Prince Harry opens up about relationship with Africa after mom's death: 'I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world'

From his Sentebale charity for kids in Lesotho to his conservation work, it's no surprise that Africa is a place near and dear to Prince Harry’s heart. The 32-year-old opened up to Town and Country magazine about his love for the country, admitting, “I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world.”

The British royal’s admiration for the continent began after his mother, Princess Diana’s death. “I first came in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad [Prince Charles] told my brother [Prince William] and me to pack our bags—we were going to Africa to get away from it all,” Harry revealed. “My brother and I were brought up outdoors. We appreciate nature and everything about it.”

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Photo: Alexei Hay

However Africa became a destination for “more” than just nature. The Prince explained, “This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I wish I could spend more time in Africa.”

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Meghan Markle’s boyfriend added, “I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here. To not get recognized, to lose myself in the bush with what I would call the most down-to-earth people on the planet, people [dedicated to conservation] with no ulterior motives, no agendas, who would sacrifice everything for the betterment of nature… I talk to them about their jobs, about what they do. And I learn so much.”

Photo: Alexei Hay

Harry visited Africa last summer working with the non-profit conservation organization African Parks for their 500 Elephants relocation project. In the February interview, the ginger-haired royal stressed the importance of working together to protect wildlife.

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He said, “I know I’m going to get criticized for this, but we have to come together. You know what Stevie Wonder said: ‘You need teamwork to make the dream work.’ I use that a lot.”

“These are very special places, but they are islands with a sea of people around them. I do worry. I think everyone should worry,” he noted. “We need to look after them, because otherwise our children will not have a chance to see what we have seen. This is God’s test: If we can’t save some animals in a wilderness area, what else can’t we do?”

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