South African President Jacob Zuma will make a state visit to Britain in March, the Queen announced today.
She has invited Mr Zuma to make a three-day trip to the UK next year - his first as leader of his country.
The president's stay is expected to follow the normal routine for state visits with a round of talks with British political leaders and the Prime Minister likely to be held.
South Africa is a key partner for Britain across a range of issues from international institution reform to boosting UK trade and investment.
Mr Zuma will be hosted by the Queen and will probably stay at Windsor Castle.
The last visit by a South African president was in June 2001 when Thabo Mbeki travelled to the UK.