"You have to be very calm when approaching the animals," says model Michelle Jansen, sporting smart, cheetah-friendly takes on safari: a bibbed tuxedo top and skinny khakis (Rag & Bone, $325 and $230). Rugged touches include lots of organic-looking pendants (Stella and Dot; Chan Luu), a chronograph watch (Timex), and leather bangles (Miguel Ases at Fragments; Tous). Belt, BKE.
Shot on location in South Africa at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, which began with one orphaned cheetah.
Rich earth tones are a taming influence on this year's big prints, which might look alarming in a brighter palette; black, white, and a range of browns come off as chicly subtle. This terrific little crepe shift dress (Oscar de la Renta) is full enough to provide camouflage for hips and thighs, yet it's no muumuu—the controlled hem keeps it shapely. There's an ethnic feel to the striking collar of beads and rope (Roberta Freymann), while faceted wood embellishments keep flat gold sandals (Anya Hindmarch) well grounded.
Shot on location in South Africa at Lion Sands Private Game
A trunk show of a different order, led by a flowing silk georgette dress (Yves Saint Laurent): The blouson top is as fuss-free as a T-shirt. A print this fierce calls for strong jewelry—like a gold-plated elephant-head necklace (Fred Flare) and call-of-the-wild bracelets.
Named after an abandoned baby elephant and founded by animal conservationist Lente Roode, the woman who saved and raised him, Camp Jabulani (shown here) is a sanctuary for pachyderms and people. Guests stay in luxurious suites and enjoy safaris on the backs of the resident herd—Jabulani, now fully grown, and 11 trained elephants rescued from Zimbabwe.
4. Trend Spotting
Venturing into prints is a low-risk proposition in this pattern-happy fashion climate. Giraffe-print shoes and hat (Banana Republic) flank a canvas jacket reinvented in a batik motif and cuffed in hot pink (Diane von Furstenberg, $365). Linen pants, Chico's, $88. Leather hoops, Bauxo. Belt, Hobo International. Binoculars, Bushnell.
5. Your Summer Staple
A tunic is your body's best friend; this red-beige ikat version, banded in flattering black (Jones New York Signature, $69), could be the buy of the summer. Throw on whimsical bubble beads (Marni) and tortoiseshell shades (Yves Saint Laurent), and you're set to trek.
6. Ease Into Evening
Sundowners—cocktails to you—call for a handstitched tee (Project Alabama, $120) and silk pull-on pants (Dries Van Noten, $820). Faux-coral earrings, Robert Rose. Bangles, Stephan & Co. and R.J. Graziano. Sandals, Dries Van Noten.
7. All You See Is Confidence
For dining out—by the pool, on the patio, or around the fire in the South African night—zebra-print beaded silk georgette caftan and silk crepe pants (Jeannie McQueeny, $1,285 and $650) helps model Latoya Nel Mihaylova radiate glamour and confidence (you'd never know she was "really, really scared" of the huge insects that flew in to investigate this alfresco feast). With so much pattern going on, you don't need to fuss with hair or makeup, and one sizable accessory (pearl-trimmed hoops, Viv & Ingrid) is plenty.
8. Style in the Wild
Dressing for an evening under the stars—literally, in an outdoor "bush bedroom" —Zimbabwe-born model Latoya wears a one-shoulder silk chiffon gown splashed with an ikat-inspired print (Naeem Khan). Shoes, Pollini.
Shot on location in South Africa at Chalkley Treehouse at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve.