What Sir Richard did next...

A royal family in the Middle East with an ideology akin to his own "and deep pockets" is helping Sir Richard Branson realise a dream that owes much to the work of philanthropist John D Rockefeller.

Branson's newest property, Mahali Mzuri in Kenya, opens next month under the umbrella of his Virgin Limited Edition portfolio. The Kenyan game lodge is on a private concession in the path of the annual great herd migration, and forms a cornerstone of the 62-year-old entrepreneur's new strategy of using his benefactors' cash to buy up big tracts of land, "while we use our experience to set up little boutique hotels". 

"Rockefeller is someone I admire tremendously," Branson told Gourmet Traveller during a recent Australian visit to address the National Achievers Congress. "[His son, Laurence] bought a lot of land in the US Virgin Islands and made sure it was protected for generations to come. I'd like to do the same."

As well as getting a ringside seat on the migration, guests in the new Kenyan lodge will be supporting the environment and its people. "I was approached by a friend who said the migration was in danger of being destroyed by cattle farms," Branson says. "We've rented [the land] off [Maasai farmers], taken on their kids to work and they've moved their cattle elsewhere. It's a win-win situation.

"We're seeing if we can buy some rainforest areas in Madagascar and create a Limited Edition property alongside it. Something good could come out of that." 



Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Louvre Abu Dhabi opens
28.11.2017
Three of the best Italian villas with views
14.11.2017
Inside Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
07.11.2017
World view: Weligama Bay, Sri Lanka
24.10.2017
Welsh summer cabins inspired by myths and legends
20.10.2017
Three of the best ski lodges in Colorado
17.10.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Wine on tap in Copenhagen

Wine bars don’t often win art prizes for “beautifying the ci...

Grand Budapest wine revival

The latest crop of Hungarian winemakers has sparked a new fo...

Etihad's private cabin

Cabins with proper beds and butlers feature in Etihad’s plan...

Julia Morris on Bellapais, Cyprus

On a stay in Bellapais, actress Julia Morris basked in the h...

Cathay Pacific's new airport lounges

Lounge design needs to satisfy loners and more sociable crea...

Qantas reveals new A330 business suites

Qantas has unveiled new business-class seating and the big w...

Baest, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Bæst offers diners a truly hands-on experience.

Qantas business class amenity kits get an upgrade

Qantas reveals its brand-new business class amenity kits...

Qantas upgrades its economy-class dining

The airline promises bigger portions and greater choice in t...

Specialist travel agents

When it comes to booking travel, aren’t we flying solo now? ...

Air NZ's new business class

There's no question Air New Zealand is winning the branding ...

Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen

Ex-Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez makes a (taco) stand in th...

Marc Blazer interview

Meet Marc Blazer, talent collector, dream enabler and the ma...

GT Journeys by Abercrombie & Kent

GT Journeys by Abercrombie & Kent kicks off next year with i...

Expert tips for air travel with Emmerentia Wilding

We ask Emmerentia Wilding, general manager for Estee Lauder,...