The third and final destination from my holiday vacation was to another place that I’ve always wanted to go. On Christmas day, I ventured on an expedition to Camp Verde, stayed in a hotel and the next day, visited the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Pushing up majestic mountains, cruising along gentle curves through snow falling silently down into the valleys below to go on an African adventure.
I didn’t exactly know what to expect when I drove through the gates. Was it going to simply be a zoo specializing in African animals? Most zoos you may or may not see the few lions, tigers, and bears they have but here you’ll see more than you can handle. This place is massive yet easily navigable with shuttle stops for those who’d rather ride around the park than take a leisurely stroll. It really is a vast and fun place for people of all ages.
There’s also an impressive variety of other animals from zebra, giraffe, snakes of all sizes, wolves, and even hyenas. I finally experienced first hand why they call them laughing hyenas when I saw them waiting for food. A little eerie but still amazing. I was able to watch tigers splash around in water and even got to feed a tiger some raw meat.
I really liked how comfortable the animals looked. They had plenty of room to roam about, bask in the sun or retreat to the shade and I got to see just how well they’re fed and cared for. They also have a show where you can watch and follow the staff while they feed the predator cats. I still want to zip line over the predators as I think it’s the only place in the world to do something like that.
I wholeheartedly recommend this place. They’re a private venture which means they don’t receive any funding from the city or state much like a public zoo would so please support them and keep the animals happy with full bellies.
While in the park I didn’t exactly feel like I was in northern Arizona. The beautiful juxtaposition of snow capped mountains in the distance but African and desert animals before me felt like I was wandering some surreal world between the two.
Taking photos of wildlife was pretty tricky. You kind of get what the animals give you but it was still fun nonetheless. Now onto a small gallery of this amazing place. I hope you all enjoy. All photos taken with a Nikon D5500 and edited in Lightroom 6.
The predators and exotic animals get all the attention but if you’d like to see a few more rapid snapshots of some of the other wonderful animals you can find them here.