Jonathan & Angela Scott

Presenter, artist, photographer(s), author(s)

Jonathan & Angela Scott

Jonathan and Angie Scott live in Kenya in Africa and spend much of their time on safari in the company of African wildlife. Their wildlife photography, pen and ink drawings and books have won awards and recognition throughout the world. They are authors of 28 books ranging from Africa to Antarctica including titles in an award winning series of children's books for Collins Big Cat. But Jonathan is probably best known as a presenter on Big Cat Diary and Big Cat Week which ran on BBC from 1996 to 2006.

Jonathan and Angela are award winning wildlife photographers and authors who have made their name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, recording every aspect of their existence in their drawings, photographs and wildlife television programs. They are Canon Ambassadors and the only couple to have won the Overall Award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition as individuals. Jonathan and Angela have written and illustrated 34 books including their award winning children’s titles for Collins Big Cat. Their latest books are The Big Cat Man: An Autobiography (Bradt) and Sacred Nature: Life’s Eternal Dance (HPH) that won the Gold Award for Photography in the prestigious Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2017.

Angela was born in Alexandria, Egypt and from the age of four lived in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The great Serengeti National Park was the scene of happy days on safari with her family, stimulating her lifelong love affair with photography. Jonathan first set eyes on the Mara-Serengeti while travelling overland through Africa in 1974. This was the savanna Africa depicted in Born Free and Serengeti Shall Not Die, films and books that he had marvelled at as a child growing up in England. In 1977 he returned overland from Botswana to live permanently in the Maasai Mara for the next fifteen years, dedicating his life to documenting the lives of its wild inhabitants.

The Scott’s were married in the Maasai Mara in 1992, and from 1996 to 2008 worked on the hugely popular TV series Big Cat Diary, with Jonathan as copresenter and Angela as Production Stills Photographer and game spotter. They split their time between their beautiful home in the leafy suburb of Langata in Nairobi overlooking the Ngong Hills and a stone cottage at Governor’s Camp in the Mara. Aside from East Africa, the Scott’s travel widely including sixteen expeditions to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, a land beyond reality. They are Patrons and Ambassadors for a number of Conservation organisations including the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, the Kenya Wildlife Trust’s Mara Cheetah and Lion Projects, Rhino Ark, Colobus Conservation, the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the Bishop Simeon Trust.

The Scotts have dedicated much of their lives to wildlife conservation and are Patrons of a number of wildlife conservation societies such as The Cheetah Conservation Fund, The Bishops Simeon Trust, Rhino Ark and the Galapagos Wildlife trust. Jonathan is a member of the African Lion Working group.

Courtesy: and LinkedIn


“I always loved the countryside and nature. I loved the wildlife TV series ‘On Safari’ with Armand and Michaela Denis. I was mesmerized by Africa and the thought of living among wild creatures was my dream.

“The movie Born Free (1966) had me siting in the cinema thinking “That is what I want to do” – to live in the bush and watch big cats.”

“I was also very influenced by the work of the late Sir Peter Scott – the wildlife artist and conservationist – and his father Captain Robert Falcon Scott: ‘Scot of the Antarctic’. They were adventurous spirits who loved nature. David Attenbourough is also an inspiration to me. I have been fortunate enough to know him since the early 1980s when he narrated a film on the Marsh pride of lions, the same animals that Angie and I have followed since I first came to live in the Maasai Mara in 1977”.

So how did I get to live my dream? As a child growing up on a farm in Berkshire I was obsessed with wildlife and Africa. So in 1974 after taking a degree in Zoology at Queens University in Belfast in Northern Ireland I set off overland for Johannesburg in an old Bedford Truck.

That 10,000 km trek through Africa changed my life. I got malaria and amoebic dysentery along the way, but who cares – take your Malarone prophylactic and sleep under a mosquito net and you should be fine. After four months on the road I not only lost my heart to Africa but glimpsed the place that I most wanted to return to: the Mara-Serengeti in Kenya and Tanzania - an animal paradise without equal.

After two years working with wildlife in Botswana I headed back to Kenya, more certain than ever that this was where I wanted to make my home. A plan was beginning to emerge. My father was an architect and a talented artist who died when I was two years old. The gift he left me was in being an artist. I could always draw and was a keen photographer. Prior to leaving for Kenya a publisher in South Africa commissioned my first set of my pen and ink drawings of wildlife. Meanwhile a friend had introduced me to Jock Anderson of East African Wildlife Safaris who was looking for someone to help keep an eye on his camp situated a few kilometres north of the Reserve. For the next five years Mara River Camp became my home. I couldn’t have cared less that there was no pay. I was living in the Garden of Eden with a canvas roof over my head.

