The last wildlife visit we did was to the River Safari. This looks at riverine, estuarine and littoral animals (er, and pandas), by providing simulations of rivers around the world.
The newest of the parks, it is also the best designed. It flows in one line without any need to backtrack (with a potential exception, which I will come to), and all of the paths are covered, so you can visit in any weather (again, see exception). It is set on a reservoir, rather than a river, but I suppose the principle is there.
The first simulation is the Mississippi, then the Congo, the Nile, the Ganges, the Mary (Australia, apparently), the Mekong, and the Yangtze.
Roughly halfway round, you arrive at the panda enclosure. I had to look up whether pandas were known as river creatures. Not really. However, there are two pandas here, who are generally kept alone unless it is mating season. They do a lot of eating.
Crossing the reservoir along a long bridge, you come to the boat trip area. There are two on offer: one is a 15 minute motor around the reservoir, which actually takes you to the sides of the Zoo and Night Safari, so you can see the rhinos, giraffes, and sometimes elephants; the other is a 10 minute log flume style drift around the man-made water track. This only has three small drops (maybe a metre each), so it’s not like a theme park.
The boats are an additional 5SGD per person, but you can ride as many times as you like, weather and queues permitting. This is the exception I mentioned earlier – the log flume is uncovered, and they stop the boat rides when it is stormy, windy or raining heavily…or maybe when it is lunch break!
Anyway, if they are closed, you might like to head to the end early to take a look at the giant otter pool which has a glass walkway underneath to watch them swim around you (they were asleep when we were there), and the huge manatee pool with a lot of the animals which are the symbol of the park. You can then ask staff if it is worth retracing your steps to the boat area due to weather improvement.
We liked the River Safari most of the three parks we visited. It’s fun and educational, and it is different from other places I have been – plus when you are on the boat ride you can see some of the animals on the Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo too. If you have a Singapore enabled phone, there is also a ‘buddy’ app which you can download to give you more information as you walk around too.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Telephone: 6269 3411
I’ve added an obscene number of pictures here of various animals and sights. You have been warned.