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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 have brought four British
and four South African children to spend a month here,
training to be rookie game rangers.
Leading them on this amazing adventure will be their mentors,
trails ranger Rudi...
It's taken me years to learn to be a ranger.
'They've only got one month to do it.'
-..and guide Frankie.
-'In the bush,'
danger can be around any corner,
so the Safari 8 needs to be alert, and have to be ready at any time.
Eight kids, two mentors, and one massive challenge -
to lead two celebrity guests on a safari experience of a lifetime.
Last time on Safari 8,
our rookie rangers left the comfort of their treehouse
for a more intense bush experience.
I'm not sleeping here, and I don't like it,
and I liked it where we were.
And had an unforgettable moment tracking an elephant.
It was the most incredible experience ever.
Today, the Safari 8 become at one with the bush...
This is different make-up than what I'd usually wear.
I feel like the SAS.
-..have a heart-stopping encounter...
-I want everybody to follow me.
We just realised that there was another one coming towards us.
..and the teams play dirty with a game of elephant dung volleyball.
The Safari 8 are starting their second week's training
as rookie game rangers in Kruger National Park.
And as ever, the team's mentors, trails ranger Rudi
and guide Frankie will be sharing their expert knowledge,
to teach them everything they need to know
about becoming rookie rangers.
They learned a lot in their first week,
the questions that they've been asking
really shows that they've learned and listened very carefully,
and I think week two's going to be a lot tougher for them.
A few of them are still very individual,
and they need to work as a team.
The Safari 8 have no idea what Rudi and Frankie have in store for them,
and speculation is rife.
Where do you think we're going today?
I reckon we're going to look for lions.
I reckon we're going to a sanctuary, like a cheetah sanctuary.
No, I don't think we're going to a sanctuary.
I want to look for lions, or cheetahs or leopards.
Predators are much better than herbivores.
-They're just so much cooler, like, you see them hunt and stuff,
and you wouldn't see, like, a rhino or a hippo,
they just eat grass like...
Oh dear. Looks like Tomas is going to be disappointed,
because this morning the team ARE visiting a rhino.
But this herbivore is far from boring.
The rhinoceros is one of the most dangerous animals in the world,
mainly due to its sheer size.
While black rhinos can weigh up to 1,000kg,
the bigger white rhino can weigh more than twice that.
-That's the same as a family car.
-OK, guys, let's move round here.
The rhino the team are meeting today is a white rhino called Cluckies.
Cluckies came to stay at these bomas, or pens,
while he was ill. But after he was released into the wild,
he hung around until the staff let him back in again.
OK, guys, why we've brought you here,
it's because you've seen rhinos in the wild,
we've seen them in the bush,
we've seen dead rhino, and we're going to give you the opportunity
to see them right up close, and even touch them.
OK, guys, can any of you tell me what the rhino horn is made out of?
It's the stuff that's made out of your nails.
It's called? Do you know?
-No, ivory is the white tusks. Elephants got that.
It's called keratin, and it's like Tomas said,
it's the same substance your nails is made out of.
All right, guys, what we would like you to do now
is have a good look at this animal.
Look at his tracks, look at the way his foot structure works,
cos for your final challenge,
this will be one of the animals that you guys need to find.
The team have a rhino delicacy, some long grass called lucerne,
to tempt Cluckies over so they can get a closer look at him.
You put your hand like this.
-There you go, see how it's pulling it out of your hand, eh?
-Very strong lips.
I was really surprised
how hard the rhino's horn was
and then how soft around the bottom of it the rhino's, like, nose was.
Touching a rhino was so exciting
and it's so big when you get close to it.
I felt like I was in front of a... what do you call those dinosaurs?!
Every task the Safari 8 are given
will help them achieve their ultimate goal
of becoming fully fledged rookie game rangers,
and meeting Cluckies is no exception.
Getting up close and being able to see the feet
gives a better idea of what the tracks will look like,
I think this will help us a lot with tracking them
and the whole procedure in our final challenge.
But a Kruger ranger's job isn't just about tracking animals,
it's also about protecting them
from the park's biggest threat - poachers.
