The Leopard’s Tale

The Leopard’s Tale

Jonathan and Angela Scott


Non-fiction, Wildlife




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(Paperback | ISBN 9789386702258 | 240 pp + 16 pp photo insert | September 2017)


Almost everyone on safari hopes for a glimpse of the charismatic and elusive leopard.

This classic account tells the story of the mother leopard as a solitary hunter providing for herself and her offspring. Chui was the first of a generation of leopards Jonathan Scott watched and photographed in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve in the 1970s and 1980s. He spent every available moment watching and photographing her and her cubs, Light and Dark, aware that he was only privileged to do so for as long as they chose to remain visible. Nobody has studied leopards more closely or known them more intimately than Jonathan and his wife, Angela Scott.

The Scotts record encounters with baboons, hyenas and humans, the hazards facing the cubs as they learn to fend for themselves and enjoy periods of play and relaxation. Some years after Chui disappeared, a young female appeared, Half-Tail. Jonathan and Angela have followed her and her daughter Zawadi, stars of the BBC’s Big Cat Diary, for the past twenty years, bringing the leopards’ story up to date.

Written with unprecedented access and knowledge, and illustrated with stunning photographs, The Leopard’s Tale is a unique and moving portrait of Africa and the most intimate record ever written about the secretive lives of leopards.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘Great naturalists are rare, but when they are superb storytellers and exceptional photographers they are unique… Jonathan and Angie Scott prove their extraordinary mettle here with an astonishing and tender tale.’
—Chris Packham, author of Nature's Calendar

‘Written with such heartfelt passion and intimate knowledge, and illustrated with some of the most evocative photographs of big cats ever taken, this is one of the greatest natural history books ever published. Jonathan and Angie know the Masai Mara’s loveable leopards better than anyone else on the planet and, in this welcome new edition […] bring their remarkable story up to date. Brilliant stuff.’
—Mark Carawadine, co-author of Last Chance to See

'In wonderful photographs and prose, here is an account that, because of new challenges to leopard populations as much as the observational difficulties, few are likely to replicate.'
Conde Nast Traveller

'The authors certainly convey inexhaustible enthusiasm and an undimmed sense of wonder at the natural world.'
—Good Book Guide

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About the author

Jonathan and Angela Scott

Jonathan and Angela Scott are award-winning authors and internationally renowned photographers based in Kenya. They have written and illustrated twenty-six books, including The Big Cat Man, based on their hugely popular BBC series. They are the only couple to have individually won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, Jonathan in 1987 and Angela […]

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