Singapore: Night Safari

On Friday evening, after all the business meetings and team building events, I had some time to myself as Patrick was still on the flight from Hong Kong to Singapore. So I decided to visit the Night Safari in Singapore, which I have heard good things about. Patrick is not keen on zoos anyway, so he did not mind that I ventured to the park on my own.

Night Safari 2

I asked my colleagues about the best way to get there from Clark Quays to the Night Safari and they told me it would be around an hour if I relied on public transport. So I took a taxi and paid around 25 Singapore Dollar to get to the Zoo, the ride lasted about 40 minutes and just got me there a few minutes after 7.30pm (which is the opening time of the park). I had already booked my ticket online (35 Singapore Dollars) so I did not have to queue.

As soon as I arrived I was greeted by masses of people – which really scared me. I hate big crowds. But luckily this was really just at the beginning, as soon as I made my way further into the park, the crowd dispersed.

I started with the “Creatures of the Night Show”, which is a 20 minutes show featuring amazing nocturnal superstars – including a howling white wolf, a spotted hyena that bites a thick brunch into two and lots of otters, two binturongs (never seen those ones before) and more. It is very entertaining and gives you a good chance to see some very active animals, that normally just sleep if you were to visit a daytime zoo.

After that I explored the four walking trails, which are truly fascinating. You walk through a thick rainforest and go past animal enclosures that simulate the animals’ native habitat. Animals are separated from visitors with natural barriers (cattle grids, moats that look like streams etc) and there are some areas were you can actually enter the enclosures, to see bats or wallabys close up (of course, not tigers or elephants, this would be too dangerous).

Night Safari 4

The lightning is actually only a little brighter than moonlight. So it’s enough to see the animals, but not enough to disturb nocturnal animals’ behaviour. Of course, it means that taking pictures is almost impossible – you can’t use flash (just imagine the poor animals) and you’ll need a tripod. I did not carry one with me, so I could not really take any pictures… or can you recognise that the picture above is showing a porcupine while the picture below is a bat eating bits of a watermelon?

Night Safari 3

After exploring the different walking trails I hopped on the tram. By that time it was already 11pm, so there were not that many people around anymore. It was a good time to go, I had lots of space and it was very enjoyable to enter the areas where the elephants, zebras and other animals are kept that you can’t visit by walking on the trails (you have to be on a tram to see those animals).

Overall I really enjoyed the night safari, it was great to see so many active nocturnal animals. I know, zoos are not great and it would be so much nicer to keep animals in their natural habitat – but there are not many natural habitats left anymore, which is a great shame.

Night Safari 1

Useful info:

  • The Night Safari is open from 7.30pm to 12am every night
  • Tickets are 35 Singapore Dollars for an adult – online as well as at the entrance, but you can skip the queue by purchasing tickets online. You can also purchase packages with entrance to the normal Zoo, the River Safari and the Bird Park
  • You can take pictures on the Night Safari, but without flash – so you might want to take a tripod with you
  • The Creatures of the Night show is popular, you’ll have to get there 20-30 minutes before starting time
  • The nearest MRT stations to Night Safari are on the North-South (Red) line. From Choa Chua Kang you can take bus 927 for example – find out more on the website
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3 responses to “Singapore: Night Safari

  1. i guess Singapore has the best zoo in the world. There are in fact 3 of them – daytime zoo with general animals and sometimes a birds, the night safari which you visited and a separate bird park in different part of the city which is all dedicated to birds only (with special dark and big pavillion for owls only). The price is more than adequate, and they all are so huge that all of them have internal trains. Animals are separated by a natural barrier, or there are additional pavilions adjacent to the same place with thick glass where you can see the same animal (e.g. baboons or lions) just an outstreched arm far. Or there are walk-in pavilions where you could even touch an animal if you wish (the best one has sloths, flying foxes, ducks and pigmy antelopes all in one natural-like environment with walking multi-level paths inside under the roof among the tropical trees). The times of feeding are indicated at most of places so that you can come at designated time and watch e.g. orangutans descending from trees to eat fruits or pelicans diving for a fish (which is possible to see through a glass wall of a basin). Also there are 2-3 stages in each of the zoos with FREE shows (entrance ticket includes this!) with animals or birds doing tricks, and looking at staff, everyone is so friendly towards visitors and proud and enthusiastic of their job. You can take pictures together with some animals, some are free (e.g. with sea lion), some for a small fare (you can even embrace an orangutan and an attendant will take your picture). There is even a white bear, where they constructed a special air-conditioned lair for him and a pool with glass walls to watch him diving for fish or just taking a relaxin bath. In the Jurong Bird park, the best walk-in pavilion is one with hundreds of parrots. Again you can buy a cup of sweet nectar for them and they then land right on your hands and shoulders, a dozen of them at a time, enjoying the delicacy with a friend taking your picture (for free) or an attendant (and you can estimate and buy this picture later when exiting the zoo). Of course, the zoo HK has is better than nothing, with even separate bird pavilion in HK park, but after Singapore, i guess, any zoo in the world will look tiny for you.

  2. We went to the night safari when we were in Singapore and really enjoyed it. I agree how difficult it is to take photos – we have one which is all grey with the very faint outline of a rhino in the distance! But it was a great experience though :)

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