Poachers are people who break into the park to kill animals,
either for meat or to sell their horns, tusk or hide.
Sadly, in Kruger Park, one animal is poached every day,
and top of the poachers' most-wanted list is the rhino,
because of its horn that poachers can sell for a lot of money.
But with 20,000 square kilometres to cover,
and 175,000 animals to protect,
it's impossible for the game rangers to stop poachers on their own.
So the park has their own poaching police and this is Kobus,
whose job it is to head up the intelligence department.
The last rhino we lost in the Kruger was some weeks ago.
We lost 38 in 2009, so it's almost one rhino per week.
Do you want to feel this one?
Oh, that's heavy.
The price for a rhino horn is round about £7,000, per kilo.
That one will be more or less five kilogram.
So that means that this rhino horn is worth £35,000.
I was very shocked about how much money is made from just
a piece of bone that you can just get from your nails.
You might as well just sell your nails
than kill an innocent rhino who hasn't done anything to you.
What do the poachers want in the horn?
According to the traditional healers in the Far East,
you can use it for blood pressure, cancer
and the latest is for swine 'flu.
But doctors don't think that rhino horn can cure any illnesses at all.
Do they saw it off, or pull it off?
They either use an axe, or a sharp knife,
or a saw to take it off.
All right, guys, Kobus has got some photos
of actual crime scenes on rhino poaching.
Some of the images can be sensitive and upsetting,
so who of you would like to have a look at them?
You all right, Ella, to see the pictures? OK.
Even though these pictures will be tough to look at,
the Safari 8 know how important it is as rookie rangers
to really understand poaching.
This one, you will see, the horns was actually taken off by an axe.
-Is it dead?
-Yeah, that animal is dead.
'The photos that he showed us were actually quite disturbing'
because they weren't like cartoons,
they were serious, proper up-close pictures.
'When I saw the pictures, I had no idea that's what the poachers did.'
It was so horrible and I couldn't really look at them.
But, for animal lover Ella,
these shocking images are just too much to bear.
It made me feel very unsettled and my heart...
just stopped and slowed down and made me really think
about what this animal could have gone through.
Ella, are you all right?
You can come stand here by me if you want.
It just made me feel very sick and I had to leave, um, the group.
Ella, the animal didn't feel it, so he was dead.
It's still a violent thing to do and it's a very unnecessary thing to do,
that's why we've got guys like Kobus here
trying to stop people from doing something like that.
A few days ago, Ella got very upset
when the team found an injured rhino that had to be put to sleep.
So have these two experiences put her off being a ranger?
It's not made me think twice about this job,
um, it's just made me really realise that this stuff does happen.
It just hurts me to think that they went through pain.
Now the team understand how and why poaching happens,
it's time for them to learn how to stop it.
The game rangers at the park have been trained
to spot the signs of poachers, but this can be very dangerous,
so Rudi and Frankie have come up with a safe way
for the Safari 8 to learn the ropes.
We have devised a method with Bruce Leslie
who's in charge of special operations anti-poaching,
to imitate everything that we do.
Bruce has sent out two of his team, Edward and Robert,
to pretend to be poachers.
They've just set off and are leaving tracks or spoor
for the Safari 8 to follow.
And there'll be other clues for the team to find along the way.
What I'm hoping for from the Safari 8 is their skills of observation.
Hearing, sight, smell, all those kind of things must be utilised.
Up to now I think they've been solely looking at the wildlife,
now we're bringing in the human aspect.
It's very similar to tracking animals,
except people are more intelligent.
Before they set off on their mission to track the fake poachers,
the Safari 8 get a briefing from Bruce.
What we're going to do this afternoon
is walk in a patrol formation until we detect sign,
and in this case with the poachers it could be the sound of a rifle,
it could be a little fire with some column of smoke,
where there's a poachers' camp.
But, more likely, it will be footprints.
If I want to indicate something without talking on the radio
or shouting to you, we're not going to shout,
we're going to use hand signals because we want stealth and quiet.
So I will stop you with this sign, that means stop when you see it.
This means go down.
I'm going to say I see...tracks.
