Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari

37Located roughly 20 kilometres from Singapore’s city centre lies the Singapore Zoo. A world renowned zoological park, it houses 315 different species. All the animals are kept in naturalistic “open exhibits”. Instead of bars and cages, barriers are hidden or a moat is used instead. This makes it easier for each enclosure to be landscaped in a style that’s close to the animal’s natural habitat. It also gives the visitors an excellent view. Singapore Zoo houses the largest captive colony of orang-utans in the world. Other animals living here include white tigers, African lions, gorillas, cheetahs, saltwater crocodiles, giraffes, jaguars, leopards, elephants, white rhinos and many, many more.

You should start early when you visit the zoo, as there are three major attractions next to each other. The second on your list should be the River Safari. Opened in November 2012, the brand new River Safari is home to 5000 animals. Built as a series of river boat rides, you will visit famous rivers from around the world including the Nile, the Yangtze, the Mississippi and the Amazon. Animals you will see along the way include anacondas, electric eels, Mekong freshwater stingrays, manatees and the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish. If you’re not content with a gentle ride on the river, you just need to try some white water rafting.

Unlike normal theme park rapids rides, this one will take you through the enclosure of the majestic Malayan Tiger. The River Safari also contains a 1,400 sq. metre structure called The Frozen Tundra which is home to two polar bears. The enclosure is completely climate controlled and its temperature matches that of the Artic. Undoubtedly though, the main attraction at the River Safari is the giant pandas. Kai Kai and Jia Jia also live a climate controlled enclosure; this one designed to rotate through the four seasons, mimicking the weather from the panda’s original home in China. The River Safari has also grown an 8000 sq. metre plantation of bamboo specifically to feed the two pandas.

Your last stop of the day is the Night Safari. Built in in the early 1990s, the Night Safari is the world’s first nocturnal zoo. Whereas most zoos reverse the day-night cycle in order for the animals to be awake during the day while the zoo is open, the Night Safari is designed so visitors can see nocturnal animals, outside in their natural habitat. You can see the animals from the walkways provided but the best way is to take the tram. This will take you deep into the enclosures with some animals coming so close you could reach out and touch them. With all the fencing and boundaries being so well hidden, it really does feel like you’re in the wild.

Singapore zoo is world renowned, the Night Safari is the first of its kind and still one of the only night safaris in world. It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. Still new, the River Safari is gaining worldwide recognition for its innovation and dedication to conservation. All three attractions are a must see for any visitor to Singapore.