“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Ever since this boy-man of mine was old enough to walk, his soul lights up at the mere mention of tigers, lions, and the jungle. So when we heard of Out Of Africa, we knew this was the place to take him for his 14th birthday!
We awoke at the crack of dawn and made the long drive out to Camp Verde. We arrived just after opening and began with a safari bus tour.
On their website they say:
"Out of Africa Wildlife Park strives to educate and entertain, to provide an exciting and engaging opportunity to love and respect creation and Creator. It is a place where family and friends gather to experience oneness with animals and each other during safaris, tours, walks, observations, and shows of wild-by-nature animals in their own, natural splendor. In this way, we hope to achieve a kind of oneness with them that will cause us to consider them to be so valuable that we cannot allow them to be lost forever. We continually provide spacious and natural living habitats for animals in need, so they can become ambassadors of their own kind. We have heeded the call of those without a voice, many of whom now border on extinction."
At the park, they are huge on conservation and really strive to make you a part of the experience, and the solution. They do a fantastic job, and it was beautiful to watch the relationship they have with the animals-- it was unlike anything we'd ever seen.
All three of the kiddos got to feed Chalet the tiger. She was so magnificent and beautiful. Seth was especially excited to be able to check "feed a tiger" off his bucket list!
They say little boys never truly grow up, and how true this is. There are parts of my son that are visibly becoming a man, but today I got to witness the little boy within.
No latin sentences to dissect. No debate topics to research. No math equations to be solved. Just him and nature. A moment in time where it all stood still, and his childhood passion ignited a twinkle in his eyes.
The entire day was bubbling with a magical wonder that reached out and pulled us in. We stayed until the last closing minute, but even then, found ourselves not wanting to leave.