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This is Kruger National Park in South Africa,
home to some of the biggest, fastest and deadliest animals on the planet.
CBBC chose four British and four South Africa children
to be the Safari 8, and for the past four weeks, they've been learning
all the range of skills needed to pass their final challenge,
to give two mystery celebrity guests the safari experience of a lifetime.
Their mentors, trails ranger Rudi and guide Frankie,
have been leading them on this amazing adventure.
Now the time has come for all this training to be put to the test.
Today, the final challenge starts, but can the Safari 8 pull it off?
When the group were left to set up camp for their guests,
their lack of teamwork left the mentors furious...
You guys disappoint me.
..resulting in crisis talks.
If you're a leader, people listen.
And the mentors chose their head ranger.
Today, the mystery celebrity guests are finally revealed...
..Rudi comes down hard on the team...
You need to be quiet in the bush, so why are you guys talking?
And will a last-minute panic end in disaster?
Is it possible we could have more time?
It's the morning of the final challenge, and the Safari 8
are packing up everything they need to take to their new campsite.
I think a lot of us are ready for the final challenge.
There are a few things that everybody has to brush up on.
It'll be a lot of fun but it's going to be hard work,
so we have to pay attention.
I don't want to disappoint Frankie and Rudi.
I can hear some of the people are panicking,
but I think it's going to be fine.
Just relax and be confident.
The rookies have all been given roles for the final challenge.
Tomas and Caroline have been chosen to look after the guests'
dining and domestic needs.
Ashleigh, Noma and Sifiso are the guides
who keep the guests entertained with facts about the animals.
On tracking duties are Kushal and Ella.
Manya is the head ranger, responsible for the whole group.
To pass the final challenge would be absolutely great.
We've worked so hard and put in so much effort in the past month
that to get the results that we all deserve would be really, really nice.
And this is where it all starts.
From now on, mentors Rudi and Frankie will be taking a step back
to act as judges and will ultimately decide
whether the group passes or fails.
-Good morning. ALL:
-How are you guys feeling?
OK, guys, your final challenge is to lead an overnight safari
to track the big five.
In addition to tracking animals, you must meet your guests' needs,
provide food, entertainment, comfortable lodgings
and give an enjoyable camping experience.
You guys must work as a team.
Manya is head ranger, he leads.
Everyone listens to him.
Last but not least,
at no given time must you guys forget
the safety rules that we've given you.
You must always bear that in mind.
And the big news is that the celebrities aren't very far away.
OK, guys, your guests will be arriving in about ten minutes.
-Good luck. All the best.
-OK, guys, let's do it!
I think we all thought we would have a bit more time
in between getting here and the guests coming.
I think everyone's a bit stressed.
Everybody's chipping in
to help with hospitality.
As the final challenge judges, Frankie and Rudi
are already assessing the team,
as well as being on standby to give emergency backup and advice.
We need somewhere to put this.
But as the camp is so far from being ready,
there's a situation head ranger Manya needs to handle on his own.
We are quite far from done
and I don't think you guys are going to be able to come on the game drive.
The guests are coming and we need to get this place ready,
so it's going to be better if you guys stay here
and get the camp up and running.
I still want to be involved with the animals so, you know,
I'm quite upset but I'm trying to make Rudi and Frankie proud,
so I'm not going to show it or complain to anyone.
I'm just going to keep going with what Manya tells us.
-We don't mind. That's our job.
-Yeah, that's fine.
So, Caroline isn't happy that she's going to have to stay behind,
and that's not Manya's only problem.
I'm feeling really sick right now. I really don't want to be sick.
Are you feeling sick?
Are you feeling sick?
Yeah, I've had vomiting, yeah.
-OK. I hope you get better, Noma.
So, Manya's left with one guide down and a difficult decision to make.
Noma is feeling really sick and she's going to have to stay here,
Noma's going to stay with you and help you with the hospitality
and Caroline will have to step in as a guide.
It's really sad - I really wanted to be involved today
and then being able to say, "I was in the final challenge",
It was sad that Noma was sick,
but I'm so happy right now.
