Prince Harry Makes Surprise Visit to Africa to Host U.S. Officials Touring Wildlife Areas

·2-min read

Prince Harry is back in one of his favorite places.

The Duke of Sussex traveled to Africa in his role as President of African Parks, a non-profit conservation group that manages national parks across the continent, PEOPLE confirms.

During his visit, Harry, 37, is "welcoming and co-hosting a group of U.S. officials, conservationists and philanthropists as they tour protected wildlife and nature areas," a spokesperson for for the Duke of Sussex tells PEOPLE.

He began working with African Parks in 2016 and became President of the organization in the following year. In 2015, Harry spent three months working on number of projects supporting wildlife and local communities in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana. He also spent time in Malawi in 2016 serving as part of the 500 Elephants project, one of the largest and most significant elephant translocations in conservation history.

RELATED: Prince Harry Reveals When He Knew Meghan Markle Was His 'Soulmate' in UN Speech

Prince Harry
Prince Harry

Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince Harry visiting Africa in 2019

Africa is a place close to Prince Harry's heart — he's even called it his "second home" — and he has visited the continent on many occasions beginning as a young boy. During a United Nations speech in New York as part of Nelson Mandela Day last month, Prince Harry shared how Africa connected him to two important women in his life: his wife, Meghan, and his mother, Princess Diana.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry

Dominic Lipinski - Pool /Getty Prince Harry

"For most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I found peace and healing time and time again," Prince Harry said. "It's where I felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife."

Prince Harry
Prince Harry

Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince Harry visiting Africa in 2019

Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry have traveled to Africa together several times, including a visit to Botswana early in their relationship in the summer of 2016 — after just two dates over two consecutive days in London.

"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," Harry said after their engagement. "So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other."

Harry made sure Meghan always had a reminder of the special place by choosing a diamond from Botswana as the centerpiece of her engagement ring. The stone is flanked by two smaller diamonds from Princess Diana's personal collection.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry Duke Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle Prince Harry Duke Duchess of Sussex

COURTNEY AFRICA/AFP via Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

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Meghan and Prince Harry had a royal tour of Africa in fall 2019, bringing along their son Archie. During the trip, Prince Harry visited the neighborhood where Princess Diana famously walked through an active landmine area in Angola during a 1997 visit.