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Summer Packing Guide: Africa

Right now the East African safari & South African beach getaway I'd slated years ago for this summer is just a pipe dream. My sister (and promised travel partner) is watching after her newborn baby, which is not very conducive to five minute car rides let alone cross-continent travel, and getting two weeks off work seems more exotic a thought than any trip I could cook up. Even Africa.

I'll mourn my long lost vacation by mentally packing for it, since that's one of the best parts of a trip anyway. Most people, I'm sure, would suggest simple, versatile things—or, non-euphemistically, "frumpy stuff." I, on the other hand, would push for packing your Africa-bound suitcase with as many awesome pieces possible. Whether you're in Cairo or Cape Town, you're gonna take a ton of pictures—it's Africa, you'd be crazy not to—so you might as well like your outfits in them, right?

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The prettiest camera bag I've ever seen is big enough for your water bottle, malaria pills and map too.

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Around camp, wear it with cargo pants. Back in the office, wear it with a pencil skirt.

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I've heard Cape Town has a great nightlife scene.

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Way better than the cargo pants Spice Girls and All Saints wore back in the day, you'll actually wear these when you come home.

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That color jolts a little energy into the typical double pocket & drawstring waist safari dress.

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Don't be that girl wearing head-to-toe animal print in Africa. Go subtle.

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In case your trip is more about the South African beaches than the East African bush.

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I didn't really know what the quintessential African vacation dress looked like until I came across this one.

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The circle of life: made in Africa for J.Crew, it'll be right at home.

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Wear it for dinner in the hotel instead of, say, hanging with Somalian pirates.

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The perfect complement for all those boxy camp shirts.

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Make them a little more legit by telling people you bought them during your trip instead of before it.

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You'd need chain mail to swim in the shark infested South African waters, but for lounging on the sand, this suit will do just fine.

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