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Up Close With the Wild Ones

Up Close With the Wild Ones

An autobiography of Jonathan Scott from the Big Cat Diaries


November 11 , 2016
01 Min Read

 Jonathan Scott’s Big Cat Diaries have been enthralling television fans for a long time, so his decision to write an au­tobiography could hardly be surprising. In true Scott style, what he puts togeth­er is a story packed with mistakes, love affairs, strokes of luck and ruined film rolls! The tone is set by the anecdote where Kiki the cheetah is sitting on top of his jeep just above Scott’s head and threatening to take a quick crap.

Scott’s love affair with animals started young and sent him wandering into Kenya, chasing a degree in zoology. It was an edgy political climate plagued by the Mau Mau armed with pangas who were likely to be found any­where, including the rough of Nairobi’s golf courses. Scott realised it was a place haunted by Hemingway and the big safari Bwanas but managed to establish himself as a safari guide, wildlife artist, photographer and writer in a career that seems to be beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. Obsessed by his love for the Mara he was lucky enough at the age of 40 to find a woman who shared his passion, Angie— though while mentioning her again and again, he takes his time over describing their meeting.

With 40 years of Africa under his belt, Scott uses his conversational narrative style to de­scribe the wild country he has chosen to make his home in the face of depression and health and spiritual doubt. His Africa is a combina­tion of corruption and beauty, a place where airplanes are deliberately crashed—one had an explosive in a wooden lion’s head—or natural­ists hacked to death, as Diane Fossey was. His Africa also includes the Rwanda genocides side by side with the death of Cecil the lion.

The book is filled with illustrations and pho­tographs. For those who like watching the Big Cat Diaries and reading about Africa, this is the ideal book to flip through.


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