Arizona 2012

Tuesday the 21st, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

OK OK so we are not really going to Africa but we are going to Out of Africa Wildlife Park located in Camp Verde about a half hour west of Sedona. But first a quick stop at Red Rock Ranger office to pick up our parking pass for the rest of the week (this is where the first pictures of the day are from). We arrive at the park (which strangely is located right behind a correctional facility, maybe it cuts down on the escapes) at 9:30 right as it opens and only a few cars are ahead of us. I guess the heat and time of year help keep the crowds down. We go all out and add on the African Bush Safari Tour and the Feed a Tiger. As we head up the dirt road to where the safari tour starts we come across the first inhabitants.

Up the road a little bit and it's "Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!" No, really!

When the Bush Safari tour starts there are only two other couples with us so the tour group is small and intimate which usually makes for a good time. The safari guide is very personable and he hands everyone biscuits to feed certain animals when he stops. We get our instructions and tips and off we go on the safari vehicle. The guide is awesome and at one stop we get a great treat with the panther.

Shortly after we enter the fenced in area and meet the giraffe and Lisa is determined to feed him with the biscuit in her mouth. Kudos to her for being so brave.

Quite a few animals later and she cheats on the giraffe with a camel.

Back out of the fenced in area and we treated again to a cool spectacle with a tiger.

The safari wrapped up with the hyenas and the guide really got them wound up for us so we could her their "laugh" teasing them with chicken before finally giving it to them. He made the tour so worth the price with the way he interacted with the animals and the info he gave us about them all.

After the safari we chilled out by the Tiger Splash pool waiting for the next show. This was an excellent show with one tiger and about six people interacting with it making it do different things by teasing it with various toys. If you've never seen a full grown tiger leap into the air while chasing an object then I would suggest you do. It was another amazing show. After we got the once in a lifetime chance to feed the tiger. Now granted it was with the tiger still behind the fence and the food was on a stick about 2-3 foot long but it was still cool.

After the tiger show it was time for the Giant Snake Show. Again, Lisa wanted to get a once in a lifetime chance and got in the arena with the snake and actually picked it up and hold it. I did say GIANT SNAKE right?

So that was our day in Africa. From there we headed back to the motel with a stop to see Montezuma Castle. As I was paying for the tickets I got into a conversation with the Park Ranger and he asked where we were from. When I told him NH he said he went to a school near the border and would drive across to NH to buy beer. I asked him where the school was and it was Lowell Tech class of '72 and I told him I went there also class of '83 but they had changed it to U Lowell. Small world. Anywho, the castle was cool and amazing as to why they would choose the cliffs for homes.

Another day is done and tomorrow we start to explore all these red rocks that surround our motel.