When I was travelling through Tanzania, it was primarily to see wildlife and experience some of the incredible camps in the national parks. Simply because the distances between places are so ridiculous (and slow going with the state of the parks’ dirt roads), we had to spend a night somewhere between Lake Manyara National Park and our trip through the Ngorongoro Crater onwards to the Serengeti.
What I really thought would be a simple stopover guest farm, turned out to be one of the best stays of my almost-decade long career in travel. Gibb’s Farm didn’t promise too much on its website (they have since launched a new website), and while I was sure it would be clean and comfortable, I was just happy to have a bed after a very long day of being bumped about in a game drive vehicle.
When I got to Gibb’s Farm though, I actually couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. It was so lush in comparison to the grasses of the parks, and I really felt like I had found my oasis. The colourful little chalets seemed to be almost be overgrown by all the foliage and flowers and vines, while a sweet fruit smell seemed to hang around in the twilight.
Our rooms were all absolutely massive, decorated beautifully with a massive fireplace and my absolutely best of all, a huge concrete bathtub. Of course, the first thing I did, was disappear into it for at least an hour. And get this, while I was soaking in the bath, I could hear elephants in the neighbouring park trumpeting away, signalling the end to their day. How incredible?
We got shown around the working farm, and I really wish I had had more than one night here, it really is that incredible. The coffee plantations can be seen from the terrace in front of the restaurant and lounge area, while a massive vegetable garden was spread out in neat rows in front of my room. Guests are encouraged to walk around, explore and find out more about the farm. I even got to visit the pigs (yes, they were smelly).
An artist in residence programme, and I can kick myself for not taking pictures of this, is in place on site. There are gorgeous artworks displayed all over the common areas for purchase, while an artist actually works from the front room of the main reception area.
Dinner and breakfast were both absolutely outstanding here. I didn’t have a bad meal in Tanzania (well maybe the omelette at the airport after having a flight cancelled out of Dar es Salaam), but these were both particularly special. Nothing beats the smell of roasting coffee beans and the waves of fresh pastry aroma at breakfast.
The coffee – the organic, single origin, small batch coffee – I drank from Gibb’s very own plantations was unbelievable. In fact, I drank so much that I was buzzing for an entire day’s drive through to the Serengeti. I had it in my room, I had it after dinner, three cups at breakfast and I’m sure there was another sneaky one in there somewhere else too.
This place is special. And this is coming from somebody who gets to stay at ‘special’ hotels very often. If you can get here, you have to. Make it a stop between parks, make it a destination for a few days even. Gibb’s Farm is superb, and I will be going back.
My trip to Tanzania was courtesy of Fastjet and Asilia Africa. As with all my posts, editorial control remains with me.