In their first interview as a newly-engaged couple last night (27 November), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed how central the country of Botswana is to their relationship, was to their courtship and is to both of their hearts.
Prince Harry explained that it was in the early days of their relationship that they made their special visit to the country:
“…it was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. And we camped out with each other under the stars… she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other.”
Award-winning Africa specialist, Expert Africa, was delighted to hear that the royal couple found love in Botswana although, as experts in the field, they were not surprised.
Managing Director of Expert Africa, Chris McIntyre, explains:
“It speaks volumes that the first place Prince Harry wanted to take Meghan was a small, private camp in the bush. Botswana’s just perfect for this, as you really can get out into the wilderness with a private camp. There’s a real sense of space, peace and nature. The only sound is the odd animal or insect; the only light is from the moon and stars; there’s nowhere more romantic. It’s just the two of you, the African bush and the skies above.
In Botswana, Expert Africa’s private camps don’t cost a king’s ransom but do come with a chef, a waiter and a top professional safari guide – and they’re all about getting back to a sense of nature and wilderness, without being uncomfortable. [NB Chris McIntyre himself proposed to his wife, Susie, while camping in Africa, as did fellow team member at Expert Africa, Richard Ball, who proposed in Botswana’s bush earlier this year.
For those looking to recreate a little royal romance, Expert Africa suggests the following Botswanan itinerary…
Combine the Savuti Marsh region of Chobe National Park and Khwai community reserve in a seven-night itinerary with a focus on top-quality private guiding. Alongside a fantastically personable, experienced guide, take a privately-guided mobile safari into two contrasting environments, both of which offer excellent game viewing opportunities and a sense of perfect relaxation.
The open grasslands of Savuti Marsh attract frequent migrations as well as permanent wildlife, including leopard, wild dog, lion and elephant. Khwai then provides more variety, featuring rivers and forests, making it an even more game-rich area.
Activities centre around guided game drives, typically during the day in the national parks and, in Khwai, the guide can conduct walking safaris and night drives too. The five nights spent on mobile safari are supported by a housekeeping team who cook delicious meals. As with all of Expert Africa’s trips, there is also the opportunity to tailor-make the trip to combine other areas and to suit additional interests.
The trip culminates with two nights at Ilala Lodge at Victoria Falls. A stay here is a lovely slow-paced way to end the safari, with the chance to take a sunset boat trip on the Zambezi River, visit a village and school, experience a scenic helicopter flight over the Falls, and take game drives or walking safaris to see rhino, for example.
This seven-night itinerary is priced from £3,930 pp (two sharing), and includes all transfers, five nights’ mobile camping with all meals, drinks and activities included, and two nights’ B&B at Ilala Lodge. Flights extra.
For further information, or to talk to a safari specialist, call Expert Africa on 020 3405 6666 or visit www.expertafrica.com.