Nov 7, 2019
We managed to get going at a reasonable time and arrived at the Out of Africa Animal park by 10:00 AM. Part animal park and part animal sanctuary it was easy to see that the park really cared for its animals, providing large enclosures with plenty of space. Unfortunately the park had large enclosures with plenty of space which meant that the various lions, tigers, bears, rhino’s and other animals had plenty of space to hide and could not be seen. We walked past many animal enclosures advertising an animal only to be unable to find the animal. Still we managed to see some lions, tigers and prairie dogs.
The park had a few shows too but they were certainly not something you would see at Seaworld. Out of Africa does not train its animals so it’s signature show, Tiger Splash is literally that. It was an hour of five staff trying to coax a tiger into jumping into a pool using various toys on a stick. The tiger did no tricks, did not roll over, did not jump on command, did not jump through a hoop or any of the tricks a circus tiger would. No, the staff just waved toys on a stick at the tiger trying to get it to chase the toy and jump in the water. Eventually after half hour they managed to get the tiger to take a jump in the water and that is the show folks. While not Ringling Brother’s quality it was kind of amusing to watch the staff trying to get the attention of the tiger which often ignored them.
The other big attraction at the park was the safari. Here everyone gets loaded up onto a big bus with no windows and driven into one of the animal enclosures where the animals roam free. As we were getting onto the bus each guest was given a piece of celery to feed the park’s lone giraffe. This was a lot of fun as the giraffe literally stuck his head into the bus so that everyone could feed it. Some of the more adventurous people put the celery in their mouth to get a sloppy giraffe kiss. There was also a herd of zebra following the bus around begging for the treats that the drive threw out. As we drove around, we also saw a camel, some Asian water buffalo, antelope, and cows. After the safari, we went to the reptile house where we got a chance to touch a Boa Constrictor too.
We had plans to meet some friends in Phoenix so we left the park around 3. However as I punched in their address into the GPS I found out that they did not actually live in Phoenix but in Florence, which is about an hour’s drive past Phoenix. Instead of an hour drive we were facing a two and a half hour drive right through Phoenix at the height of rush hour. Lovely. Regardless we persevered and bulled through arriving at our friend’s Chris and Herman’s lovely house around 7 pm.
Chris and Herman are friends of ours that moved from Sacramento to Arizona a few months ago and they welcomed us into their beautiful new house with open arms. We had a lovely spaghetti dinner and were able to shower before retiring to our RV.