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Greg Thompson is in his element on the Okavango River
Life aboard the Kubu Queen, gracefully navigating the Okavango, is one of my happiest memories of Africa, not least for the company of her laid-back fisherman-captain Greg Thompson. Frankly, I cannot imagine where Greg would be happy except on a river; and of the rivers his happiest is the Okavango. The fighting Tiger Fish, the Barbel run, the cycles of floods that he knows, and understands, so well, is the environment where he is in his element.
It makes complete sense that his first fishing expedition was when he was only three years old. His father’s enthusiasm was passed to his son, and they spent every holiday of his childhood camping along rivers, across southern and east Africa.
The classroom was too claustrophobic, he ducked out of University and, like a fish returning home, headed off in a tiny car to the Chobe river where he worked as a fishing guide for three years.
Acclaimed fisherman and Okavango expert
A spell as a safari guide followed, at the remote Lloyd’s Camp in the wild Savuti region. Here he used and deepened his broad knowledge of the birds and wildlife of Botswana.
It was whilst working as a safari guide in the northern Okavango that he spotted, half submerged, the historic Kubu Queen, one of the first houseboats on the Okavango river, now rotting away and neglected after 30 years of service. Greg set his heart on restoring her to her former beauty.
Negotiating her purchase, restoring her and moving her to Shakawe on the Okavango was no easy or quick task. But she is now Greg’s pride of joy and he takes up to 6 clients at a time cruising, birding or fishing this famous river. He also leads fishing trips and safaris across the Okavango Delta.
Greg is an outstanding freshwater fisherman, and regularly wins regional competitions. His knowledge of every aspect of the delta is impressive, and his expertise of fishing stretches not only down the Okavango, but down the several great rivers of southern Africa.
Author: Roddy Bray
Published Date: 07 Jan 2011
Location: Southern Africa | Botswana
Themes: natural world, travel, skills and interests