Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Weekend At Gibbs Farm

The lodge that my sister, my mom and I stayed at was called Gibbs Farm and it was really wonderful. It was started back in the day by a German man who wanted to start a working coffee plantation, however, is now a full time lodge with a little bit of coffee production. Somehow we got lucky at got a wonderful room (more like our own lodge) called the Deutsch house and it had two bedrooms, and each one had a really nice bathtub, shower, and outdoor shower! Not to mention incredible beds. I thought I was in a different world. The really cool part about traveling around Tanzania is that everyone is literally from everywhere, playing the accent guessing game has become a common pastime.

The great thing for my vegetarian sister Corey was that all the meals were created from the lodge’s own garden. I had some of the best veggies and salads ever. Gibbs Farm is quite small, so everyone eats in one cozy dining room, which I think adds a lot to the atmosphere.

The lodge also had a resident artist, which I thought was really cool. Being an artist, as a profession here doesn’t really exist, so it was exciting to finally see one. For example, of all the schools we have worked at, only one school has an art teacher. Furthermore, the lodge has a stunning view, the perfect thing to look at while sipping the free/local teas.

The lodge also has its own daily schedule of activities. Corey and I decided to give milking a cow a try (not my favorite), and the much more enticing bush baby feeding at twilight. A super cute animal.

Side note: the best thing to relax to on a beautiful African farm…..Glee with your sister

The Crater and the Lake

However, a major reason why we came to this lovely lodge was for the well known/beautiful safaris. On Saturday we had a full day safari to Ngorongoro Crater, which I had heard many wonderful things about and was really excited to go. We had to get up at the lovely hour of 6:30, eat breakfast in our cozy dining room, and then head off on our adventure. The morning was extremely foggy, and at times I thought I was driving through a cloud. We couldn’t see a thing. Our guide, Bashu, promised us the day would clear up so we could see something/anything at all, and I could only hope he was right. For the first hour we had to drive into the crater so we were on super windy roads for quite some time. There were a couple instances I thought we were going to side down the cliff. About an hour into our drive the sun finally broke through (very much Lion King style), and everything became crystal clear. The safari was amazing. We saw many lions, ostriches, wildebeests, monkeys, impalas, dikdiks, hippos, hyenas, and much more. We even got lucky enough to see two of the remaining ten rhinos in the park. We adventured about until about three in the afternoon and then we headed back to Gibbs Farm.

Since I had to get back to Arusha by Sunday evening, we only had enough time on Sunday for a half-day game drive. This time we went to Lake Manyaro, which was quite different than the crater. The lake is much more of a jungle atmosphere so we were excited to see something a little bit different. We saw many different new types of birds and monkeys. We also saw a lot more of the animals we had already seen but seeing them in this new jungle/lake environment made it new again. Sadly, at about two or so we had to head to the airport, marking the end of a wonderful weekend and the closing end of the Malone African Family Adventure.

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