I'm really glad.
I like spotting animals and telling people about them.
So Caroline's smiling again, which is lucky,
because it's finally time for the team to meet and greet
their mystery celebrity guests.
We've got to go and meet the guests,
and we've got to try and make really good first impressions.
The team have waited for four weeks
to find out exactly who they'll be looking after on their safari,
and now it's the moment of truth.
Hi, guys. Hello.
Yes, Caroline, it's Andy from Blue Peter.
Andy is one of the UK's top children's presenters
on the world's longest running kids' TV show.
I think I'm just intrigued
to see how much they've learnt.
-How you doing, man?
And secondly, I'm actually hoping they'll look after me.
Touch wood, they will!
The other celebrity guest is South African star Bongi,
who's best known for presenting the children's show Hectic Nine-9.
Camping is not my thing, but we're not going to find a plasma TV.
As long as there's a toilet and a shower, I'll be happy.
Hmm, I think Bongi might be in for a bit of a shock!
-This is the tent area.
-You guys have been busy!
I sort of want to know about the toilets. I don't see anything there.
OK, well, it's got a little bush surrounding,
and it's a little hole in the ground.
-You can't shower.
-I'm going home!
-I might join you, actually!
-We can deal with that. We can deal with that.
The meet and greet went well.
They are exactly how we were in the first week.
What's the first thing we're doing today?
We'll try to find you some of the big five.
We're going to take you on a drive and try to find you some animals.
-I'm quite excited now.
-Positive start. I hope the animals play along,
and we'll see what goes on in camp when we come back.
After four weeks of learning the ranger ropes,
it's time for the team to take their guests out on a game drive.
Manya's tracking team heads out to search for the animals.
I'm feeling really excited.
It's so nice to take the information that we've been given
and now give it to people.
The guests are really nice.
The guys who are going to be with the guests are going to stay here.
The two trackers and myself,
they're going to be looking for tracks.
Most people come on safari to see the big five -
lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.
Can they complete the set over the next two days?
We're really looking forward to finding
the elephant and the rhino, but anything in the big five.
What would the guests like to see?
I've been before, but I haven't seen a lion.
I think everyone comes to safari to see, like, a lion,
but I want to see a giraffe.
And it looks like it might be Andy's lucky day,
because the tracking team have spotted one.
Manya to Ashleigh... Manya to Ashleigh.
'Ashleigh, we've got a giraffe'
just in front of us, it's right next to the road.
We're at the camp but we're going to meet up with you now.
He's not going to be here the whole day,
so you guys must hurry up, OK?
-Into the car, people!
-Where are we sitting?
They head out to their first animals sighting of the final challenge.
Are you a bit jealous?
A bit, but it doesn't matter, we've got the important job.
They're going to be coming home to US, Tomas.
-Yeah. Hope you see the big five!
Have a nice time!
Over the next two days, Frankie and Rudi
will judge them on their tracking skills, animal knowledge
and the level of guest experience they give.
This sighting is the perfect opportunity for the guiding team
to really start impressing them.
The giraffe's on the left-hand side, if you look.
'He's busy browsing in the trees.'
ANDY: They're so peaceful.
Can you tell how old that one is?
That one's an older male, because as the males get older,
their spots go really dark.
It's a male because there's no hair on his horns,
which means he fights a lot.
The females have lots of hair on their horns.
It's a great start to the final challenge, and minutes later,
Manya's team have followed some more tracks with success.
Manya to Ashleigh.
'Ashleigh standing by.'
Ashleigh, come up quickly.
'There's an elephant bull. Quickly, quickly, quickly.'
-Excited face, excited face, excited face!
Oh, my goodness.
-Can I lean out?
-Is it OK?
The ears have lots of blood vessels in them,
so when they flap their ears, they're basically cooling their blood down,
and then they cool their whole body circulation down, all the blood.
They're not angry at you, they're just hot.
I'm impressed that they've got so many of these facts right.
They know what they're doing. I feel like I'm in capable hands.
So the game drive has had a promising start,
with one of the big five safari animals already ticked off the list.
