Your own country retreat on the slopes of Ngorongoro
7500ft above sea level, nestled on the verdant, misty slopes of the enchanting Crater Highlands region and just a stones throw from Karatu village, is Gibb’s Farm. Established in the 1920s as a coffee plantation, the farm now welcomes guests in pretty cottages dotted around the splendid gardens and there are plenty of activities on offer to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. Today, the farm is a chic, country retreat that has home-grown luxury down to a T; find flowers from the garden in the lounge, hearty organic produce at mealtimes and farm-fresh coffee delivered to your room every morning. Bliss.
At the lodge
The smart, up-country farmhouse is the hub of the farm and is full of the charm of East Africa with its pretty stone walls and beamed ceilings. The living rooms have huge armchairs and beautiful old coffee tables and there are plenty of cosy nooks and crannies to curl up in with a book, especially when the log fire is roaring. The dining area is a split-level room with enormous wraparound windows and panoramic views out the emerald hills beyond.
Stone pathways winding through blooms of lilies and bougainvillea lead to 20 pretty stone cottages, 18 of which have just been refurbished. Each is decorated to reflect an area of the plantation’s rich history, but all are light and airy with 2 queen-size beds, open fires for chilly evenings and beautiful flower-filled balconies overlooking the plantation. Sharing the same views are the huge stone bathtubs in the bathrooms, just made for soaking in after a long day exploring.
There are so many things to do at Gibb’s, we almost don’t know where to start. Some guests use the farm as a base for visiting Ngorongoro and Manyara and both are around an hour’s drive away. Otherwise, mountain bike through the hills, take guided nature walks, visit the local village and explore the vast (3,000 sq mile!) grounds. Or pick a good book, pour a G&T and put your feet up in the gardens or in the blissful spa.