on April 16, 2006
Travel just 30 minutes outside of Sedona to Camp Verde and you'll feel like you've been transported to another country. Our visit to Out of Africa Wildlife Park provided us with some once-in-a-lifetime experiences we'll never forget.While there, we had the chance to pet giraffes and feed them soy biscuits right out of our mouths. (Their ginormous eyelashes literally brushed my face!) Not for everyone, I know, but it's completely optional. Not only that, but we saw an array of animals, including ostriches, tiger cubs, wildebeests, deer, hyenas, and zebras.The $28 admission ($20 for children) includes two different experiences: the Serengeti safari and the wildlife preserve tour. The Serengeti safari is experienced from a safari-type vehicle called a unimog, while the other tour is conducted on a tour bus which you can dismount occasionally to get closer views of some of the animals. On both the safari and the tour, our park guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, informative, and respectful of the animals.In fact, our tour was led by Dean Harrison, co-founder of the park along with Prayeri Harrison. The main message I took from him was what a profound respect for and understanding of these animals he had. To hear him describe the animal world in terms that humans can relate to, it was clear that his was a noble cause: to try to bring understanding and respect for animals to the human world.The park is open Wednesday to Sunday 9:30am to 5pm. (Admission closes at 4pm.) Their website, http://www.outofafricapark.com/index.html, has tons of information and photos.One helpful hint: make the, umm, "necessary arrangements" for anyone in your group who is squeamish about public restrooms (or in this case, the lack thereof), because the only facilities available at the park are port-a-potties.
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