And back in camp, Noma's feeling a lot better.
The decision-making is getting painful.
I'm just saying, if you put it as two tables,
it just looks much neater and tidier.
During their hospitality training, Tomas was on cooking duties,
while Noma was in charge of setting up the tables.
They'll be serving a three-course bush banquet for the guests
but because both tablecloths are different,
they can't agree on whether to have the tables together or separated.
I don't think that looks nice.
-Do you think that looks nice?
When it came to the table and the tablecloths,
Tomas and I were still arguing
which way should it be, and it took us such a long time to decide.
And it seems that the tablecloths
aren't the only thing up for discussion.
Too much leaves. No-one wants leaves when they're eating.
-That looks nice.
Everything I've done, you say you don't like.
First it was the tablecloth.
Then it's this.
We're having a disagreement about flowers.
She wanted to stick flowers all over the table.
I'm not going to take these off. I think these complete the table.
It puts people off eating
cos there's flowers all over their plates and everything.
Oh, that's lovely. I like that. That's really nice.
Finally, something they agree on!
..A walking safari leaves the guests on edge.
I have to say that I was a bit scared. A bit.
And Manya's leadership skills are tested to their limits.
Just remember the rules of staying quiet and staying in single file.
It's the first day of the Safari 8's final challenge,
and back on the game drive, the tracking team
think they might have found another one of the big five safari animals.
There's the three-toe thing,
and the W shape at the back, so I'd be guessing it's a white rhino.
Fresh tracks could mean a rhino is nearby.
Come and have a look, here, guys.
And it's not just the tracks that are fresh.
The team have found rhino dung too.
-Feel that. Put your hand right on top of it.
-It's still warm.
Still body temperature, so the rhinos are not far.
They should be quite close.
While Rudi keeps an eye on the trackers,
Frankie is monitoring how well the guides are entertaining the guests.
That's the dung - poo - from the rhino.
They've also spotted a pile of rhino poo,
and Sifiso has seen an opportunity to shine.
-We're in the territory of a rhino.
-How do you know that? Because of this?
-Yeah, yeah. It's a midden.
Sifiso's impressive rhino presentation
won him his guiding role in the team.
You told a story, you didn't just give facts.
He's bringing the same knowledge and enthusiasm
to the final challenge.
What's the difference between a white rhino and a black rhino?
They're not black, they're not white, OK?
The name "white" was taken from the Afrikaans "wijd",
which means "wide".
'I'm very surprised with Sifiso.'
He impressed me. I think the guests we've got love him.
I had to explain to them about the rhino.
-So, it's kind of like their land?
-Yes, their land.
-I felt very proud. FRANKIE:
-Well done, Sifiso!
With the guests fully briefed on rhino, it's time to go and find one.
Manya to Sifiso.
-'There's rhino tracks and they're fresh,'
and we've also found the midden,
'so that means he's still in the area.'
-We'll track the rhino. Get everyone ready, all right?
The midden there, it seems as if it's fresh
so we're going to try to track the rhino.
-Are we walking inside...?
-Is there a fence?
-No, there's no fence.
But when they finally catch up with the tracking team,
Manya has some disappointing news.
Guys, they couldn't find it. I'm sorry about that, guys,
but I'm sure there'll be another opportunity to see one.
We're going to take you guys down to the water,
where we can see some buffalo...
-Crocodiles, all of that.
-Yeah, let's do it.
Back in camp, and the earlier disagreements
have put the hospitality team behind schedule.
We started cleaning the tents, but we haven't finished that yet.
We started with the toilet,
but we haven't finished, because there were roots.
-There's no way we can get there.
What are we going to do, Noma?
We still have to sort out what's going to go where,
we have to start the food.
We don't even know how much time we have.
I think hospitality is the hardest role. It's really hard.
You've got to make the whole camp perfect.
And the radio is causing Tomas and Noma even more stress.
Manya, Manya, for Tomas.
Manya, Manya, for Tomas.
'I'm starting to worry a bit now,'
because we can't get in touch with Manya
and we don't know if he's ten minutes away,
half an hour or maybe two hours away,
so we really need to have contact with him.
There's a good reason Manya isn't answering,
because he is preparing to lead a walking safari through the bush.
Manya is responsible for the safety of his team and the guests,
so he needs to make sure the whole group is fully briefed
on all the necessary precautions.
We're going try and find some animals that will be near the water.
Stay in single file, and if anything happens,
stay calm and listen to what Rudi and Frankie say.
All right? So, let's get going.
As the group head out into the bush, a sudden noise spooks them.
The walking safari, I have to say that I was a bit scared.
A bit. Trust me, a bit - not that much.
But it's between me and you, us. It's between us.
It's a car.
Although the noise they heard was just a vehicle,
Andy and Bongi both seem a little on edge.
A bush walk like this can seem a little daunting,
but there are armed rangers at the front and the back of the group
at all times for safety.
When you come across an animal on foot, it makes it all worthwhile.
(That is stunning.)
(It's hard to get close because they're quite timid creatures
(and they just normally run away
(because they don't really want to get too close to us.)
(It's just staring at us.
(This is the closest I've ever been without being in a vehicle.
(It's so much more personal, you know?)
The Safari 8 have seen countless giraffes from the vehicle,
but they've never had such a close encounter with one on foot.
OK, guys, this is where the water was supposed to be.
Rudi and Frankie did go and look for a watering hole for us.
This is where the water was supposed to be.
We're going to make our way back to the car,
hopefully just keep our eyes open, see if we can see anything else.
But as the group head back, some of the team fall behind.
D'you know, we could actually have taken an easier path!
All the Safari 8 know that the most important rules out in the bush
are to keep quiet and keep together.
That was a test, and you passed. Well done, young warrior!
I learned, actually... I mean, they had fun with the guests at the back.
I looked around a few times and I saw them throwing dung at each other
and mucking about in the reeds.
If it was my walk, I would have been furious.
And when the team get back to the vehicle,
head ranger Manya is not happy.
You guys were talking and making jokes.
You must stay single file and just remember the plain, simple rules
of staying quiet and staying in single file.
Even though Manya has reprimanded the group,
Rudi is so annoyed that he steps in.
You should be the one saying to the guests, "Manya says we can't talk."
Why were you guys talking?
This is dangerous out here.
The Safari 8 should have listened to the rules a little bit better
and actually hushed up a bit more.
And Rudi's not just disappointed in the girls.
Manya wasn't strict enough, cos it's dangerous out there.
You need to be forceful and turn around and say, "Guys, shut up,"
or something like that.
Manya slipped up a bit there.
Will this mistake have affected the team's chances
of passing the final challenge?
We have to work as a team and help Manya too, so we were very wrong.
The Safari 8 are over halfway through
the first day of their final challenge.
As well as two giraffes and a family of elephants,
they've also found impala and a herd of wildebeest,
but with only one of the big five in the bag,
there's still a lot of work to do.
It's worrying that we've only seen one of the big five,
but hopefully we're going to find a lot more in the next trek.
But before they can carry on with their search,
head ranger Manya needs to check on the hospitality team's progress.
-This looks amazing!
Well done. 'I was absolutely amazed when I came into camp.'
I really didn't expect them to do such a good job.
If there were any arguments, this place wouldn't look how it is now.
Little does Manya now! But he's not the only one who's impressed.
RUDI: Camp looks excellent.
I think they've done a much better job than the guys out in the field.
Well done, Tom.
-Noma, you, too.
-That was brilliant.
Just as things seem to be coming together beautifully,
Caroline has come down with tick bite fever,
so Manya has to swap the teams around again.
What's going to happen is it's going to be Noma and Sifiso as guides,
Kushal and Ella trackers.
Tom and Ashleigh, finish up the place.
So Ashleigh will be helping Tomas in hospitality
and Noma will finally be taking her rightful place as a guide.
I feel nervous and excited,
because I have to go now and make my first impression,
so I really am excited right now.
But with just an hour left until the sun starts to set,
the race is on to get the guests more sightings
and possibly tick another one of the big five off the list.
