A bestseller when first published in 1982, The Marsh Lions portrays a vivid picture of life and death on the African savannah through the story of a pride of lions in Kenya's world-famous Masai Mara game reserve. The story is essentially a true one. All the central characters are real, and most of the incidents described actually happened. For five years, Brian Jackman and Jonathan Scott followed the Marsh pride and their progeny, painstakingly recording the daily drama of life and death on the African plains. In time they came to regard them as old and familiar friends and real individuals – the big resident males, Scar, Brando and Mkubwa and three lionesses known as the Marsh sisters. Their lives, together with the leopards and cheetahs that shared their wild paradise, offer a unique insight into the unforgiving world of these magnificent carnivores.
The Marsh Lions were the most successful group to be filmed for Big Cat Diary, the BBC's hugely successful TV series. With Jonathan Scott as co-presenter, The Big Cat Diary camera teams allowed millions of viewers to observe the ongoing saga of the Marsh pride at a time when lions are fast disappearing all over Africa. The "Marsh Lions" is a powerful reminder of what the world stands to lose if the big cats were to vanish forever and highlights the need to cherish the Mara as one of the most beautiful of the earth's wild places. This edition of The Marsh Lions includes a new chapter bringing the story up to date with the pride as it is now, alongside photos of the new lions. The Marsh Lions is illustrated with photographs and drawings by Jonathan and Angela Scott.
An Introduction to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve
1. January 1978: Dark Mane's Pride
2. February 1978: A New Alliance
3. February-May 1978: The Long Rains
4. February-July 1978: The Great Migration
5. July-September 1978: The Murram Pit Clan
6. October-December 1978: The Departure of the Herds
7. January-May 1979: The Miti Mbili Pride
8. June-August 1979: The Dogs of Aitong
9. September 1979: Summer Slaughter
10. October-November 1979: The Spotted Assassins
11. December 1979-January 1980: The Nomads
Epilogue: February 1980-September 1981
Family Tree of the Marsh and Miti Mbili Prides
Brian Jackman is an award-winning journalist and author and Britain's foremost writer on African wildlife safaris. He writes for The Sunday Times, and his work appears in The Daily Telegraph, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Travel Africa, Country Living and Conde Nast Traveller, where he is a contributing editor.
Jonathan and Angela Scott are award winning wildlife and travel photographers, and the only couple to have won as individuals the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. Jonathan Scott's television presence has blossomed since his early days as a presenter on American television. He has presented his own television series for the BBC, including "Big Cat Diary" and has also presented wildlife stories for "Wild Things", an American television series.
"Absolutely stunning [...] It reeks of Africa. It smells of Africa. The whole thing is just living Africa. It's a lovely book for the armchair naturalist."
– Living World, BBC Radio Four