We live pretty close to the World Famous San Diego Zoo, so going to Zoos/Animal Parks located elsewhere are always something we contemplate over for a long time. We went back and forth in deciding whether or not we wanted to make a day trip to go to the Zoo, Bird Park, Night Safari, etc. But we finally decided that we just wanted to go to the Night Safari, because this seemed like something slightly different from what we can see at home.
There are no MRT stops near the Night Safari, so taking the the MRT would mean we needed to figure our the bus connection or get a taxi at the nearest stop. We opted not to take the MRT and just took a taxi straight from Clarke Quay, which was roughly a 35-40 minute ride.
The night safari allocates entry times every hour starting at 7:15, and with the last entrance at 11:15. We ended up getting there at the 8:15 entry time. Once we entered we went straight for the line for the tram. This is a roughly 40 minute ride, touring through a number of the animal exhibits with a guide telling us about the animals we encountered.
There were quite a bit of people already in line, but they did also have quite a few trams running so the line went by fairly quick for us. The tram ride allows for visitors to see a majority of the park in a timely manor. The park does close at midnight, so time can be limited! I personally think it would be a challenge to see the entire park on foot and catch their show before is closes…has any done that before?
One of the benefits of a night safari is being able to see the animals more active. Interestingly, most animals tend to be more active when it is dark out, or they are just nocturnal. And because we did not want to disturb any of the animals, the lights on the tram were completely turned off during the tour. This leads to the the difficulty of snapping a decent photo of the animals.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any decent photos, but one of the highlights of our tram ride was when a taper decided to stroll right next to us. Of course we must follow the rules and keep our hands and feet inside the tram, but it was literally at arms reach from me!
This was also another attractive point of the Night Safari. Animals that were not harmful to us (i.e. tapers and various breads of deer) were not in enclosed exhibits, allowing them to roam freely where along the route of the tram. Don’t worry the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) etc. were safely placed in areas where they couldn’t reach us.
The tram did make a pit stop during our tour allowing for us to hop off and explores some of the trails. We took this opportunity to roam around the Leopard Trail. On this trail we spotted animals such as the leopard cat, leopard, and porcupine to name a few. But Sarah chose this particular trail to walk around because she wanted to us to see a certain exhibit.
The Mangrove Walk is an exhibit containing free-flying fruit bats. Although I have seen bat exhibits before, this was a completely different experience. I definitely got a little scared knowing that I was walking into a building where bats would be flying around. As tense as I was walking in the exhibit, I ended up thinking it was really cool.
When I walked into the exhibit, any movement above me would scare me, and I was ready to a-line straight out of there. Don’t worry Sarah and my parents made sure to hold me back so that I could seek out these flying creatures.
It was rather dark in the exhibit, and my eyesight was automatically directed the the bright colored fruits. I was confused because every one was pointing at the bananas whispering “There it is! There it is!” But if you look carefully you will see a rather large bat hanging right behind the bunch of yellow bananas. Am I the only one having trouble seeing it?
As opposed to my fear, none of the bats came flying towards me. Instead they were rather chill, mostly just hanging in the trees, we even spotted some nibbling on the fruit around them. This was definitely memorable, being able to see these animals so close to me and without any barriers separating us.
After the awesome experience in the Mangrove Walk we continued on the Leopard Trail and was led towards some loud roaring sound. We walked towards the Lion Lookout to find a bunch people crowded there. Turns out we made it just in time to see the lion feeding.
To me it’s a rather rare moment to be able to see any lions actively moving. Most of the time I see the lions, they are more than likely sleeping or lazing around. This time during their feeding time, you can see the lionesses actively pacing waiting for the zookeeper to feed them. Did you know the lion (males) don’t actually hunt? The lionesses (females) do all the work!
Another cool thing during the feeding was being able to hear the lion roar. As I mentioned we were lured to the lion lookout by the roaring sound. We were rather far from the lion exhibit when we clearly heard the roaring. It scary how loud that sound was. I originally thought it was one of those prerecord sounds being broadcast for further effects, but it was the lion actually roaring.
After the exciting sight of the lions, we hopped back onto the tram and completed our the tour. As we were getting of the tram, staff members were directing everyone to get in line for the last showing of their Creatures of the Night Show. Without intending to, we perfectly timed it so that we would make it back in time for the last showing at 9:30 pm.
The show was about 20 minutes long and introduced us to some of the unique animals that live at the Night Safari. Despite the late hour, the show was lively and entertaining. The trainers flaunted their language skills as they welcomed the audience from all over the world. And at one point they even tried to scare the audience by claiming that a large snake had slithered loose!
What made this show fun was the opportunity to see the animals at close proximity. Once the trainers introduced the animals they give us the opportunity to see them up close and personal, by walking down each row of the audience. It was pretty cool to be able to see an owl and a bearcat as such a close proximity and with no barriers.
Another highlight of the show included various talents shows of the animals. Although a little further away from us, we got to see a spotted hyena show off its jumping skills. And we got to see how a sea otter cleverly sort out various recyclables. I would say seeing a clever otter in nothing new to us as we can see them at SeaWorld. But it was cute how this otter blended in with Singapore’s cleanliness!
Although it took us until the last night in Singapore to finally make it to the Night Safari. It was definitely worth our venture out there. I must say, I went here without really have much expectations. But there were definitely some great highlights, I am glad that we did not pass on this place.
This concluded our trip in Singapore as we were making our way to Hong Kong for the second leg of this vacation. Stay tuned for posts on Hong Kong!