Stephen Cunliffe
South Africa ZA
Sep 3, 2014 September 3, 2014

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Category: Sustainable Lodge of the week

Gibb’s Farm comprises 17 cottages and two guesthouses set amidst a patchwork of coffee and veggie gardens within the Ngorongoro biosphere in Tanzania. Elephants regularly wander through the farm’s fields and forests, drinking from the reservoirs en route. Gibb’s is an unusual farm.

All wastewater is filtered and then used to irrigate the fields, while paper waste is innovatively recycled by enterprising locals into paper art and other curios. Although Gibb’s is powered from the national grid, all its hot water needs are satisfied by a 40-pannel solar vacuum set-up and fires in the guestrooms are made using environmentally friendly coffee prunings.

Gibb’s Farm is also behind the non-profit Karatu Education Fund, which strives to improve education levels within nearby Karatu Village. This village is where most of the farm staff hail from and the Fund has been responsible for the building of classrooms and teacher accommodation, electrification of the secondary school, construction of ablutionary facilities, provision of desks and the introduction of running water for villagers.

Eco-farming techniques, low-impact guest facilities and a harmonious approach to farming with nature are the primary reasons for Gibb’s Farm being included amongst the 50 leading sustainable destinations in Africa, as selected by David Bristow and Colin Bell in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this important and revealing book, then you can order it here.