Gibb’s Farm is a working Tanzanian coffee farm, established in the late 1920’s and refurbished as a warm luxury inn. From well-appointed cottages overlooking the magnificent gardens, guest can relax and savour the tranquil environment or explore the nearby Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Parks. Gibb’s Farm imparts a sense of well-being, tranquillity and history – deeply rooted in East African culture and community – a welcome retreat for a few days’ respite while on safari for an extended vacation or honeymoon getaway. The 17 cottages and 2 houses each feature a unique theme, richly appointed with eucalyptus floors and hand-crafted furniture. Deutsches House and Bustani House each offer a common living area and two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and are available for families or couples travelling together. Individual cottages each sleep 2 guests (twin or double) with intimate living spaces, a fireplace, en-suite bathroom and private terrace. Inside, beautiful architectural details, such as the original wooden beams and colourful artwork reflecting the inspirations of local African artists greet you. Outside, the farm’s organic vegetable and terraced flower gardens provide a wonderful setting for afternoon tea or a quiet walk to impart a sense of contentment and well-being..
Where we operate
- Bird Watching
- Mobile Safaris
- Art tours
Our Commitment to Responsible Tourism
Gibb’s Farm is a model for sustainable, environmentally-respectful practices, continuing the legacy of founders Margaret and Jim Gibb. The farm has won numerous awards, including the Tanzania Tourism Board’s 2011 & 2012 Sustainable Tourism Award, Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s World Saver Award and the Educational Travel Community’s Responsible Tourism Award.
Operation of the entire organic farm—consisting of 30 acres of coffee, 10 acres of vegetables and fruit, 5 acres of flowers and herbs and a working dairy and pig farm—is based upon sustainable farming methods. Everything is grown organically using only natural fertilizer and compost from the farm. Insect-repellant plants help to manage pests, rather than harmful pesticides. Reclaimed water is used whenever possible, and all buildings and furniture are built onsite using local materials and local labor.
Our sustainable, responsible practices include:
- 90% of the food served is grown on the farm.
- 100% of grey-water is recycled.
- 90% of our hot water is heated using solar power.
- All glass bottles are broken down and recycled, or used in building foundations.
- 100% of grey-water from kitchens, bathtubs, rainwater and laundry is recycled into organic farms and gardens via a reed plant filtration system.
- The largest solar panel array in northern Tanzania heats 90% or the farm’s water.
- Treatment systems use bio-digesting septic tanks and French drain leach fields.
- Pure well water, filtered through a Katadyn filter, provide drinking water and ice. Bottled water purchases are discouraged.
- Non-potable water comes from three sources: a 50-year-old dam built in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and piped to the vegetable and flower gardens; reed plant-filtered grey water, and; well water.
Gibb’s Farm recycles or disposes of all waste onsite, so that no solid waste is placed into the surrounding community waste stream. Our responsible disposal practices include:
- 100% of kitchen and food waste are either fed to farm pigs or composted for use in the organic gardens. Cottage and kitchen fireplace ashes and pig and cow manure is added to the compost system. Much of the flower and vegetable plant cuttings are also composted.
- Most plastic breaks down in ultraviolet sunshine. After a few months the bottles are broken and buried in an 80-foot pit, specially designed for non-toxic material.
- Glass wine bottles are stored in bulk and donated to various causes, such as a small NGO where handicapped artisans recycle the glass to make jewelry.
- Tin cans are flattened, burned and placed in the 80-foot pit. Odd bits of metal are reused in construction or sold for scrap.
- Miscellaneous items such as light bulbs & metal spray cans are placed directly into the 80-foot pit. The rest is burned and buried.
- Paper and small plastics are burned, and either added to the compost system or placed in the 80-foot pit.
- Recycled motor oil is collected and used to prevent insect damage to building cladding.
Building Materials & Grounds
All farm restoration and construction is conducted with minimal importation and local fabrication. This practice develops community skills and minimizes transportation fuel pollution. Toilet fixtures, most textiles and some electrical materials were imported.