And, as well as communicating silently,
the team needs to be nearly invisible too.
We're going to give you a tree look.
You know this!
Feel like the SAS.
This is different make-up to what I'd usually wear,
it's a wee bit more...full,
a wee bit much but, you know, I could get used to it.
So, fake poachers Edward and Robert are still busy laying their trail
and it's time for the mission to start.
Don't forget that Bruce and his team have to carry rifles for protection,
as dangerous animals run freely in Kruger Park.
The poaching's very bad and a lot of rhinos are dying,
so this is basically a test course, it's not the real thing.
Some of their men are pretending to be poachers
and we're trying to catch them
so we can get a feel of what it's like to be in the field
and catching poachers.
I'm excited. Might be lots of fun and, yeah, it's great.
After about ten minutes of careful observation,
12-year-old Tomas spots a human footprint or spoor.
Look at the spoor, identify it and we're going to confirm it up ahead.
Cos maybe it's not them,
maybe it's a day walker, maybe it's other people.
We found a spoor of the people we think are the poachers,
now we just identify the spoor, find out which direction they're in.
Look where they could be and the kind of shoes they're wearing.
I know what it is, it's flip-flops.
Cos there's two flaps.
You're right, they are flip-flops
and very African, made from car tyres. OK?
So it's full marks for detective work,
but while the team have been busy tracking the fake poachers,
a nosey rhino has tracked them.
But, as usual, mentor Rudi has been on the lookout.
We're tracking the spoor right here, and behind us the rhino came in.
You always keep your eyes out for anything else.
So he's on his pathway, he's probably marking his territory.
Now we can see a rhino standing right over there.
Standing there, just looking at us.
He sees me, scared of me.
What are you going to do, rhino? What are you going to do?
This is exactly why it's vital the rangers are armed at all times.
Some of Bruce's team keep a lookout while the Safari 8 get going.
I think he wants a drink.
From the direction of the footprints,
our rookie rangers have worked out where the fake poachers -
Edward and Robert - are headed.
And, as they start to make their way through the thick bush,
they walk in single file so they don't lose contact with each other.
Careful where you're standing, you're standing on evidence.
After just a few minutes the team spot the poachers' hide-out.
Within this evidence here is telling me something.
There's a fire, we could come here and just fiddle a little bit,
see if there's any other evidence inside here.
We've just found a poachers' camp
and we know that they weren't here that long ago
because there's a fire and it's still hot.
What do you think this tells us?
-That's what they used to start the fire?
These guys have some good bush skills.
-What's behind there, did you look?
What you did now, you picked it up with your hands.
Don't touch evidence, why? DNA, maybe there's saliva on the can,
fingerprints, we want the fingerprints
cos we want to link the person we arrest to this crime scene.
They've left their cans and pots and snares,
so that shows that they could have stopped for lunch here.
I think there's water up ahead, there could be rhinos there.
I suspect that the poachers will be there, so let's go.
So, they're getting closer.
We've been advised they could be nearby
because there's a river around and there might be some rhinos.
We go this way, follow me.
Animals come to watering holes like this to drink
and, just as Bruce suspected,
fake poachers Edward and Robert are lurking there too.
Completely unaware that the Safari 8 have successfully
used their ranger skills to track them down
and that they're about to pounce.
It's been fantastic following the poachers' trail this afternoon.
Bruce and his guys ran in and caught the poachers - it was so fun.
It was very convincing.
I think they did a very good job of hiding themselves today,
so it was a challenge but we got through it
and we managed to arrest them.
The children did very well,
considering they haven't tracked people before. Very impressed.
On our final challenge, if I found a sign of poaching,
I think I would be able to recognise it
and now, after today, I'd know what to do.
Safari 8 kids, I think they realise now
what a hard job anti-poaching is.
I think they realise it's hard work.
Coming up - the Safari 8 discover just how dangerous the bush can be.
Oh, my gosh.
And cleaning up in camp gets very, very dirty.
Oh, that is not cool!
There are only three weeks until the Safari 8's final challenge,
taking guests on a two-day bush experience
to track the big five safari animals.
