3 - Sir Richard Branson - Virgin Galactic

I have been fortunate on a few occasions to share many moments in the natural environment with Sir Richard Branson. It all started while I was sitting, at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg, waiting for a flight to Mozambique to go to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. I received a phone call from him explaining his interest in the Peace Park vision of the late Dr Anton Rupert and that he would like support the work that we were doing at the time.

This call led to a visit to his lodge at ULUSABA, from where we went on a 5 day helicopter flight to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and the MAPUTO Elephant Reserve and Transfrontier Park. What a wonderful and great person to spend time with. He was energetic, full of wisdom and knowledge and I enjoyed spending time flying across the incredible scenery of southern Mozambique, while flooding his senses with an endless stream of comments on what we where looking at from the air.

During the trip to Mozambique

While we were flying across the Mozambican coast line north of Ponto de Oro, he notice a lovely reef and clear water and immediately instructed the pilot to find us a lodge, a boat and diving equipment. Within one hour we were in the water, experiencing the blue tropical waters, which we were looking at just one hour ago!

While back at the lodge he also took me down into a small projection room and explained, with the help of a video, his dream of space exploration and the work he was just embarking on with Virgin Galactic. So I was really stunned and shocked to read about the tragic accident of the spacecraft SpaceShipTwo some time ago.

One of the most fun events we did together was during the launching of the Swedish Peace Parks foundation in Stockholm. I was asked to approach Richard with the idea of him speaking at an event in Stockholm with the foundation and Niclas Matseke Kjellström the CEO of the Swedish Postcode Lottery. When he said yes at short notice it introduced a hive of activities arranging the event with the three of us in the Grand hotel in Stockholm. He invited us to fly with him in his private plane from Oslo for a discussion and preparation for the event. This was a fascinating invitation into his private cubical in the sky.

Needless to say it proved to be a huge success which culminated in support for the foundation from the Swedish Postcode Lottery, which to this day continues with valuable support for many important projects.

The link below is to a video focussing on the future of his dream that he related to me at the Ulusaba lodge in South Africa many years ago. I specifically love the scenes of the earth and the comments about nature without boundaries or politics, just boundaries of ecosystems and ecosystem resources. It is so similar to the dreams expressed in this blog site

I hope you will enjoy the video in the link below as much as I did.

Video: Why exploring space is so important by Richard Branson

Video: Building Virgin Galactic's new spaceship