The company which owns the Singapore Zoo also controls the Night Safari and River Safari tourist attractions in the same area, as well as the Jurong Bird Park nearby. They offer a four-park ticket which lasts for a week (single entry) for the same price as single day tickets to the two most expensive of the four, so we went for that.
Guess what the next three reviews will be of?! Well, actually we had things come up in Malaysia so couldn’t return to the Bird Park in time, so just two. I did visit the Bird Park about seven years before, and it was very pleasant. Lots of hornbills and brightly coloured birds.
Anyway, we went to the Night Safari first, which shows nocturnal animals in a more appropriate setting than they get in many zoos. I had visited nearly 10 years previously, but didn’t expect the basics to have changed. It opens late, so the animals aren’t artificially switched into a different circadian rhythm. It also means all of my photos are even more rubbish than usual.
The way it works is that you book your entry time at quarter past 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11; you can then stay until it closes at midnight. My first piece of advice is that you should go at 7.15 – you should easily be able to spend all that time there. We went later and didn’t feel we had covered it properly.
The Night Safari is separated into 4 walks which link to each other. These are the fishing cat trail, the leopard trail, the East lodge trail, and the wallaby trail. Other than the eponymous animals, I’m not really sure that they follow much of a theme. The biggest animals are on the leopard and East lodge trails. The animals are generally portioned from the public and each other by moats, which feels a little nicer than cages. Generally I thought the animals seemed ok, though I am not an expert.
There is also a tram which does a roughly 45 minute circuit with commentary and which shows you a lot of the main animals, particularly the big cats and safari animals. You used to be able to get off at the far end of the park and walk around, but right now you can’t.
Second bit of advice – do not waste time on the Creatures of the Night show. You have to queue for ages, and then you get a lame unfunny presentation of about 7 or 8 animals. It is much, much, MUCH better to spend your time wandering around.
The first time I went, I really enjoyed the ‘bat walk’ at the far end of the leopard trail – an enclosed run with lots of bats flying around your head in a scary manner. Sadly this time they were still a bit sleepy, so I only got to see them close up, instead of them scaring me witless…
Anyway, I think the Night Safari is a reasonable way to see some nocturnal animals in what might be the closest they would get to their normal habitat. Just avoid the awful performing animals show.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Telephone: 6269 3411