AMERICAN billionaire Bill Gates is in Zimbabwe on a safari holiday, reports said on Sunday.
The Microsoft boss, the world’s richest man from 1995 to 2009, arrived in the country last Tuesday on a six-day visit, according to the Sunday Mail.
The newspaper said Gates, his wife Melinda and their two children touched down at the Buffalo Range Airport in Chiredzi on a small private jet and checked into the exclusive Malilangwe Game Reserve.
The Mail said Gates – the world’s second richest man – was staying at the first-class Singita Pamushana Lodge where a five-bedroom luxury private boarding costs US$5,785 per night
The Gates family has interests in Zimbabwe. Last year, Melinda – a world-famous philanthropist – availed a US$5 million fund through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for developmental projects in Harare.
The fund is expected to see the construction of houses for low-income earners and less-privileged members of society in Dzivaresekwa township.
Part of the funds will be used to improve waste management in the capital.
Bill Gates’ visit is a boon for the country’s tourism industry which has been on a recovery path since 2009 when a coalition government eased political tensions in the country.
“‘If Gates can holiday in Zimbabwe, then anyone can’ is the message that Zimbabwe will hope to send to the world,” said a tourism expert.
Early this year, Donald Jnr and Eric Trump – the sons of American billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump – were photographed on a big game hunt in Zimbabwe during which they killed an elephant, a leopard and a buffalo. The grissly pictures attracted condemnation from animal rights groups.