Harry, Meghan and Archie head to Africa

It's their first royal tour as a family

By Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN
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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, laugh as Jessica Dewhurst, Justice Desk founder (R), makes a joke as they visit a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, during their royal tour of South Africa on Sept. 23,…

(CNN) - Britain's Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie kick off their first tour as a family on Monday in southern Africa.

At the request of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will travel together to South Africa before Harry continues on to Angola and Malawi. While in the region, Harry is also set to visit Botswana on a working trip.

While not all details have been released, Buckingham Palace has revealed the trip has a packed itinerary that will focus on "community, grassroots leadership, women's and girls' rights, mental health, HIV/AIDs and the environment."

10 days, 4 countries and 35 engagements

It's no secret that the region holds a special place in Prince Harry's heart. In the weeks before the tour, a post from the duke on the Sussex Royal Instagram account described it as his "second home."

"Our team has helped create a meaningful programme that we're so excited to share with you. On a personal note, I can't wait to introduce my wife and son to South Africa! We'll see all of you very soon," he added.

The varied schedule sees them hit the ground running in Cape Town at a yet-to-be-disclosed township and in following days, meet the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as a number of charities and causes the pair hold dear.

"Throughout this ten-day tour, The Duke and Duchess are pleased to raise awareness of the positive partnerships with the United Kingdom, particularly in advance of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in 2020," the couple's communications secretary said in a statement before the visit.

We'll finally get to see Archie

Joining the couple on the trip will be the couple's 4-month-old Archie Harrison. Harry and Meghan have given the world a few glimpses of their son with a brief photo call after his birth and strategically shot Instagram posts -- but he's yet to be officially seen in public.

A royal source told CNN that the Sussexes hope to involve their son "at some point" during their trip but were unable to say when, as his young age makes it difficult to schedule.

Along with their aides, the couple will bring a nanny to help with the baby while his parents are occupied at engagements, and Meghan's hairdresser, whom they paid for themselves.

In case you're wondering, they are flying commercial

Following a backlash over their use of private jets this summer, Harry and Meghan are traveling to and from southern Africa on a commercial flight.

The family were slammed by environmental campaigners for opting to travel on a private aircraft to the south of France and Ibiza in contradiction of their public stances on climate change.

In the weeks since, Harry has launched Travalyst, a global sustainable travel initiative that was in the works before the criticism. He touched on the backlash at the launch, telling reporters that he spends most of his life traveling commercial but that "occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe," Britain's PA news agency reported.

It'll get personal for Harry in Angola

Midway through the tour, Harry will pay tribute to his mother, the late Princess Diana, and her anti-landmine legacy.

The duke is set to travel to the former minefield in Huambo, Angola, where Diana famously walked just months before her death in 1997. Harry will get to see how the area has become a bustling street with schools, properties and shops.

He'll also get to meet the men and women who work to clear the land of mines and visit the same orthopedic center that his mother visited. He then travels on to Malawi for a number of conservation engagements before being reunited with his family in Johannesburg.

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