Out of all of the places that Prince Harry has travelled over the years, it is Africa that holds a very special place in his heart. The 32-year-old declares his love for the continent in the pages of Town and Country's February issue, admitting that it is where he feels "more like myself than anywhere else in the world.”
The British royal’s admiration for Africa began after the untimely death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. “I first came in 1997, straight after my mom died. My dad [Prince Charles] told my brother [Prince William] and me to pack our bags—we were going to Africa to get away from it all,” Harry revealed, adding, “My brother and I were brought up outdoors. We appreciate nature and everything about it.”
Since that trip, Harry has formed strong ties with Africa, from starting his Sentebale charity in Lesotho to spending months on the ground assisting in conservation efforts.
However, Africa has become a destination for “more” than just charity projects. The prince explained, "I wish I could spend more time in Africa. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here.
"To not get recognized, to lose myself in the bush with what I would call the most down-to-earth people on the planet, people [dedicated to conservation] with no ulterior motives, no agendas, who would sacrifice everything for the betterment of nature… I talk to them about their jobs, about what they do. And I learn so much,” he added.
Last summer, Harry spent three months in Africa working with the non-profit conservation organization African Parks and its 500 Elephants relocation project. In the candid interview, the ginger-haired royal stressed the importance of working together to protect wildlife.
“I know I’m going to get criticized for this, but we have to come together. You know what Stevie Wonder said: ‘You need teamwork to make the dream work.’ I use that a lot,” noted the Queen's grandson.
“These are very special places, but they are islands with a sea of people around them. I do worry. I think everyone should worry,” he added. “We need to look after them, because otherwise our children will not have a chance to see what we have seen. This is God’s test: If we can’t save some animals in a wilderness area, what else can’t we do?”