- The farm’s tree nursery (with predominantly native species) helps to control erosion and reforest the environment.
- More than 50% of old building materials were used as foundations, doors, shutters and roofing for new buildings and restoration. Cottages are made of stone and sustainable wood that is treated with recycled motor oil to protect it from insects to limit brick making and old growth tree cutting.
- Sustainable materials are used to build staff housing, from sun-dried mud bricks to thatched roofs, providing an example for the community of affordable alternatives to tin roofing and concrete intensive construction.
- Furniture, textiles and artwork are crafted on the farm by local carpenters, craftsmen and artists-in-residence. A carpenter guild was established to teach fine furniture making and joinery. Carpenters work in the farm wood shop, creating furniture for sale or ply their newly-learned skill in the local villages.
- 50% of cottage walls are glass to allow for natural illumination, and low energy lighting and timer switches are installed in many areas.
- In kitchen and storage areas, transparent sheets are mixed with corrugated tin roofing to allow natural lighting in.
- Cottage cross ventilation and roof overhang provide cooling and shading properties.
Laundry is washed with water heated by solar power and clothes are dried using the sun and fresh air. Electric dryers are available upon request, but sun-drying is the preferred, more ecologically sound method.
- Laundry is sun-dried. In inclement weather, a large open-air shelter allows for drying.
- Water is heated by solar power.
- Grey water is recycled.
- Bio-degradable detergent is used.
Gardens & Estate Forests
Eight gardens have been restored or established to attract bird and insect life, and to provide a natural respite from the rigors of safari. You will discover a vast array of tree and bush species, many indigenous to East Africa. Botanical artist Riziki Kateya has catalogued many of the plants, a few of which are unique to Gibb’s Farm. There is also a tree nursery where hundreds of young saplings are grown to encourage the growth of native tree species in the area.
- Herb Garden: The kitchen herb garden features over 10 indigenous varieties and the formal English herb garden contains a variety of ornamental herbs.
- Cactus Garden: Features 15 varieties of cactus, relocated from other areas of the farm.
- Flower Garden: Over 200 species of birds have been sighted at Gibb’sFarm, many of which are attracted by the flower garden, originally planted over 40 years by Margaret Gibb.
- Rose Garden: A small part of the original floral inventory included 15 species of roses. These have been returned to their first location among the oldest cottages and expanded.
- Margaret’s Garden: A small garden that retains its original design and content.
- Medicine Garden – Medicinal plants are freshly gathered and harvested from the Osero Forest Clinic’s medicine garden for use in traditional cures and treatments.
- Trees and Shrubs: Over 60 species grow within the farm.
- Ornamental Flowers: Nearly 200 species are represented; an exhaustive list is currently being completed.
04 April 2019
On foot, with the smell of damp earth in the forests and the call of birdsong in the gardens, immerse your senses. Each step promises a new memory and we encourage our guests to explore Tanzania from more than a safari vehicle. Step outside and truly discover what it is to be in Africa. From longer safari walks, to gentle morning strolls through our organic farm and time with a traditional healer, we offer a host of options to suit every fitness level and cater for a diverse range of interests.Read More
08 March 2013
I would like to take this opportunity to update you on a few changes to our Sales & Marketing structure. After 13 years of working with Gibb's Farm, Dale Jensen decided it was time for him to pursue new ventures. During his tenure, Dale made a number of very valuable contributions in moving Gibb's Farm into a new era. We remain extremely committed to our trade partners who have always been strong supporters of Gibb’s Farm. To nurture and grow our tra…Read More
30 May 2012
As part of Gibb’s Farm ongoing refurbishment during 2012, the property is now proud to present its new indoor and outdoor dining venues, which will continue to feature it’s organic farm grown crops together with locally and regionally sourced produce delivered from field to table with minimum delay. Meats, fruits, vegetables and salad items are all featured, allowing guests to eat healthy whatever their preferences. Seating up to 60 guests inside and 40 on the veranda and under the…Read More