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Inside the Botswana camp where Harry and Meghan's love blossomed

May 04, 2018 08:24 IST
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It seems that Britain’s Prince Harry pulled out all the stops to sweep Meghan Markle off her feet in the early days of their whirlwind romance.

In fact, the royal seriously upped the stakes when it came to celebrating the former Suits star’s birthday, whisking her away on a luxury safari break.

IMAGE: The Botswana trip was Harry's gift to Meghan for her 36th birthday and came a year into their relationship. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry whisked Meghan away to the luxurious Mapula Lodge near the Okavango Delta in Botswana to mark her 36th birthday in style.

The trip last August came a year into their relationship and a few months before they got engaged.

Here’s a glimpse of the £854 (Rs 77,400)-a-night safari.

Welcome to the Mapula Lodge -- which translates as mother of rain -- in Botswana. At the lodge, Harry and Meghan slept in a traditional thatched cabin with an outdoor shower, their carved wooden bed looking out over a pristine lagoon. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

The rooms boast unrivalled views of the breathtaking lagoon nearby where hippos and wildlife are known to congregate, not to mention the campsite also has a swimming pool and a 'chill pit', a lounge area that overlooks the lagoon. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

The lodge, located in the Okavango Delta, provides ample opportunity for a romantic dinner whether you're opting for in-room dining, or choosing one of the three-course feasts under the star-studded sky. The adventurers can even take hot air balloon and helicopter rides. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Botswana is popular with the rich and famous because of the privacy and isolation its top end lodges offer. Other recent visitors include former United States President George W Bush, Saudi princes, Hollywood stars and millionaire footballers. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

In the most romantic offering at the camp, Harry and Meghan were driven out at twilight to a deserted area of the bush to the foot of an ancient baobab tree where they were served a three-course meal beside a glowing fire. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

A source at the lodge told Reuters: “They are like regular guys. They were just relaxed. You could see they were very happy together.” And with a view of a sunset like this, wouldn't you be too? Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

On an early morning game drive, the couple scoured the horizon for the wild animals that are the primary draw for wealthy clients visiting the Okavango, one of the largest inland deltas in the world. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

It isn’t the first time that Harry has visited Botswana; he took his previous girlfriend Chelsy Davy to the country in 2007. They stayed at Meno a Kwena near the Boleti river, where Meghan also visited with him before they stayed at Macula Lodge. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

According to sources, when they departed, Harry dealt out generous tips and one staff member shed a tear while waving the couple off from the resort’s private airstrip. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

It looks like Africa will continue to play a big part in the couple's love story, with the news that they've chosen the sun-soaked country of Namibia for their honeymoon following their nuptials in May. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
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