Harry and Meghan to focus on townships, landmines and HIV in Southern Africa tour, writes Chris Ship

Prince Harry and Meghan will arrive in Africa with their "extra special small passenger" for the start of their first overseas royal tour as a family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are bringing Archie for the ten-day tour in Southern Africa but details of how, when and if they will show their five-month-old son in public are being kept secret.

Meghan is coming armed with gifts for the people she and Harry will meet during the 35 engagements between Monday and next Wednesday.

It will include some of Archie’s newborn baby clothes for children in some of Cape Town and Johannesburg’s most notorious townships as well as gifts for children in Southern Africa who are living with HIV.

Harry during the opening of the Sentebale Mamohato children’s centre in Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho, in 2015. Credit: PA

The couple will arrive in Cape Town on Monday morning on a commercial flight from London, rather than a private jet.

It follows criticism of their travel arrangements over the summer when Elton John allowed them to use his own plane for their holiday to Nice in France.

They’ll meet women in a township shelter who are being taught how to defend themselves from attack in South Africa’s alarming crime wave.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the widow of the President Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, are both lined up to meet the Sussexes.

The tour will start and finish in South Africa, while Harry will complete a solo trip - on a small chartered plane - to Botswana, Malawi and Angola.

Prince Harry last met South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2015. Credit: AP

It’s in Angola where he will retrace the steps of his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in the street where she was famously photographed walking through a recently cleared minefield.

Harry will walk along that same street which is now a thriving district of the town of Huambo.

The campaign by Diana, shortly before her death in 1997, helped spur the international community into action and a treaty to ban landmines was signed later that year.

The minefield where Diana once walked is now a thriving community. Credit: PA/Halo Trust

Harry will also visit Liwonde National Park in Malawi and visit an anti-poaching exercise with the charity African Parks.

When Harry is on his travels, Meghan will stay in South Africa with Archie where she will focus on the causes close to her heart like women’s employment and female empowerment.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the Duke and Duchess are "very much looking forward" to meeting the people of the four countries they will visit.