'Animal-wise, am I happy?'
No, no. I really want to see a lion. I really want to see a rhino, please.
'Noma, It's Manya here.'
There's a few zebras. We're in a nice view.
BONGI: Is this a donkey or a horse?
-This is a painted donkey.
'How was the sighting?'
'The guest took beautiful pictures and we're right behind you.'
-Right there, see it?
-'There's a crocodile in the water.'
-That is big!
-I can see the hippo's head.
The hippo is very sensitive and loves the water.
This is what they call home.
So, they've had some impressive sightings
but are no closer to completing the big five.
And then, just as the group start heading back to camp...
-What's that there?!
It may not increase their big five score,
but this is a spectacular find for the trackers.
But back in camp, the hospitality team are struggling
and the all-important bush banquet is far from ready.
Manya, Manya, come in from Tom, come in.
Trying to contact Manya
to try and delay them for an extra half-hour,
but we can't get in touch, so we're starting to worry.
Caroline's feeling a lot better,
so it's all hands on deck to get the food ready.
-Is it possible we could have more time?
'No, actually, there isn't.
'We're nearly back at the camp.'
The problem is, we don't have time, OK!
The food's not ready and there's 12 hungry people,
and Manya can't delay any more time.
And I really need work!
And it's too late, because time's up.
-Tom, what's going on?
-We didn't have enough time to do the food,
but we've handled it quite good.
-They're too soft.
-Are the beds all done?
-Are the guests ready to go in and sleep if they want to?
So, in a bid to buy Ashleigh more time,
Manya puts Tomas on guest-distracting duty.
-Did you enjoy your trip?
-Tomas, great trip.
-Ashleigh needs some help, guys.
-Look at that - nice little African motif duvet!
-You got any salt and pepper?
-Yeah, of course.
This is a very good experience of a safari!
They're happy with their beds,
but what about the rhino bone toilet seat?
-So, do I just do it and then just bury it?
-Is it simple as that?
So, Tomas has kept the guests entertained long enough
for all the food to be finished.
But his job as host with the most is far from over.
Did you guys make this yourselves?
-Well done, eh, Tomas? That was really good.
I know guys your age that wouldn't even know what to do with this.
What a day! Spotting elephants, giraffes.
It's just been such a brilliant day.
And then finishing off with some good grub, bit of corn on the cob,
some hot dogs... Honestly, this has been such a fantastic day.
-Marinade is my speciality.
-'I just think tonight was brilliant.'
I mean, Tomas, I think, is in his element.
The hospitality was amazing, that I have to say. They did an amazing job.
So, the cuisine has got the guests' thumbs-up,
but the night isn't over yet.
-Guys, sorry about this. We're going to have to be excused.
-No, it's cool.
-We'll be back shortly.
As the sun sets on the first day of the final challenge,
there's one more surprise in store.
Are you ready?!
Yeah, I think so.
To go the extra mile for their guests,
the Safari 8 are showing off the dancing skills
they learnt at the Zulu village.
And now for their secret weapon...
SAFARI 8 CHEER
I think our Zulu dance was really good, because we had Tomas.
Tomas... Tomas is an entertainer. Everybody's been talking about him.
'Seeing Tomas dancing was really funny, enjoyed it.'
Everything was fantastic.
I've never laughed so much in my life.
That was genius, absolute genius.
'The great thing about today'
is that we've been made to feel completely welcome,
and that's all any ranger or guide can give to any guest.
The evening was a triumph
and the guests have high hopes for tomorrow.
'Will we see the rest of the big five tomorrow?'
I think we will. I'm hopeful, I'm hopeful, yeah.
'I'm very confident tomorrow could be the day
'where I see a lion or another one of the big five.'
I might go to bed a happy man and dream of this tomorrow, honestly.
Next time on Safari 8...
It's a race against the clock to find the rest of the big five.
I'll tell the guests to get their cameras ready.
Rudi and Frankie have tough decisions to make.
I don't know if they did well enough. ..Training's done.
-And it's time to say goodbye.
-Are you going to cry?