My 16 year old nephew from Florida was spending the summer with me and I wanted to provide him with some memorable excursions to return home with.
Yeah, hiking, biking, and Grand Canyon were sure fire hits, but I wanted something more. I had visited Out of Africa Wildlife Park several times and found it to be a rewarding experience, and remembered that they were adding the zip line.
I’ve been on many zip lines over the years and I enjoy that sort of thing. When we arrived at Out of Africa in Camp Verde, AZ, (about 1 hour from Prescott, AZ) we just followed the ZIP sign and began our intake process. One thing I found out was that reservations are required. Well, we didn’t have one, but as luck would have it there were 2 openings at the time we arrived (whew). We boarded a Unimog vehicle, fun in its own right, and headed to the first tower. What I didn’t know then was this would be the last time we touched terra firma for two and a half fun filled hours or so. There are 5 different towers that run throughout the park; one of them was 75 feet high. That’s a lot of climbing, but the remainder is downhill from there.
Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh my! Yep, we zipped right over the top of them all. I must admit, that made me somewhat nervous at first, I told myself that if there were any real danger, we wouldn’t be allowed to do this. We wore safety harnesses and were clipped in every single moment that we were off the ground and the staff was very supportive and helpful. That being noted, I sat back and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Now, when I do stuff like this, I always take photos, but not here. Cameras and phones are not allowed. Not because they want you to purchase the photos they take of you (they do), but for the safety of the animals. Cameras and phones dropped on their heads do not make for happy critters, not to mention how one of these devices might digest through the animal. There is an iPhone on display that someone took with them ("I won’t drop it" right - yeah), they dropped it and it was retrieved sometime later, never to chirp another ring tone. Speaking of photos, there is a photographer on the ground that follows the group through your entire tour. At the end of your tour you can look at slideshows, order prints, t-shirts, hats etc. We bought the entire CD for $50 and are able to print, post, etc, all we want.
All in all it was a wonderful experience; I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, my nephew or me. I would definitely do this again.
A few points to remember:
- Make a reservation
- Don’t bring your phone or camera (really)
- Plan to purchase the photos, t-shirts, etc at the end (nice memento and can print, post, etc.)
- Bring money to tip your guides, they do a great job
- Plan to tour Out of Africa another day. After the zipline experience there is not enough time to catch all the other sites.