was busy and not very private. Some cottages had better privacy.
In the late afternoon they put out complimentary tea, coffee, and snacks–cakes and cookies and the like. Yum! We enjoyed some snacks our first day and then wandered the property. The kids loved being able to run free, as there is no threat from animals and plenty of space. The flowers and gardens were beautiful and if you didn’t have energetic kids needing to move, there were plenty of spots to sit and relax and read a book.
The garden area was massive and it was fun pointing out all the vegetables, fruits, and herbs they were growing. We also said “hi” to all the animals. DS2 particularly liked the ducks. Then we went to the camp fire talk on elephants. It was a bit slow and the fire was just some burning embers and not actually a fire, which was disappointing as other lodgings had real fires at night.
Upon arrival they assign you a dinner time, with 6:45 being the earliest. They shifted our 7:15 time to 6:45 once they realized we had kids. The adult and kid menus were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the food, though courses did take a long time to arrive. This is fine when it’s just adults, but hard when it’s exhausted children. We did find that some of the food was way too fancy for our kids. For example, they got vanilla ice cream for dessert, which turned out not to be plain vanilla but had some other flavorings added in.
For breakfast, they had a buffet with breads, fruits, yogurts, and cold cuts and then a made-to-order fancy menu. Very fancy it turns out. The first morning the waiter arrived and suggested pancakes and bacon for the kids. Great! Sounds just up their alley! But then the pancakes arrived and were covered in rhubarb syrup and other toppings. Kids wouldn’t touch it. Second morning we learned out lesson and ordered very plain scrambled eggs and bacon and emphasized the NOTHING ELSE aspect.
For lunch we had boxed lunches from them twice. These were also very, very fancy. Kids at meat from the chicken legs and that was it. Luckily I had brought a lot of snacks with me. There were several types of salads and other foods. It was all delicious, but not really conducive for eating on your lap in a jeep. The second night there (after the first lunch), we talked to the chef about making simpler boxes for the kids with more kid friendly food. Our second lunch was a bit better, but they only made one kid box. This turned out ok, as neither kid ate much. We requested carrots and cucumbers and a plain chicken sandwich with nothing on it. They made the sandwich fancy and the chef did not seem pleased that we had questioned his artistic vision. Again, the food was all very delicious and he is definitely highly qualified. However, not very practical for kids nor for eating in jeeps.
Our second night at Gibb’s Farm we listened to a concert put on by a local choir. It was excellent and all the guests came out to listen.
Wifi at Gibb’ Farm was best accessed at the reception/lobby area. It was strong and easy to access. Gibb’s Farm also has a gift shop and sells their own coffee, along with books, clothings and other locally made products.
Gibb’s Farm would be a great place to end your safari. We talked with one lady who did 10 days in the Serengeti, hit Ngorongoro Crater upon exiting and then got to just relax at Gibb’s Farm. That would be the ideal. We went from the Serengeti to Gibb’s Farm to Ngorongoro Crater to Gibb’s Farm to Tarangire. Tarangire was our least favorite park and camp and definitely less luxurious than Gibb’s Farm. If you go, definitely end at Gibb’s Farm. But book early, as it fills up.
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