A quiet seaside retreat
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The story of Xigera Safari Lodge is one of renewal. Of rebirth and family legacy, and of the pioneering spirit that drives us to seek out Africa’s wild spaces. The same spirit that inspired this remarkable reimagining, perhaps a complete reinvention, of an Okavango Delta safari.
This is Xigera (pronounced ‘kee-jera’), named for the Pied Kingfisher that makes its home amid the watery channels of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve.
Every aspect is handcrafted to beguile our guests’ senses and stir their souls – from the evocative interiors to one-of-a-kind encounters.
But Xigera is equally a line in the sand. A raising of the bar. A bold statement in the realm of luxury safaris, and an Okavango Delta safari experience like no other.
Dave Bartram has lived in Guernsey since 1997, previously working for Barclays Bank for over 35 years. Dave wanted a change of careers and completed tour guide accreditation to Silver level as well as caring for six steers and two calves. Dave has also been a beekeeper since 2011 and is President of the Guernsey Pétanque Association.
Dave's tours cover both town and country, and in his country tour you can learn more about why Dave decided to give up finance for farming. In both tours, you can learn about the past and present of Guernsey and how Dave's conservation efforts have made a difference.
A biodiversity journey around Guernsey with Dave, where you will be able to see the herd of six steers that he manages in order to increase biodiversity. You will be able to get up close with the cattle who always love a scratch from a passer-by!
You will visit the calves who are brought up in a different location and there will be the opportunity to feed the calves. You will see how grazing, as opposed to mowing, can help the environment as well as learning about Guernsey. This tour is for small groups of up to six and will be in the hotel's own vehicle.
It will last approximately three hours and will include refreshments. Price available on request.
Gill was born in Guernsey and has lived here for most of her life, working in the hospitality industry and for the last 20 years as a tour guide. She is passionate about our island and loves talking to people about the fascinating history, and we are proud to have her as our guide at The Old Government House Hotel.
Gill has family who were here throughout the occupation in the Second World War and some who were evacuated so has many family anecdotes to pass on. She was also the tour guide who helped the film crew research the very successful film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book, a film about the occupation.
Le Tertre, the home of Jerry and Gill Girard, has been in the Girard family for generations since the early 1600s. It was quite common for the earlier generations to build a more "modern" house when times were good and the family now live in a Victorian villa built alongside the old house. The original farmhouse still stands on the property, built of locally quarried pink granite. Cider-making was an old Guernsey tradition for many of the farmers during the last few centuries. Jerry's father donated part of the cider press to the Folk Museum in Saumarez Park but the press itself is still on the property in Le Prinsaeux.
Walk with Gill from the Folk Museum in Saumarez Park to see the old cider press at Le Tertre. Wander through the lanes and medieval tracks to their family home and enjoy a taste of local produce served in the garden overlooking the west coast. Sample local cheeses, local cider, apple juice, chocolate fudge, sloe gin and more whilst sharing anecdotes about the history of the property and Guernsey farming traditions. Enjoy the family’s hospitality before your transport arrives to take you back to the hotel.
We are proud that these experiences have been selected as a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Chosen for the positive impact they have on the traveller and communities we explore, Dave Bartram's goals advance the United Nations Global Goal 12 'Responsible Consumption' and Goal 15, 'Production & Life on Land'.
Gill Girard's experiences directly advance Goal 11 'Sustainable Cities and Communities' and Goal 12 'Responsible Consumption and Production' by promoting and educating our guests on the issue.
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