December 16, 2018

Experience AZ

10 animal experiences in Arizona to try

Here are 10 places in Arizona where you can experience animals up close and personal, as featured in the latest issue of Experience AZ magazine.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park  

Things to know: The employees at Out of Africa stress one thing — this place is not a zoo. Rather, it’s an immersive experience that allows one the sensation of being in a real-life African bush safari. Animals from all over Africa and Asia wander about in spacious habitats, and visitors will be surprised by how up close and personal you’ll be able to get. Take a fence-free photo from the expertly placed photography platforms, and make sure to check out the free-roaming safaris and splendid habitats.

Don’t miss: Out of Africa boasts the world-renowned Tiger Splash show, where Bengal tigers interact with each other and their keepers in a large aquatic play land. Right next to the Tiger Splash arena, you’ll find the Jungle Hut Eatery, where you can savor offerings like the Black-Bean Chipotle Burger and the Pilgrim Sandwich (gluten-free bread is available upon request). Then, upgrade your safari experience by taking the Predator Zipline tour — a 2.5-hour (or shorter, depending on your needs) flight that takes you across the whole park as a guide narrates your journey.


Drive through the habitats of this wildlife park, where bears, wolves, bison and other animals walk up to vehicles as if they’re part of the scenery.

Butterfly Wonderland

Occasionally, a butterfly or two will land on an unsuspecting visitor. Here’s a tip: Wear bright colors to attract the butterflies.


Forget that you’re in the middle of a desert and make your dream of swimming with the dolphins come true at Dolphinaris.

Heritage Park Zoo

This wildlife sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation and protection of native and exotic animals.

Navajo Nation Zoo

The Navajo Nation Zoo and Botanical Park is the only Native American owned-and-operated zoo in the country.

OdySea Aquarium

The aquarium has a vast repertoire of “ambassador animals” that are available for human interaction, adding the potential for a surprise each visit.

Phoenix Zoo

The zoo is divided into four themed areas — the Arizona Trail, the Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail and the Children’s Trail, which includes a petting zoo.

Reid Park Zoo

Features more than 500 animals and consists of four zones that are organized by the types of habitats and animals they house.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

This attraction takes pride in its exotic animals, including kangaroos, rare white alligators, a flightless emu and white rhinos.