The Night Safari is the worlds first nocturnal zoo and a popular Singapore attraction. Officially opened in 1994 it’s home to over 120 different species of animal. The zoo is visited by more than 1.1 million guests each year.
The Night Safari had been on our itinerary early this year when we visited Singapore but unfortunately we ran out of time. This trip we weren’t going to miss it! We had been looking forward to taking the children, and they were looking forward to seeing the Madagascan animals in particular.
There are loads of ways to get to the zoo, and at first glance the options seemed a little daunting! Eventually we decided on a taxi. Taxi’s are so cheap in Singapore, it actually turned out we had chosen the simplest, quickest, and at $25 each way the most economical way for a family of four to get to the zoo.
We also decided against pre booking tickets and simply purchased them at the park gate. At the time of publishing prices were, adults $35 and children $25.
Once inside there were merchandise stores and food options. We made our way to the the tram station. The trams circle the park, with one arriving every 10 minutes to take guests on a guided tour. Anais was more than a little nervous about the open state of the vehicle as she knew we would be passing by the tiger and bear habitats.
We set off with our tour guide warning against the use of flash photography. The commentary along the way was entertaining, and informative. The park has a very strong conservation message which was delivered in a meaningful manner.
As we moved through the park we were pleased to see animals out all along the track. There were very few visible enclosures which created the illusion that you could simply get out of the tram and touch the animals. The naturalistic enclosures are designed to look like the animals’ native habitat. The animals are separated from visitors and other exhibits by natural barriers such as cattle grids, moats or steeply graded river banks. In the image above the hoofed animals such as the zebra and giraffe and are kept in the enclosure with the use of concealed cattle grids.
Along the path the feeding areas feature subdued lighting, which is made to look like moonlight. This made spotting the animals a lot easier, although it was almost impossible to take photographs in the low light. Being that we were on moving vehicle my shutter speed was simply too slow to capture very many images without significant blurring.
Halfway through the park there is another tram station. Guests can alight and takes one of the four walking trails. We chose to do the full loop and then start the walking trails from the park entrance.
The first walking track was the Wallaby trail. Although it sounds harmless enough it passes by the snake caves and the tiger walk. Locky was keen to explore on foot and he was making a beeline for the pythons and snakes. Anais, on the other hand, was making a list of animals she didn’t want to wander across in the dark. My poor sweetheart was worried about walking into one if the lions or the bears we had seen from the tram.
Admittedly, as we were walking along in the near dark, my mind wandered to scenes from the movie Jurassic Park. The Night Safari did have a Jurassic Park feel about it but I decided it was best to keep that musing to myself!
So, like brave safari hunters we wandered along the paths seeing the animals at close range. We had timed our stroll perfectly as we stumbled across the tiger enclosure just as a chicken carcass was dropped in the lit feeding area. Looking like an over sized pussy cat, we watched as it delicately devoured the bird. I don’t know whether the stronger emotion for Anais was horror, fear or intrigue. Regardless, she was captivated.
9.30 was time for the creatures of the night show held in the outdoor amphitheatre. The show featured animals from the park performing with the zoo handlers. It was humorous and entertaining, the children found it really amusing and a highlight of the evening. Again the commentary was highly educational with a strong conservation message.
My children are not quite as nocturnal as the animals on the night safari. We arrived at 7.30 and by 10.30pm the children were falling asleep on their feet. I was very pleased not to be queuing for a bus. We jumped in a cab and had them tucked into bed in record time!
A great night was had by all!
TIP:Please remember that Singapore is a hot spot for Dengue Fever, for comfort and safety use an insect repellant. The Night Safari is situated in a jungle environment with stagnant water and a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.