Out of Africa Wildlife Park – Camp Verde, AZ

Out of Africa Wildlife Park – Camp Verde, AZ

I love to go to zoos and other places where visitors can get an up close look at animals they might not otherwise see. When we were looking for things to do in Arizona, I happened upon the Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde and almost immediately added it to our list of must-see places. After all, they had tigers, which are my very favorite.

Our first stop upon entering was a short safari ride. We were given carrot sticks to feed to the giraffes as we boarded a converted school bus. Giraffes were the first stop, and they were waiting for us!  As soon as the bus stopped they came over, eager for their treats. Everyone stuck their carrot stick out the window, and we watched, fascinated, as their extremely long prehensile tongues came out, wrapped around the carrot stick, and carried it back to their mouth.  Chomp, chomp, chomp, repeat.

I have no idea what this woman was thinking, but I was almost too horrified to take the picture:

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And that’s just the TIP of its tongue!

The big draw at the park was the Tiger Splash Show, where you can see Bengal and Siberian tigers interact in a predator-and-play relationship, romping and splashing in a large pool as they play with their caretakers and various colorful toys. It’s a lot like playing with your average house cat – dangle a toy in front of them, shake it a little bit, and watch them pounce. The big difference here is that there is a pool of water, which the tabby wouldn’t dream of entering, and the cat in this case could kill you.

It was such a unique experience, watching the handlers play with this massive tiger.  And make no mistake, he is a fearsome creature:

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I don’t have any action shots of the Tiger Splash show because I was just too fascinated to try and watch it through my camera view finder. It was at turns funny (when  you realize that your pet acts exactly the same way), scary (oh my gosh be careful!), and awe-inspiring (there is a tremendous amount of power in the tiger’s body).

After the show, you could pay a small fee to feed a tiger a hunk of meat (on a stick, through a fence, at a respectable distance).

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We saw all sorts of animals at Out of Africa. There was a white tiger, lions, zebras, rhinos. and more. I highly recommend this as a family outing.

BARGAIN ALERT:  Visit during your birthday month and your admission will be free, according to their website’s FAQs.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park is located at 3505 W. SR-260, Camp Verde, AZ 86322   Telephone 928-567-2840.  The park is open 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, 363 days per year (closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Onsite parking is included with your admission.  

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