One of the best experiences that you can treat yourself in Singapore is definitely a visit to the nocturnal zoo. It is adjacent to the Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Jurong Bird Park.
It took 14 years for this magnificent idea to be brought to life, and from 1994, when it was opened, it has over 1.3 million visitors each year. That is reason enough for you to experience Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo.
Based on the idea that the animals should reside in a near-natural environment and conditions, the Night Safari does not invert the animal’s day-night cycle as many traditional zoos do. The zoos have to do it because they want animals to be active while visitors are there during the day. For nocturnal animals, this is probably torture, so you end up seeing a cranky animal and not really what the animal is supposed to be like.
Trying to evade that and to be more humane to the animals, the Night Safari is an open-air zoo that only operates at night time.
Opening hours are from 7:15 PM to 12:00 PM
What to Expect at the Singapore Night Safari
Don’t worry, you won’t be stumbling in the dark and just listening to the animals. They’re quite visible thanks to the amazing light that is made to imitate moonlight. This light is designed to be brighter than full moonlight but are made with special wavelengths and dimmed adequately as to not disturb the animals’ behavior.
The park takes up 86 acres and it is divided into six regions. Over 900 animals from 100 species are kept in containment areas that are made to not look like cages. From the cattle grids and wires that look like twigs to small rivers where fishing animals can feed, everything here is designed to resemble natural habitats. You can see some impressive animals like the Indian Rhino, or an Asian Elephant, or cute ones, like Pangolins, or Tarsiers.
You can enjoy all of this by walking or taking a 40-minute tram ride.
The price of around S$52 includes a pickup and return service to your hotel, a priority tram ride ticket, and an entry fee. If you decide to go on a tram ride, be prepared for some serious crowds, and if you are without children then the later hours in the evening are recommended. The earlier tram rides are always the most crowded because parents are taking their kids earlier in the evenings.
The tram ride is an absolute must-see, but if you don’t like crowds, there are 4 walking trails you can go on, Leopard Trail, Fishing Cat Trail, the East Coast Lodge Trail, and the new Wallaby Trail. This way you can enjoy watching the animals at your own pace. The trails are well organized, easy to navigate, with good lighting.
After the ride and the walk, you must definitely visit the Creatures of the Night Show at the Amphitheatre, and the Thumbuakar Performance at the entrance.
Food at Singapore Night Safari
If you get hungry, don’t worry, there are plenty of places with great food, Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, with their Indian and Asian Buffets, Safari Sizzles restaurant, Jungle Rotisserie Restaurant are just some of them. If you want some ice cream on a hot Singapore night, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is right at the Entrance Plaza.
At the Night Safari Entrance, you will find a Souvenir and Gift Shop, with a large selection of items that will keep the memory of your visit alive.
Singapore Night Safari Conservation Efforts
There is so much more to this park than just seeing the animals. They are doing serious work in the breeding of threatened species. Since opened, it has bred Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, markhors, red dholes, anoas, bantengs, fishing cats, and so many more. From the total animal population, 41% are threatened species.
So, by visiting the park and paying a fee, you will not just enjoy an amazing evening, but contribute to the efforts to preserve endangered species.