That was 1977. Nearly 40 years later with 26 books to my name - many of them co-authored with my wife Angie who is also an award-winning wildlife photographer - and as co-presenter of TV shows such as Big Cat Diary, Elephant Diaries, Dawn to Dusk, The Secret Leopards and The Truth About Lions what have I learned from following my dream?


Jonathan and Angie Scott: June 2009 – Invited to join the Canon Ambassadors Programme by Canon Europe.

Jonathan Scott: July 2008 -Winner of The Graduate of the Year Award from Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland (Whose purpose is to recognise excellence, achievement or service by Queen's alumni and students, to the University or to the wider community).

Jonathan Scott: January 2008 - Winner of Wanderlust Special Award (presented in recognition of his contribution to tourism and conservation, particularly in Africa through his books and TV documentaries.

Angie Scott: Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2002)

Jonathan Scott: Wildlife Photographer of the Year (1987)

The African Travel and Tourism Association Award (1996)

Royal Geographical Society Cherry Kearton Medal (1994)

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Jonathan was a presenter on Mutual of Omah's Wild Kingdom from 1982 to 1984. He co-presented Africa Watch with Julian Pettifer in 1989 and Flamingo Watch with Simon King and Chris Packham in 1995 before going on to present his own series for the BBC Dawn to Dusk. Jonathan is probably best known as co-presenter of the popular wildlife soap opera Big Cat Diary which aired from 1996 to 2002, becoming known as Big Cat Week from 2003 to 2006 and then finally concluding with Big Cat Live in 2008. Angela was one of the big cat game spotters as well as the stills photographer for the series. Later came Elephant Diaries (2005-2006), The Secret Leopards and The Truth About Lions (2011).


As well as his acclaimed wildlife photography, Jonathon loves to draw and publishes his pen and ink artwork. He is also a prolific writer with a number of publications on Kenya's wildlife and particularly the big cats that live there.

Jonathan and Angela continue to document the lives of the Marsh Pride of lions that Jonathan first began following in 1977. They also wrote up the story of Half-Tail the leopard from 1988 to the time of her death in 1999. They continued to follow her daughter Zawadi (aka Shadow) from 1996 until she disappeared at the age of 16 in 2012. They now follow Zawadi's four-year-old daughter who can sometimes be seen around Leopard Gorge in the North Mara Conservancy. Bradt Publishers published new updated editions of The Marsh Lions in 2012 and The Leopard's Tale in 2013 bringing readers up to date with Half-Tail and Zawadi's story.

Jonathan and Angela published two children's books with Cambridge University Press in January 2016: Scarface: The Real Lion King and The Great Migration.

Jonathan's The Big Cat Man: An Autobiography (Bradt) was published in August 2016 alongside a large format book of Jonathan and Angela's award-winning photography called Sacred Nature: Life's Eternal Dance (HPH) designed by their son David and based around their love affair with the Mara-Serengeti 9see more detail below). They were the keynote speakers at Wild Shots in South Africa in October 2016, and at the Royal Geographical Society in London in November 2016.

SACRED NATURE: Life’s Eternal Dance

The Scott’s mission is to take the powerful message from their latest book Sacred Nature: Life’s Eternal Dance (HPH) to destinations around the world through The Sacred Nature Initiative, a series of Exhibitions and Multi-Media Lectures designed to stir the imagination and rouse people to action on behalf of the natural world. To do this man must rekindle the reverence that our hunting ancestors felt for their animal brethren. There is no time to waste. We must speak out on behalf of our last wild places and their remarkable inhabitants, nurturing that indefinable sense of spirituality that is born of nature and that makes us human.

The genesis of the Sacred Nature Initiative was the publication of Sacred Nature: Life’s Eternal Dance (HPH) a book that mirrors our personal philosophy and lifelong concern for the environment. The book is available in both a standard and limited edition and is distributed globally. It won Gold in the 2017 Independent Publishers awards (IPPY) for Photography.

We want to stir the imagination and rouse people to action on behalf of the natural world.


Big Cat Tales, with Jonathan Scott by Travel Africa magazine - February 2019.

Jonathan & Angie Scott - About Us (PDF).

EXTRA MINUTES | Zoologist and wildlife photographer Jonathan Scott speaks about his love of Africa (YouTube).

An introduction to Jonathan and Angela Scott and the amazing photos they take in places like the Maasai Mara in Kenya (YouTube).


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