Prince Harry Cooked, Changed Tires and Slept Under the Stars: 'He Is Like an African Man'

"He just jumped right in and helped," expedition leader Simson Uri-Khob tells PEOPLE

Photo: Simson Uri-Khop/Mail on Sunday/SOLO

For Prince Harry, Africa isn’t just an adventurous getaway – it is a home away from home.

During one five-day expedition in Namibia that took place as part of his three-month “dream job” exploring southern Africa, the royal, 30, had an extraordinary encounter with an adult male lion that needed to be electronically tagged for research purposes.

“The lion was sedated and he just jumped right in and helped,” Simson Uri-Khob, CEO of Save The Rhino Trust and Harry’s expedition leader in Namibia, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

The amazing moment took place miles from the safety of shelter or medical assistance – where Harry was in his element.

“He is like an African man,” adds Uri-Khob. “He likes to be out there, sleeping under the stars knowing that he is close to dangerous animals.”

At night Harry helped to gather firewood and prepare a Namibian maize stew before kicking back around the campfire for a traditional African barbecue, or “brai.”

“He helped with everything, from fixing a tire to cooking the food to packing up,” says Uri-Khob.

“He even helped to take a punctured tire off the vehicle and attach a new one. He jumped into everything we did.

“If you didn’t know who he was, you would have just thought he was an African boy moving around with us. He is very ordinary. Sometimes you have people who can be like, ‘Don’t say this to me because I am very important.’ But not him. Harry was just like, ‘Come on, let’s go!’

“There was no special treatment at all. He wanted to be just like everyone else in the team. He is an amazing person.”

The royal will be back in the U.K. when he turns 31 on September 15.

For more on Prince Harry’s summer in Africa, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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