With summer months on their way our family is planning a few day trips to keep us busy. The Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona is a family favorite and we are looking forward to another visit soon. The original park was opened in 1988 with just 16 acres. In 2005 the animals were relocated to the 104 acre park they now call home.
I recall visiting the original park as a child. With a great grandmother living in Camp Verde, I also remember when the new location opened in 2005. It wasn’t until recently my husband, six year old daughter, and I visited the park. For several years we had planned a visit and finally, on a day with perfect weather and no specific plans, we drove north for a great family day spent learning about animals. The entrance is on a dirt road opening to the large park nestled in the privacy of the Arizona mountains.
My oldest daughter is very interested in learning about animals and conservation. For years she has been intrigued by the idea that through education we can make a difference in our environment. Our family visits zoos and aquariums frequently to learn by observation and various conservation efforts. The Out of Africa Wildlife Park is committed to a number of conservation projects including protecting the African elephant and black rhinos in Africa.
Protecting endangered species, helping them breed, and encouraging the survival of the species are all efforts that we must take seriously.
Providing exceptional animal care, rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, protecting and preserving wilderness and its denizens…all of these noble efforts are hollow if we do not teach future generations the value of all living creatures great and small. This responsibility we all must share.
Our family visit to the park gave my daughter a deeper appreciation for all the animals we don’t normally see at our local zoo.
With many different rescued animals in the park we were eager to start exploring. We boarded the African Bush Safari bus and traveled through the park to begin our visit. The guide taught us so much about the diverse animals on the safari tour. Among many other animals we saw a baby zebra playing, learned about Boom Boom the Rhinoceros, and watched as our guide fed an ostrich.
My daughter’s favorite part of the safari tour was the up close giraffe encounter.
Following the safari tour we explored the park on our own. Much like in their natural habitats, the animals have spacious living areas with plenty of opportunities for engagement. A favorite observation of the day included watching a bear eat his lunch at a picnic table as we walked by.
Tiger Spash™ was an incredible experience seeing a tiger play in a pool with caregivers. The show is a great learning opportunity filled with fun facts and stories of animal rescue and rehabilitation.
The large animals at the park are stunning but we spent significant time at the reptile resort too.
At less than a two hour drive and offering temperatures slightly cooler than the Phoenix area, we will be visiting again soon. My six year old daughter gives the experience a big thumbs up and is looking forward to our next visit.
The park is located in Camp Verde, Arizona less than a two hour drive from Phoenix. Hours are 9:30 – 5:00 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). You can purchase tickets in advance online and you can visit for free during the entire month of your birthday.
Which animals are you most looking forward to learning about during your visit to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park?