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Royals

Prince Harry Heads Back to Botswana (Without Wife Meghan Markle!) for Rhino Conservation Work

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Prince Harry returned to the place where he fell in love: Africa.

The 33-year-old royal has been spending time in Botswana this week — without his wife Meghan Markle — visiting the rhino conservation charity which he became patron of last year.

“The Duke of Sussex is on a private working trip to Botswana, to join the Annual General Meeting for Rhino Conservation Botswana in his capacity as patron,” a palace source confirms to PEOPLE, adding, “He attended the board meeting in Maun and an RCB community project in Xarakao village.”

Africa has long been a go-to place for Harry who has visited the continent since his teens and refers to it as “his second home.” Now it holds a special place in Meghan’s heart too — it was where Harry romanced his future wife just weeks after meeting her and where they reportedly fell in love.

Prince Harry working with Rhino Conservation Botswana in Sept. 2017
Rhino Conservation Botswana/ Kensington Palace/Getty

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry Takes Heartwarming Solo Trip to Africa for Opening of New School in Lesotho

They returned to their favorite spot last year to celebrate the former actress’ 36th birthday. Meghan’s engagement ring, which Harry helped design also features a diamond (conflict-free, of course) from the African country.

After the couple’s engagement in November last year, Harry recalled the romantic few days they spent together in the African wilderness.

“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at a friend’s wedding in early August
Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

While Meghan is not with her husband on this trip, they spent her recent birthday together last weekend attending the wedding of longtime pal Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks in the small village of Churt in Surrey.

Harry, who became patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana last year, explained why the charity’s work is so vital and so important to him personally.

“I’ve been lucky enough to visit Botswana for more than 20 years and am incredibly fortunate to be able to call it my second home,” he said. “Being Patron of RCB is an opportunity to give something back to a country that has given so much to me.”

Prince Harry’s visit to Lesotho in June
Kensington Palace/Twitter
Prince Harry’s visit to Lesotho in June
Kensington Palace/Instagram

RELATED: Couple’s Getaway! All of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exotic Vacation Destinations

On a short trip to Botswana in January this year, Harry met with Tshekedi Kharma, the minister for environment and natural resources, conservation and tourism. He also is spent time with both Rhino Conservation Botswana and African Parks, of which he is president.

And more recently in June, he took a solo trip to Lesotho, Africa, where he opened a school and a house on behalf of the Sentebale charity he co-founded in 2006.

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