Prince Harry Jets off to Botswana Without Meghan Markle

Prince Harry left the U.K. to visit his favorite continent, Africa, this weekend, but did not take wife Meghan Markle with him.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson told E! News that Prince Harry went on a "private working trip" to Botswana to attend the Annual General Meeting of Rhino Conservation Botswana as Patron.

"He attended the Board meeting in Maun and an RCB community project in Xarakao village," the palace said.

Markle did not travel with the Duke of Sussex.

Harry has been involved with Rhino Conservation Botswana for several years now, even once joining a team to tag endangered black rhinos for researchers. The Prince also refers to Botswana as his second home.

"The rhino is one of Africa's most iconic species," Harry said in a statement when he was named the group's Patron. "This is a black rhino, an animal that deserves the utmost respect, so to be able to be sitting next to her is incredibly special. The black rhino has been reintroduced into Botswana and its numbers are increasing here, while numbers are decreasing elsewhere. If we can't save these animals, what can we save?"

Botswana holds a very special place in Harry and Markle's love story. After their second date, the two went to the country together in July 2016. In August 2017, the two spent Markle's 36th birthday there. Three months later, the couple announced their engagement, and the ring Harry used to pop the question included a center stone from Botswana.

"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said when they announced their engagement. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other."

This year, Markle and Harry spent her 37th birthday in the U.K., attending a wedding. They went to Charlie Van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks' wedding in Surrey. The couple will have another wedding to go to on Oct. 12, when Princess Eugenie and fiance Jack Brooksbank tie the knot.

Harry and Markle's first international tour as a married couple is slated for October. They will visit Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga around the time of the Invictus Games in Sydney. The event, which Prince Harry founded in 2014, celebrates veterans wounded or injured in the line of duty who take part in various sports. This year's event will run from Oct. 20 to 27.


Photo credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF