UK Billionaire flew balloon on top of Mount Kilimanjaro

BY DIRAMAKINI REPORTER

TANZANIA'S rich tourist attractions continue to lure the world's famous people to visit the country and this time it is the British Billionaire, Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (Richard Branson).
Through his IG post, the billionaire revealed he flew over Mount Kilimanjaro on a Hot Air Balloon recently.
Who is Richard Branson?

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, (born July 18, 1950, Shamley Green, Surrey, England).

He is British entrepreneur and adventurer, head of Virgin Group Ltd, known for his publicity stunts and also for setting records in powerboat racing and hot-air ballooning.

Branson, who was a school dropout, entered into his first successful business venture as a teenager with the magazine Student.

In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields.

Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student.

In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records later known as Virgin Megastores in 1972. 

His brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he started Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label.

In 1997, Branson founded the Virgin Rail Group to bid for passenger rail franchises during the privatization of British Rail.

The Virgin Trains brand operated the Intercity West Coast franchise from 1997 to 2019, the InterCity Cross Country franchise from 1997 to 2007, and the InterCity East Coast franchise from 2015 to 2018. 

In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port in California, noted for the Space Ship Twosuborbitaldspaceplane designed for space tourism.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for "services to entrepreneurship".

For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure.

In 2007, he was placed in the Time 100 Most Influencial People in the World list. In July 2021,Forbes listed Branson's estimated net worth at US$5.7 billion.

On 11 July 2021, Branson travelled as a passenger onboard Virgin Galactic Virgin Unity 22 at the edge of space,a suborbital test flight for his spaceflight company Virgin Galactic.

The mission lasted approximately one hour, reaching a peak altitude of 53.5 miles (86.1 km). Branson was the third oldest person to fly to space.

In 1986 Branson was part of a two-man team that set a record for a powerboat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

In hot-air ballooning he and Swedish aeronaut Per Lindstrand became in 1987 the first team to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon and in 1991 the first to cross the Pacific Ocean.

Branson was also a member of teams that made three failed attempts in the late 1990s at round-the-world balloon flights. On the third attempt, made in December 1998, the pair were joined by American adventurer Steve Fossett, and they traveled some 8,200 miles (13,200 km), becoming the first to fly across the whole of Asia in a hot-air balloon, before being forced down off Hawaii.

Branson later helped fund Fossett’s record-setting flight in 2005, in which he completed the first solo nonstop circumnavigation of the world in an airplane. In 2021 Branson made a suborbital spaceflight in a Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

Branson’s numerous charitable initiatives included pledging an estimated $3 billion in 2006 to fund environmentally friendly fuel research.

In 2007, in honour of his sustained support of humanitarian and environmental causes, Branson received the Citizen of the Year Award from the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA). 

He published an autobiography, Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (1998, updated ed. 2011), and iterated his business philosophy in The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership (2014). Branson was knighted in 1999. (NewsAgencies)

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