Prince Harry leaves Meghan Markle and Archie behind in South Africa to visit schoolchildren in Botswana tree-planting project
- Duke of Sussex today visited Botswana’s Chobe River in the north of the country on day four of royal trip
- Harry met schoolchildren and helped conservationists plant trees at Botswana’s newest nature reserve
- His wife and son have stayed behind in South Africa after Archie was taken to meet Archbishop Tutu
The Duke of Sussex has arrived by the banks of Botswana’s Chobe River in the north of the country to take part in a tree-planting project – straining with dozens of people to get a huge sapling into the ground.
Harry high-fived children and then got stuck in to help lift a tree into place and fill in the hole on day four of his trip to Africa.
His wife Meghan and son Archie, who enjoyed his first royal engagement yesterday, have chosen not to come to Botswana and stayed behind in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Duke was welcomed by Dr Mike Chase, the founder of Elephant Without Borders, which is working with a local organisation to develop the site into a nature and cultural reserve.
The land was privately owned but has been pledged to the local community and Dr Chase’s organisation will manage it with the aim of creating a thriving riverbank forest.
The Duke of Sussex helps local schoolchildren plant trees at the Chobe Tree Reserve in Botswana, on day four of their tour of Africa
Harry got stuck in with conservationists as they grappled with a tree and lifted into a large hole as a new nature and cultural reserve is created in the African state
There were cheers as the tree was lifted into place and the Duke had the honour of helping fill in the hole
Harry was welcomed by Dr Mike Chase, Conservationist and Founder of Elephant Without Borders, which is working with a local organisation to develop the site into a nature and cultural reserve and addressed the group after the tree planting
Harry clearly enjoyed the challenge of helping to create a new forest habitat on the banks of Botswana’s Chobe River.
After decades of deforestation from locals gathering firewood and elephant activity, a conservation organisation working with locals is trying to create a nature and cultural park for the community.
The duke got stuck in trying to plant the 10-metre tall tree and worked with a group of men to push it upright before packing it with soil.
When he saw the huge mound of earth that needed to go into the hole, he smiled and joked: “How long do we have?”
Harry later joined young schoolchildren planting mahogany trees, crouching down with one young child to help him pack the sandy soil around the tiny sapling and at the end he high-fived the youngster to celebrate.
Later he will meet young people speaking up for their peers living with HIV when he visits a health centre in Botswana.
The Let Youth Lead advocates, who are chosen and supported by Harry’s Sentebale charity, will welcome their royal guest, who is making a 10-day visit to Africa, to the northern city of Kasane.
Sentebale was co-founded by the duke in Lesotho in 2006 to help young people who have HIV, and three years ago its work expanded into nearby Botswana.
The country has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world and the duke’s charity runs 47 Botswanan clubs supporting 1,300 HIV positive young people each month, through self-confidence building initiatives, practical health advice and peer-to-peer support.
Residential camps are also staged with the same aims and the numbers seeking help are growing.
Sentebale’s Let Youth Lead advocates have lobbied on international platforms and met national figures since the initiative was set up to give young people a voice to debate issues that affect them, such as HIV/AIDS.
The young leaders will re-create a camp activity for Harry in which children are praised to boost their confidence using singing and dancing.
Harry will then join them for a discussion about why they represent their peers, before listening to a live broadcast of Sentebale’s Radio Positive show hosted by two advocates on a popular FM station.
Archie delighted fans as he made his first appearance of Harry and Meghan’s Africa tour yesterday – but mother and son have stayed away from Botswana
The Duchess of Sussex and her husband laughed as Archie stole the show as he grinned at the camera and Archbishop Tutu in Cape Town yesterday