30 JULY 2003

Prince William has been enjoying a three-day break in Uganda, where he's had the opportunity to practise his Swahili.

The 21-year-old was accompanied by a male friend and his personal mentor, former Welsh Guards Officer Mark Dyer, as he went white-water rafting on the Nile. His trip to the picturesque Bujagali Falls area will have evoked memories of a childhood rafting holiday in Colorado with his mother Princess Diana and brother Harry.

Wills also used the break to brush up on his linguistic skills. The Prince developed a great love of Africa when he spent time there during his gap year, and he has been learning Swahili ever since.

Eager to return to the continent, he and his companions, along with a few royal protection officers, checked into the £35-a-night Eden Rock Resort. "He was dressed very simply in darkish blue jeans," said resort manager Jason Roussis. "We cooked a barbecue for him. We prepared chicken, steak, sausages and plenty of potato salad. He told us how he enjoyed the rafting and the beautiful scenery along the river."

And it seems the future king was eager to embrace local culture, as he requested a sample of the local tipple. "He actually asked my mother for Ugandan beer," revealed Jason. "We gave him Nile Special which he enjoyed with his friends."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Wills first fell in love with Africa while travelling there during his gap yearPhoto: © PA
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Uganda's Eden Rock Resort was the base for his white-water adventure