COWGIRLS & PIRATES
the modern africa safari
Travel to Africa and Beyond
redefining ecotourism by recognizing that people are part of nature
Our Pledge: No Lion Jams
Our Story: Dirtbag Deluxe
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. 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 in Madagascar. Her French was rudimentary 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.
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
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Walking Our Walk
We donate 1% of pretax revenues to environmental organizations that fit our strict criteria: low overhead, community support, and actions based on valid science.