Gibb's Farm


The road from Tarangire to Gibb's Farm climbs out of the Arusha plain and Lake Manyara into the increasingly lush uplands on the slope of the Ngorongoro highlands. As we travel the earth becomes brick red from the ancient volcanic ash. Vehicles of all manner pass a myriad of small vendors lining the highway near towns. Women dressed in brilliant fabrics walk beside the road carrying children and produce while talking on their cell phones. Boys herd cattle, goats, and donkeys along the road.

On the way to Gibb's Farm we made a stop at the Maasai Market in Karatu. After running the gauntlet of street vendors we made our way down narrow passages lined with small, open-air shops offering everything from clothes to artwork. A right turn down an even narrower passage took us to the produce area. Red bananas hung from a beam. There were baskets filled with green lemons and dried tiny fish. Fruits and vegetables of all kinds were everywhere. Mixed in were a few artists and musical instrument makers. The experience was unlike anything in the States. Sadly, time was short and we had to move on.

An inconspicuous dirt road leaves the main B144 highway near the town of Karatu. After traveling several miles along this dusty red rural road we arrived at Gibb's Farm, an oasis in a region of Tanzania that is otherwise predominantly arid. Lying at an elevation of 5400 ft. it sits on the south slope of a chain of extinct, dormant, and active volcanos, the largest being the Ngorongoro caldera. The Farm, which is owned and operated by Thomson Safaris, grows it's own produce and coffee. Each day these become part of sumptuous meals. The grounds are a spectacular arboretum and horticultural paradise. While stroling through the grounds we were serenaded by a cacophony of bird calls and those of other unseen animals.

While some of our group visited the fauna at Lake Manyara others stayed back, dealing with internal disputes between personal and local intestinal flora. This afforded an opportunity to explore the breathtaking flora and fauna of the Farm. A talk by a Maasai healer gave a glimpse of how after leaving Egypt in 1400 his people came to live in the area of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya.Later in the day a vigorous walk brought two of us, along with 2 guides, to the elephant caves; a place where elephants, cape buffalo, and other animals obtain the minerals absent from their normal diet. In the evening we watched the Galagos, a local prosimian, feast on sliced bananas.

Masaai Market and on the


A place of beauty


Gibb's farm map