So far, the rookie rangers have learned how to track
two of the big five - elephants and buffalo.
But today they'll be making it a hat-trick.
You've seen their footprints, you've seen them in the wild.
-You've seen them up close.
-Today, we are...
-You up for it?
For the second time in two days, Tomas is seriously underwhelmed.
I don't really like rhinos, I just think they're really boring, like.
And they're herbivores which I don't really like
because I like predators,
I like when they try and get and catch the meat themselves.
It's really cool.
All right, let's go.
But, as a ranger, you can't just track your favourite animals,
so Tomas vows to put in 100% on the morning's mission.
I will listen and pay attention
so I can make notes for the final challenge.
As the team head out to track the rhinos,
Tomas seems to have cheered up.
# Don't make a sound
# Can see you watching
# Watching. #
Is that Kings Of Leon?
But suddenly the singing turns to screams.
TOMAS SCREAMS AND CRIES
He's been stung.
It's OK, Tomas, it's OK, Tomas.
But mentor Rudi comes straight to the rescue.
-It's like a bee sting.
Tomas has taken his shirt off to make sure the insect is gone
and good old Frankie's on hand with the antiseptic.
This will kill the pain. Put it on thick. Anywhere else?
While Tomas is getting treated,
the rest of the gang retell their version of the big sting.
It smacked his eye and it went away cos suddenly his eye was so red.
-We saw a big black thing.
-Is that what it was, that big red thing?
-Yeah, big red thing.
-It was so big.
As he scratched it and he moved his shirt up
it flew out and it was this big. It was so red.
Cos he's on the edge and the wind's blowing right in,
it must have been flying and gone in his shirt and got a bit aggravated.
From the team's slightly exaggerated descriptions,
Rudi thinks the insect was a red velvet ant.
A type of wasp that has a nasty sting.
-You know like you have your injection?
And it just feels like that all the time. Like it's constantly poking...
-Can you still feel it?
-No, it's all right now.
You're actually quite a strong little guy.
Poor Tomas, it just isn't his day, but at least he's smiling again.
-Are you all right?
-Yeah, thanks, guys.
Shall we find us some rhinos?
The Safari 8 have already had a week's worth of ranger training,
so before they set off,
their mentors decide to test the teams tracking knowledge.
What you should remember when you're tracking an animal. Ashleigh?
Always check the wind direction
by kicking your shoe up against some sand
cos that will show you which way you don't need to go,
-you go the opposite way so the animal can't smell you.
You need to check for alert signals around the place,
like oxpeckers and some other animals
that might tell you if there's something wrong or something nearby.
Oxpeckers are little birds that can always be found
around big game like rhinos, buffalo and hippos,
because they feed off the ticks and flies
that live on these larger animals.
If you do see an animal, try not to get too close to it
and try and let it be comfortable with you there.
Look for fresh tracks. You can tell they're fresh
because you can see they've just been pressed down
and have scuff marks so you can see what way they go.
It really amazed me the amount of knowledge
the Safari 8 kids could actually store.
It shows me that they're really interested
in what we are telling them.
So they've impressed the mentors with their knowledge,
but will it help them find a wild rhino today?
Tracking any animal on foot can be very dangerous,
so it's important the team walk in single file
and stick close to Frankie and Rudi.
Just a few steps later, and it looks like the team
might have already found what they're looking for.
First bit of luck for the day.
Rhino tracks here, reasonably fresh,
moving down this little pathway.
Fresh tracks leading off in a clear direction
means a rhino might be close by.
Guys, psst! Safari 8, come.
He's walking there. Quiet.
Seeing the rhino like that was really different
from the previous rhino that we saw,
because it was so near and realising that it was a wild one
was so exciting at the same time but weird cos, you know,
we've never been that close to a wild rhino before.
We're going to move slowly towards it.
We're going to see if there's a safe spot for us.
As we moved closer, it actually saw us
and then it turned and then it walked away.
As a ranger or guide,
there's one vital thing that you guys must always remember.
When you've got clients with you, or when you are in the bush.
