Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie arrive in Cape Town for first leg of their Africa tour

8:51 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Royals dancing in the streets of South Africa

Meghan and Harry appear to be getting in the swing of things, just hours after touching down in South Africa.

The couple don't seem to be letting the jet lag get them down, joining in the dancing in the sunshine outside Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town:

8:15 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Royal couple chat to locals after touching down in South Africa

7:49 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Harry and Meghan have arrived

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun the first engagement on their 10-day tour of southern Africa.

Enthusiastic cheers and shouts greeted the royal couple as they arrived at Nyanga Methodist Church in Nyanga township, Cape Town, on Monday afternoon.

The couple spent several minutes greeting members of the community connected to the Justice Desk initiative while musicians and dancers continued to perform in the church courtyard.

Meghan excitedly chatted to several women and embraced a number of them outside the church.

Meanwhile Harry bent down to talk to children sat on the floor, all of whom were beaming at the opportunity to meet a special visitor.

7:47 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

First up: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex head to Nyanga township

With no formal arrival ceremony, Harry and Meghan will kick off their first visit to South Africa together with a visit to Nyanga township where they will attend a workshop put together by Justice Desk, a human rights organization that operates in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The organization educates children about their rights, self-awareness and safety, and provides self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community.

The couple will meet Jessica Dewhurst, Justice Desk's founder and a Queen’s Young Leader, and Theodora Luthuli, one of the group's community leaders.

The engagement will begin with the students reciting "Our Deepest Fear," the club’s anthem, before the girls break off into four training groups.

Ahead of their arrival at Nyanga Methodist Church, where the event is due to take place, children were dancing and singing in the sunshine while the media gathered nearby.

7:27 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Into the "red zones"

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle touch down in Cape Town, they will be landing in an unequal city in the world’s most unequal country.

There is the Cape Town the world knows: Table Mountain; the wineries; the spectacular beaches. And then there is the other side of Cape Town, where murder rates are high and gang violence grips communities. 

“They are holding the community hostage," said Abdul Waheem Martin, the leader of an ambulance crew that services the Cape Flats.

"If you are looking at these areas, every person’s house has got burglar bars on the inside and on the outside – their homes look like a prison cell. These people are scared."

The South African Apartheid government created the "Flats," as they are commonly known, when it forced non-white South Africans out of large areas of the city center and its suburbs.

The royal couple will visit some of these areas, where security is such a concern to the organizers that even journalists covering the event won’t know where they are headed until the last minute.

Crime is so endemic here that even ambulance crews were attacked and robbed more than 80 times in 2018. Martin and his team now need police escorts to enter so-called "red zones" – even if it means patients will die because of the wait.

“It is frustrating – the guys get restless sitting here. Because we know that there is someone that seriously needs our immediate medical attention and unfortunately because of the situation we can’t get to the patient quick enough,” said Martin. 

Teenager Naasief died in 2016, shot as he stood outside a store near his home in the township.

“He was my pillar of strength. He was my blessing,” says his mother, Shannaz.

Shannaz and other mothers who have lost sons to violence in the "Flats" say the gangs present young kids with an awful choice.

“In most cases the children don’t want to be in a situation. But they are forced to be in a situation. You get killed or you must go kill,” she said.

7:25 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Meghan will give away some of Archie’s toys during tour of South Africa

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex greets the public at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex greets the public at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Michael Bradley/Pool/Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex has brought some of the many gifts and toys given to baby Archie to donate to babies and children in need during her visit to South Africa this week, a royal source has told CNN.

7:27 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Why are the Sussexes in South Africa?

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch students play football during their visit to Morocco on February 24, 2019.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch students play football during their visit to Morocco on February 24, 2019. Facundo Arrizabalaga/Getty Images

Harry and Meghan's trip to South Africa will "celebrate" the relationship the country has with the UK, British High Commissioner Nigel Casey said ahead of the royal couple's arrival in Cape Town on Monday.

The royals are on a 10-day tour in southern Africa that will see them visit Cape Town together before Harry continues on to Botswana, Angola and Malawi for additional engagements.

Meghan and Archie will only visit South Africa. They will be reunited with Harry in Johannesburg upon his return from Malawi.

"Visits like this play can important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the UK and South Africa," Casey said. "The UK has also historically been a leading investor in South Africa and we are determined to do all we can to sustain that."

"But the real strength of this relationship lies in people," Casey added. "430,000 Brits visit South Africa every year -- more than from any other country -- spending over 500 million pounds here a year, and thus making a big direct contribution to the South African economy.

"We estimate some 200,000 British passport holders live and work in South Africa playing a big role in the economy and society. So this visit is going to reflect and celebrate those people-to-people links."

The diplomat added that the trip was "an opportunity to shine a light on some of the issues close to the hearts of the Duke and Duchess, and of real importance to South Africans."

"It will also be a chance to underline the strength and continuity of our royal family's ties to South Africa and in particular to recall the warm and special relationship between Her Majesty the Queen and the late President Mandela," he said.

7:13 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Meghan and Harry fly commercial to South Africa

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on October 26, 2018 in Fua'amotu, Tonga. 
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on October 26, 2018 in Fua'amotu, Tonga.  Phil Nob/Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have traveled to Africa with their baby son Archie on a commercial flight, a royal source told CNN.

The family's decision to fly commercial comes after they were criticized for using private jets to fly to the south of France and Ibiza for two trips during the summer.

Environmental campaigners accused the pair of hypocrisy, saying that Harry and Meghan's actions contradict their public stance on climate change, given that aviation is one of the world's major polluters and is responsible for more than 2% of global emissions.

The pair have tried to redeem themselves since, with Harry launching a global sustainable travel initiative, known as Travalyst, in recent weeks.

Harry responded to the backlash over his summer travels at the launch, telling reporters that he spends "99% of my life traveling the world by commercial," according to Britain's PA Media news agency.

He added that "occasionally, there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe -- it's generally as simple as that," PA Media reported.

6:47 a.m. ET, September 23, 2019

Day 1: What's on the agenda?

The Cape Town leg of Harry and Meghan's tour begins Monday with an education workshop at a township, where they will meet local children and members of the public.

A world away from the picture postcard views of Table Mountain and the city's scenic beaches, the townships are some of Cape Town's poorest neighborhoods, and are rife with gang violence.

Later the pair will head to District Six, a former inner-city residential area where freed slaves, artisans, immigrants, merchants and the Cape Malay community lived for decades.

In 1966, the government declared District Six a whites-only area, and more than 60,000 residents were forcibly removed and relocated to the Cape Flats Township.

Meghan and Harry will visit the museum there and learn about the history of District Six, before walking to the nearby Homecoming center and meeting some of the area's former residents.