Richard Branson's animal conservation efforts have led him to announce a new project in Kenya just outside the famed 583-square-mile Masai Mara National Reserve.
The billionaire businessman/philanthropist/adventurer is constructing a 15-tent luxury camp in a new reserve next to the Masai Mara. While at a business conference in Nairobi this week, Branson said this new project will help protect migration routes for more than 1 million wildebeest that travel from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park north into the Mara once a year. According to reports, Branson called the migration one of the top “wonders” in the world.
The 61-year-old was light on additional details, but did expect the camp to open within the next four to six months.
Earlier this month, Branson was in India visiting Corbett National Park, a 520-square-kilometer refuge that acts as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger. He Virgin Unite Foundation has worked with WildAid to draw awareness to the plight of these great animals — and to help fund efforts to stabilize and increase populations.
“The tiger is desperately, desperately in need of help,” he told The Times of India. “They’ve got just two white tigers left in Rewa. I don’t think you can have too many people trying to help. What we’re hoping, with this trip, is to get maybe 30 foreign entrepreneurs working with 30 Indian entrepreneurs, see whether we can make a real difference and not just talk, see what practical help we can give them on the ground. Once you start seeing the numbers going up, from 1,500 to 3,000, things will be hopeful, but at the moment, that doesn’t seem to be happening.”
It is estimated that just more than 1,600 tigers are left throughout India.