Inspired by Angela Scott’s love of photography and the work of philosopher Joseph Campbell, Sacred Nature: Life’s Eternal Dance is a poignant testament to our vanishing wilderness. Jonathan and Angela Scott have spent much of their adult lives working in the greatest wildlife haven on earth: a slice of wild Africa that straddles the Kenya-Tanzania border and is known as the Mara-Serengeti. This ‘land of endless space’ is home to myriad wild creatures, reminding us of the time when man roamed savannah Africa in search of food and shelter alongside the great beasts.
Jonathan and Angela have made their names documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in this kingdom of predators, recording every aspect of the big cats’ character and existence in drawings, photographs and television programmes. They achieve an intimacy with their subjects that is born of infinite patience and an insatiable fascination with the lives of both animals and people. Increasingly concerned by the impact of the burgeoning human population on the earth’s wild places, Jonathan and Angela have written a powerful narrative evoking our historical relationship to the natural world in an attempt to inspire future generations to rediscover the sacredness in nature. To do this, we must rekindle the reverence that our hunting ancestors felt for their animal brethren. We must speak out on behalf of our last wild places and their extraordinary denizens, nurturing that indefinable sense of spirituality that is born of nature and that makes us human.
More than anything, this book is a tribute to Angela’s vision as a photographer and artist. It was she who kept the idea for Sacred Nature alive for many years, sparking the interest of son David, who created a design concept of extraordinary subtlety and flair. The result combines words and images in a powerful testament to ‘the last place on earth’.
Canon Ambassadors Jonathan and Angela Scott are award-winning wildlife photographers and authors who live in Kenya. The only couple to have won the overall award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition as individuals, they have also written and illustrated 30 books, including best-selling safari guides to East African animals and birds, and acclaimed children’s titles for the Collins Big Cat series.
Angela was born in Alexandria in 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 savannah Africa depicted in Born Free and Serengeti Shall Not Die, films and books he had marvelled at as a child in England. In 1977 he came to live permanently in the Maasai Mara, dedicating his life to documenting the lives of its wild inhabitants.
Jonathan and Angela were married in the Mara in 1992, and from 1996 to 2008 worked on the hugely popular TV series Big Cat Diary, with Jonathan as co-presenter and Angela as production stills photographer and game spotter. They now divide their time between their home in the leafy Nairobi suburb of Langata, overlooking the beautiful Ngong Hills, and a stone cottage in Marsh Pride territory at Governor’s Camp in the Mara. As well as East Africa, they love to explore the dramatic landscape of Namibia – another Land of Endless Space featured in Sacred Nature.
Jonathan and Angela are patrons and ambassadors for a number of conservation organisations including the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, the Kenya Wildlife Trust’s Mara Cheetah Project, the Colobus Organisation, Galapagos Conservation Trust and the Bishop Simeon Trust.