"I can't wait for [my children] to come here. I can't wait to introduce them to Africa," Princess Charlene said two years ago

By Peter Mikelbank
February 19, 2019 12:33 PM

Monaco’s little prince and princess saw African skies for the first time last week.

Privately accompanying their mother, Princess Charlene, on her trip to South Africa, 4-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella headed to a private game reserve. There, the twins got close-up views of lions, zebras, giraffes, hippos, rhinos and more.

A video posted to Instagram by Charlene captioned “First African Experience” shows the young royals set to a soundtrack of South African pop singer Johnny Clegg’s “Searching For The Great Heart.”

The reserve excursion, which occurred over the children’s winter school break, fulfills a long-expressed wish of Charlene’s to share her home continent (she was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa) with her two children.

Credit: Princess Charlene/Instagram

“I am African, this is my home,” the 41-year-old royal said during her visit to Johannesburg two years ago. “It will always be.”

She continued, “It’s in my heart, it’s in my veins and it always will be. I can’t wait for [my children] to come here. I can’t wait to introduce them to Africa.”

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Their South African adventure follows the royal twins’ January visit to New York and a quick holiday jaunt to Lapland to meet Santa Claus.

During the weeklong visit to South Africa, Princess Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer, also put on her swimsuit to participate in the Quellé Midmar Mile, an aquatics challenge bringing together 17,000 participants at Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg.