Home > Photography > NATURE TRAILS

NATURE TRAILS

Jonathan and Angela Scott

BEHIND THE LENS OF THE BIG CAT PEOPLE

Compiled by Ruwandi Perera

Having met and wed in the breezy grasslands of the Maasai Mara, Jonathan and Angela Scott are partners for a lifetime of both marriage and careers. Renowned the world over as award-winning wildlife and nature photographers, the dynamic duo has hosted many a TV show on big cats and other animals from the eventful plains of Africa to the frozen deserts of Antarctica and everything in between – even the lush forests of Sri Lanka, in fact. The couple visited the island again in July, when the Scotts were hosted by Cinnamon Nature Trails on every step of their photographic expedition.

“Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” was the undying passion in young Jonathan Scott to live a “life of adventure combined with a window to wilderness.” Born and brought up on an English farm in Berkshire, Jonathan grew up to be a zoologist who was restless and harboured an untameable desire to answer the call of the African wilderness. And that he did in 1977 when Jonathan first came to live in the Maasai Mara.

Launching his adventures as a safari guide, he recounts his first photographs that completely changed his life forever – and they weren’t taken by him.

When Jonathan lent his camera to a client on a game drive, little did he know that the beautiful male leopard and two male lions she captured that day would be the first of a long line of big cats that would imprint on his photographic canvas of life.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, a beautiful young woman with a passion for dancing spent her childhood in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – she didn’t know at the time that the man she would meet in the wilderness would someday be her partner on a prolific photographic journey to all ends of Planet Earth.

Jonathan and Angela met in the late 1980s and married two years later in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. A match made in heaven or rather in the bosom of nature, they’ve travelled the world as wildlife and travel photographers. The duo has also hosted television shows for wildlife documentaries and series, and authored many publications.

Known for their most popular series the Big Cat Diary on BBC’s Animal Planet, the two have spent many years tracking, watching and capturing lions, leopard, cheetahs and even the majestic tigers in India on camera. Along with their big cat-based shows, the couple has also worked on Big Bear Diary, Elephant Diaries and Chimpanzee Diaries to name a few.

Jonathan and Angela are also the only photographers to have individually won the overall award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition; with Jonathan winning it in 1987 while Angela walked away with the prize in 2002. They’re also honoured as Canon Ambassadors and members of the SanDisk Elite Team. The Scotts are active conservationists, and UK Patrons of the Galápagos Wildlife Trust and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

A member of the African Lion Working Group – which is affiliated to the IUCN Cat Specialist Group – Jonathan is also a UK Patron of the Rhino Ark and The Simeon Trust. He’s even launched his autobiography: The Big Cat Man. The book, which he says is written straight from the heart, contains 80,000 words and is adorned with stunning images from his supportive wife.

The couple is also blessed with a daughter and son with the latter being a part of their publishing work and digital presence. The Scotts live in Africa, either in their cosy hangout in Nairobi, Kenya, where giraffes freely roam the neighbourhood or at their cottage at Governor’s Camp in the plains of the Maasai Mara.

Apart from their many wildlife adventures and photographic excursions, Jonathan and Angela host small private groups of travellers who wish to explore the wonders of the wild, complete with photographic workshops – whether they be in Africa, India, Antarctica or the Galápagos Islands. Safaris with the couple are acclaimed across the world as being full of learning, adventure and passion by amateur and professional photographers alike.

Clad in camouflage gear – and armed with binoculars, cameras and all their photography paraphernalia – Jonathan and Angela Scott have found solace in the wilderness… and they eagerly await their next adventure with nature’s most photogenic subjects.

 

ON TV

2011       BBC – The Truth About Lions

2010       BBC (Animal Planet) – The Secret Leopards

2008       BBC – Big Cat Live

2007       Oman TV – The Arabian Leopard

2006       BBC (Animal Planet) – Big Bear Diary

2005-07   BBC (Animal Planet) – Elephant Diaries

2003-06   BBC – Big Cat Week

1997-99   Paramount Television – Wild Things

1996-02   BBC (Discovery/Animal Planet – Big Cat Diary

1996       BBC – Dawn to Dusk

1995       BBC (Turner) – Flamingo Watch

1989       BBC (Discovery) – Africa Watch

1985       Central TV – Nature Watch

1982-84   Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

1982                 Ambush at Maasai Mara

 

 

IN PRINT

2012   Jonathan and Angela Scott’s Safari Guide to East African Animals (Kensta)

2012   Jonathan and Angela Scott’s Safari Guide to East African Birds (Kensta)

2012   The Marsh Lions (Brian Jackman & Jonathan and Angela Scott) (Bradt Publishers – Animal Classic Series)

2008   Stars of Big Cat Diary (Evans Mitchell Books)

2007   Antarctica: Exploring a Fragile Eden (HarperCollins)

2005   Big Cat Diary: Cheetah (HarperCollins)

2003   Big Cat Diary: Leopard (HarperCollins)

2002   Big Cat Diary: Lion (HarperCollins)

2000   Mara-Serengeti: A Photographer’s Paradise (Fountain Press)

1997   Jonathan Scott’s Safari Guide to East African Animals (Kensta)

1997   Jonathan Scott’s Safari Guide to East African Birds (Kensta)

 

 

AWARDS

Jonathan Scott

Wildlife Photographer of the Year (1987)

Royal Geographical Society: The Cherry Kearton Award (1994)

Friends of Conservation: Conservation Action Leader Award (1994)

The African Travel and Tourism Association Award (1996)

Wanderlust Travel Awards: Special Award (2007)

Graduate of the Year Award: Queens University of Belfast (2008)

Angela Scott

Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2002)

Jonathan and Angela Scott

Gold Award for Photography in the Independent Book Publishers Awards 2017 for Sacred Nature: Life’s Eternal Dance

 

Leave a Reply