Friday, May 4, 2007

Arizona Sights & Wonders: Out of Africa/Sedona Day-trip

Here's another great destination to experience with the kids!  The Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a place you will definitely want to put on your list of must-sees.  Even though you will travel north to this park, it can still feel very warm depending on the season of your visit.  Located 90 minutes north of Phoenix in Camp Verde, just south of Sedona, temperatures are approximately 5 degrees shy of Phoenix on the same day.  Although there is very little shade at this zoo, you have the opportunity to hike the "back-road" into the desert landscape, board a jeep for a 45 minute safari into the "Serengeti," or take an hour-long excursion by trolley/tram for an educational look at the "Wildlife Preserve."  For those of you curious about the feeding activity of such African predators as lions and tigers (oh my), you won't want to miss the Predator Feed occurring 3 days per week during which 800 pounds of raw food is thrown to the eagerly awaiting carnivores!

You'll want to allow at least 2 hours at this park to take in the Safari and the trolley/tram tour, but even though it seems like a short amount of time for the drive, it's a place that allows you to get closer to these wild animals than any other in the state.  And, not only will you be able to get up close but you'll have the opportunity to learn about the animals from very knowledgeable guides.

To get there: head north on I17 to the Camp Verde exit.  Turn west and go 3 miles to Verde Valley Justice Center Road.  Turn left & follow the signs!

When you are ready to leave, you'll want to head into Sedona and take in the beautiful scenery.  Maybe you'll even have time to check out Chapel of the Holy Cross which is another picturesque sight in Arizona you'll want to see at least once.  Just north of Sedona is Slide Rock State Park.  This will really cool you off after a hot tour of the zoo.  Pair the Out of Africa trip for the morning with Slide Rock swimming/wading in the afternoon for a cool end to the day or if you prefer shop at the outlet mall or at Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tuh-LOK-uh-POK-ee)! 

You won't be disappointed!