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    COWGIRLS & PIRATES

    the modern africa safari

    African man on a pirogue

    Travel to Africa and Beyond

    redefining ecotourism by recognizing that people are part of nature

  • 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 story of 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 and founded the Sierra Club.

     

    "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.”

     

    Another inspiration? Jackson Looseyia, a Maasai warrior who learned to track animals from his father, a famous hunter imprisoned for poaching after the Kenyan government outlawed hunting - and whose skills landed him a position as head ranger in the Southern Maasai Mara.

     

    As a TV personality and blogger, Looseyia bridges the old and new, reminding us, as Muir did, that we are not separate from nature but always connected to it, in ways quotidian and profound.

  • jackson looseyia's story

    The Maasai Mara: Then and Now

  • The Difference: People

    Cowgirls & Pirates was founded by environmental writer Susan Zakin. In 2001, she applied for a fellowship to train journalists in Madagascar. Her French was almost nonexistent and the only guidebook she could find described 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 to think globally.

    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 offer an Africa safari in Namibia with Owen-Smith and his partner, Maggie Jacobsohn, who are developing an ecotourism business wholly owned by the Himba people.

  • Contact Us

    Need information? Idle curiosity? Researching your next novel?

    Just care for a chat? We're here.

    (If you're feeling shy, just sign up for our rarely published but always interesting newsletter: Letters from Cowgirls & Pirates

  • 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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