Once an animal has shown you,
"I know you're there, I'm not happy with you here,"
he runs away - don't push your luck.
All right, guys, so we're going to start walking back to the vehicles.
Single file, we still might encounter something else.
After this amazing sighting,
the Safari 8 have now seen three of the big five.
But, as the group start to make their way back to the truck,
something unexpected happens.
I want everybody, everybody to follow me.
Rudi has spotted a female white rhino and her calf
coming towards the group
and everyone, including the camera crew,
needs to follow the mentors' instructions immediately.
I wasn't scared when I saw the first rhino,
but when I saw the cow and the calf, I was a bit scared
because I know that rhinos are a bit more aggressive
when they're with their young.
Rudi makes sure the group is at a safe distance from the rhinos
before stopping to observe them.
It's walking, it's walking. It's fine. It's perfectly relaxed.
-Yeah, it's totally relaxed.
-Oh, my gosh.
As it got a little bit nearer and as it heard us,
it actually ran away which was such a relief.
-We were right by that bush.
-She's pretty, though.
See how quickly they get to the bush?
Just walking, she wasn't even running.
We were standing there talking. Did she know we were there?
She was totally unaware cos the wind's also taking,
not just our scent, but also the sound.
-The wind carries away.
-And as soon as we started moving down,
she picked up our sound and that's when she ran.
That's what you always need to remember in the bush.
Even after a sighting, after looking at a dangerous animal,
you're still in the bush.
Tomas started the day thinking rhinos are boring,
but have the morning's events changed his mind?
Now I can actually see that they're wild and they are vicious.
I think it was really exciting, much more than what I thought.
It was an intense morning for our rookie rangers,
but things are about to get even more serious,
because once again it's Britain versus South Africa.
Last time the two countries went head-to-head,
the Brits lost when Manya spat his kudu poo the furthest.
So this is a chance for the UK to get their own back
with a rather unusual game of volleyball.
Welcome to the first ever
Kruger Park elephant dung volleyball competition.
The winning team are going to get banana splits.
THEY ALL CHATTER
The losing team will be washing the uniform of the winning team.
It's the best of nine, and the judge's decision is final.
-Are you ready?
HE BLOWS WHISTLE
-Oh, close, close.
-Well done, England!
Finally, the Brits have pulled one back.
Uh-uh, you can't catch it.
But one fight later and it's nearly all over.
It's 4-1. It's match point for the South Africans. OK.
Go for it.
-You did, you caught it, Noma.
The Brits think Noma caught the dung ball
and, as the mentors can't be sure, they give the team another go.
Go for it.
Leave it. That's out!
So, after being 4-1 down,
the Brits have clawed their way back and this is the decider.
Can the UK kids hold their nerve,
or will they fall at the final hurdle?
Go for it!
Oh, it's all over.
The Brits have lost again and Tomas really isn't happy.
Obviously everyone's gutted about not winning
but I think the South Africans did have an advantage
because me, Caroline and Ella are three of the shortest.
-Shall we go and wash a couple of uniforms?
We'll bleach them, we are so bleaching them!
And now for that all-important prize.
Where are the spoons?!
-Well done on a well-deserved victory.
Let's dig in!
Meanwhile, over with the losers...
I feel absolutely gutted again
that England has lost again against the South Africans.
Cos we did a really good job on coming back
and we shouldn't have lost, but...it's a game of sport for you.
I think we're all definitely very glad that we're not the ones
that have to wash the uniforms
and we get to enjoy ice cream and banana.
But the Brits seem determined to enjoy themselves too,
and it's only a matter of time before it all kicks off.
Oh, that is not cool!
# I predict a riot
# I predict a riot
# I predict a riot
# I predict a riot. #
This is payback. We got them and they got us.
Well, if you can't beat 'em, join them.
And Tomas has finally got a smile on his face.
Tastes actually quite nice. Tastes really good.
That was really fun.
Next time on Safari 8 -
the team deal with a medical emergency.
You've been bitten by a Black Mamba, don't move.
Try to get their bearings.
I'm not sure but I don't think we're going the right way.
And have a big moment with an even bigger cat.
I've never seen anything like this.