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If you’ve been coveting Chrissy Teigen or Julianne Hough’s fashion choices as of late, chances are you have stylist Anita Patrickson to thank. But when the South African native is not honing her celebrity clientele’s red-carpet and off-duty looks, she’s drawing inspiration from her travels to the most far-flung corners of the globe, including regular visits to her home country.
Case in point: her most recent getaway, when Patrickson and her boyfriend headed to Africa to spend the holidays with friends and family. “The break at the end of the year is always such a fun time to be there,” says Patrickson, who got her foot in the fashion door as an editor at Allure magazine. “It’s the middle of summer and everything is green and lush — and it’s boiling hot!”
Here, Patrickson trains her lens on some of her favorite moments of time spent in South Africa and Namibia. (“Being on safari is one of my absolute favorite places to be, and the huge dunes and stark scenery in Namibia were spectacular,” she gushes.) Prepare for a serious case of winter wanderlust.
The ‘arrivals lounge’ of Sossusvlei Airport in Namibia.
On top of this 1,300-foot dune. Thought to be the highest sand dunes in the world (which we later ran down, treating it as a ski slope!) above the petrified forest in the Namib Desert.
These trees are 900 years old. Preserved perfectly due to the lack of moisture and black from being scorched by the hot sun.
The desert stretches for miles and miles. The bright red color is from the amount of iron in the sand, rusting away in the elements.
A very welcome (man-made) oasis in the arid landscape.
Everything in the desert happens at the bookends of the day due to the heat. This is me (un-caffeinated) at 4:45 a.m. contemplating our journey across the mountain.
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Hot air ballooning is the most incredible way to really get a feel for the terrain. It’s eerie in its deathly silence but you also get low enough to actually see wildlife and vegetation.
Our lodge was nestled into the side of the riverbank. It was like living in a very luxurious treehouse.
Really doesn’t get much better than this. Waking up to hippos below our balcony and monkeys right outside the windows.
One of the things I love most about going on safari is the downtime in the afternoon. When the animals rest in the shade … so do we!
Watching the lions from the safety of the land rover!
This young male lion is shaking off the excess water after a long drink from a watering hole.
Sundowners! Happy hour — African style!
Elephants have amazingly high emotional intelligence. They say if you blow into an elephant’s trunk (not to be recommended out in the wild!) they will remember you for 10 years.
Even if you have been on safari a hundred times, there is always something new to see. There are over 400 species of birds in this region of South Africa.
Don’t be fooled by this soft and cuddly demeanor!
If you are given the opportunity, getting out and on foot is a totally different experience to being in the vehicle. Andrew, our amazing tracker, took us for a walkabout to visit some hippos and crocs in a nearby river.
Even though Africa is my home and I am probably biased, I still think it is the most magical place on the planet.
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