Ella Cohen is wild about the elephants after going on a TV safari

Animal lover Ella Cohen has just returned from the ultimate safari — courtesy of the children’s television channel CBBC.

Miss Ella (pictured, sitting left) won a four-week trip to South Africa’s Kruger National Park where she was one of eight children — four from England and four from South Africa — to get hands-on experience with the animals.

Their trip is being shown in the 13-part series Safari 8, which is currently being screened on CBBC.

Miss Cohen, a year eight pupil at East Barnet Secondary School, tells People: “The experience was so amazing. Everything about it was mind blowing — more than I could have ever imagined.” Did she miss home? “There was no time to miss home because we were so busy.”

The children took part in intense ranger training.Working as a team, as they tracked and cared for some of the biggest animals in Africa.

She says she finds it odd to watch herself on TV, adding: “I have my friends over to watch it each week. It is nice that they can share my experiences.”

Miss Cohen auditioned for the trip after CBBC representatives came to her school to invite people to take part.

And doing so has confirmed her ambitions that she wants to work with animals.

Her favourite kind? “Elephants. I have loads of them in my room.” Not real ones, we hope.

‘Safari 8’ is on CBBC, Tuesdays at 5.15pm

    Last updated: 9:45am, February 12 2010