modern safari

    African man on a pirogue

    Travel to Africa and Beyond

    exploring the world's best places

    meeting conservation pioneers

    finding different ways to live

  • 1, 2, and 3 week Itineraries

    bespoke journeys for unique tastes

    Cowgirls & Pirates, members of Patagonia's One Percent for the Planet
  • A buffalo in Maasai Mara, Kenya

    Our Pledge: No Lion Jams

    Samburu warriors working with Ewaso Lions to track lions instead of killing them
  • Our Story: Dirtbag Deluxe

    Sierra Club founder John Muir in Yosemite Valley

    There are no new stories, just new ways of telling them

    Cowgirls & Pirates was inspired by stories. One was the life of Sierra Club founder John Muir, a farm boy who arrived in California in the late 1800s, planning to spend a few months before heading to the Amazon. Now we'd affectionately call him a Dirt Bag, the sort of scruffy, highly intelligent, mildly maladjusted young man you meet in Joshua Tree or Missoula.


    Muir never made it to the Amazon. Instead, as his biographer Michael Cohen writes, he found his “method of study” in California's Yosemite Valley.


    "I have run wild," he wrote. "As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”


    (keep reading)

  • The Difference: People

    Cowgirls & Pirates was founded by environmental writer Susan Zakin. In 2001, she applied for a fellowship to train journalists in Madagascar, and to her surprise, she got it. Her French was almost nonexistent and the only Malagasy she knew came from a guidebook describing broken-down buses and strange diseases. It took a long night of tequila and karaoke, but she said OK.


    Madagascar changed her life. A decade later, she founded Cowgirls & Pirates to share those mind-expanding experiences.


    Now, more than ever, we need a global context for our ideas.

    Cowgirls & Pirates founder Susan Zakin in Madagascar
  • Conservation Pioneer: Garth Owen-Smith

    The winner of Prince William's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award talks about his work in Namibia's rugged Kaokoveld desert

    We're honored to go on safari in Namibia with Owen-Smith and his partner, Maggie Jacobsohn.

  • Contact Us

    Need information? Idle curiosity? Researching your next novel?

    Just care for a chat? We're here.

  • Walking Our Walk

    As members of One Percent for the Planet, started by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, we donate 1% of pretax revenues to environmental organizations that fit our strict criteria: low overhead, community support, and actions based on valid science.

    Cowgirls & Pirates is a proud member of Patagonia's One Percent for the Planet
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