Prince Harry attended a surprise engagement which focused on wildlife preservation in Africa, a place very close to Prince Harry's heart, on Wednesday. The royal, who regularly visits Botswana and is passionate about wildlife preservation there, attended the National Geographic event to speak about raising awareness for the Okavango River Basin. The river is the largest freshwater wetland in southern Africa, as well as the main source of water for a million people and home to the world's largest elephant population along with other wildlife including lions and cheetahs. However, its future is linked to rivers in Angola and Namibia, which are currently unprotected.
Prince Harry on a trip in South Africa
Tweeting their thanks to the Duke of Sussex for attending the important event, National Geographic wrote: "Our @intotheokavango team is working to raise awareness and help protect the Okavango River Basin. We were honoured to have HRH the Duke of Sussex support our event in London through his work with our partners @AfricanParks and @TheHaloTrust!"
Prince Harry has visited Africa several times
Since Harry's visit did not appear on the court circular, it would appear that his visit to the London event was an unofficial engagement. The Prince has previously worked closely with Africa Parks, and helped with their 500 Elephants relocation project when he spent three weeks in Malawi to help safely translocate elephants into safe environments during the summer of 2016. He also visited Africa with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, in 2017. During their trip, the pair worked with Elephants Without Borders, a charity which helps prevent elephants from being poached and killed for their ivory tusks. Prince William is also a keen supporter of African wildlife protection, and is the Royal Patron of the charity Tusk Trust, a British organisation that works to protect African wildlife, including African elephants.