Hear ye, hear ye! As we approach the coronation of King Charles III, let us take a moment to celebrate his unwavering love for our beloved continent of Africa. From the stunning landscapes of the Serengeti and the bustling streets of Cape Town, His Majesty has explored Africa with fascination, purpose and an unbridled sense of adventure.
The King of Many Crowns
In his sojourns to lands like Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa, King Charles has demonstrated a profound appreciation for the magic of Africa. He has danced with tribal chiefs, tasted local delicacies, and even mastered traditional West African instruments. Oh yes, His Majesty is no stranger to our magnificent continent.
King Charles Sets Sights on South Africa
For decades, King Charles hath his eyes set upon the breathtaking land of South Africa! In a display of his unbreakable bond with the country, Buckingham Palace didst welcome South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa with open arms in November 2022, marking the commencement of the King’s first state visit since becoming British monarch.
The storied relationship between these two great nations is nothing short of legendary, and King Charles’s reverence for South Africa is no secret. And we don’t blame him! As our cherished homeland, South Africa’s rich culture, breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and strong sense of togetherness are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
King Charles has visited Africa on numerous occasions, from his most recent trip in 2018, wherein he turned his attention towards education, youth development, and conservation, to his 1997 pilgrimage alongside Prince Harry. And in 2013, when he paid his respects at the funeral of our beloved former president, Nelson Mandela.
Verily, King Charles’s love for South Africa is matched only by his fondness for its people, and his and Camilla’s visit in 2011 is a testament to this. During their visit, Charles and Camilla graced &Beyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve – a stunning nature haven and a true beacon of eco-tourism.
The royal couple’s presence was part of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative, which showcased conservation projects in KwaZulu-Natal. They championed the cause of wildlife preservation, highlighting the pressing need to protect these magnificent creatures from harm’s way.
In addition to shedding light on noble causes, King Charles and his team visited the Mduku community. There, they were delighted to witness the astounding success of the Mduku Clinic, which serves the needs of three communities neighbouring Phinda Private Game Reserve.
His Majesty commended the community projects for their unwavering commitment to improving people’s lives and applauded them for not only making a meaningful difference in people’s lives but also for being an inspiration to people around the world.
A Kenyan Adventure Fit for a King
Thy Royal Highness hath also ventured numerous times to Kenya, impelled by his fervour for wildlife preservation and sustainable tourism. Kenya dost possess a splendid array of iconic fauna, including the illustrious Big 5 and the annual Great Wildebeest Migration.
On one particularly memorable excursion in 1971, the then-Prince and his sister, the esteemed Princess Anne, embarked upon an indelible safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes, Charles and Anne gazed upon a regal lion from the comfort of their Jeep.
But let it not be said that Charles was present solely for his own amusement – nay, he took an active role in collaborating with gamekeepers and local communities to champion the cause of wildlife conservation and the fight against the heinous act of animal poaching.
This noble undertaking is no surprise, considering his late father, Prince Philip, who co-founded the WWF, and his son, Prince William (now the Prince of Wales), who are both deeply committed to the cause of global conservation. It’s clear that the pursuit of protecting our planet’s wildlife runs deep in the veins of this royal family.
King Charles’ Tanzanian Tour of Duty
Behold the wondrous land of Tanzania, graced by none other than royalty itself in their quest to foster sustainable tourism and safeguard its splendid wildlife. Herein lies a treasure trove of Africa’s most renowned attractions, from the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater to the towering peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
In 2011, Charles and his beloved wife ventured forth to Tanzania to celebrate the jubilant 50th anniversary of the country’s independence in a grand display of solidarity and camaraderie. The stately couple rallied behind the noble cause of promoting sustainable agriculture and extending a helping hand to the local farmers.
In fact, recently, King Charles has pledged nearly £2 million to aid African farmers and support crucial environmental causes through the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. This remarkable act of generosity will make a significant impact in the lives of many and serves as an inspiring reminder of the power of philanthropy to drive positive change.
The royal couple also graced the Maasai people with their presence, partaking in the vibrant rhythm of their traditional dance and paying homage to the cultural heritage of these ancient people. Through their visit, they not only reinforced the importance of sustainable practices but also emphasised the crucial need to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the country, a legacy to be cherished by generations to come.
Zimbabwe & Zambia: Dependence to Development
In 1980, King Charles visited Zimbabwe during their momentous independence celebrations, representing the Queen with grace and honour. And in 1984, he returned to the country once more, this time as the director of the esteemed Commonwealth Development Corporation (C.D.C), after his visit to Zambia.
Established in 1948 with a noble vision to uplift the dependent territories of the Commonwealth, the C.D.C. has been at the forefront of spurring accelerated development throughout Africa. With a steadfast focus on the vital arena of economic development, spanning sectors such as agriculture, forestry, electricity, water supply, transport, housing, and more, the C.D.C. has been a beacon of hope for much-needed rural communities.
Even though his visit was brief in both countries (you know, pressing royal duties and all), there is no doubt he got a glimpse of the mighty and massive Victoria Falls. We mean, it’s hard to miss as this Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site straddles both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Botswana, the Land of Inspiration
Embarking on the final stretch of his incredible 1984 tour through Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, King Charles arrived in Botswana with a heart full of hope and a deep desire to inspire change. With a steadfast commitment to bettering the lives of those in need, His Majesty took the time to inspect the remarkable projects funded by the esteemed C.D.C.
After his royal duties, some downtime was well-deserved, so guided by his passion for nature and his love of exploration, King Charles made headlines when he piloted a twin-engine aircraft and flew to Chobe Game Lodge, the only permanent safari lodge in the elephant-rich Chobe National Park.
Fast forward a few decades later, and King Charles’s sons, Princes William and Harry, continue his legacy by visiting Botswana on behalf of Tusk Trust, a charity renowned for its highly efficient approach to funding wildlife conservation programmes.
Embark on Your Royal African Adventure
And so, as we celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and his unwavering love for Africa, let us take inspiration from his bold sense of adventure and his deep appreciation for the unique beauty and diversity of our beloved continent. We invite you to follow in his footsteps and experience the magic of Africa first-hand.
Long live King Charles III, the King of Many Crowns and a true friend to the people and wildlife of Africa!