Singapore Zoo opened to the general public in 1973, known then as Singapore Zoological Gardens, on the parameters of the Upper Seletar Reservoir. The area also incorporates the popular Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park. It is home to over 315 species of animal, a percentage of which are considered endangered species. The Zoo houses its animals in open areas, where hidden barriers and moats give an authentic natural feel. The taxi ride took us just under half an hour from the city centre and was just under 25 dollars, with admission at 32 dollars for adults and 21 for children between 3 and 12, it’s not a huge expense for what turned out to be a fantastic day.
Armed with our map of the zoo, we ventured inside. It’s not a difficult walk around the park, although the humidity can make it draining. There are trams running through the park stopping at various stations to let you hop on and off, these are the best way to conserve energy but still get the full experience. Each area has information on the feeding times, so you can plan your exploration to coincide with the animals getting their food. There are also informative boards and interactive shows with many of the animals that allows you to get a better appreciation of them and their existence in the wild as you watch them.
The white tiger is one of the biggest attractions and we managed to land just as it was preparing for its dinner. Housed in an open area, there is a mini ravine between the tiger and the watching platform, where the keeper throw chunks of meat across as the tiger patrols the edge of its domain, checking out all of us watching in awe. There are numerous planned shows as you make your way around the park and an array of animals to see – from the Hamadryas Baboons to the Asian Elephants and the pygmy hippo. You can visit the Australian outback or venture into the primate kingdom too. One of the highlights for us was the polar bear, which was on a repeating run when we arrived. Starting off on the dry land at the far end of its compound, it would dive into the water, powerfully gliding towards the glass that separated the crowd before bursting out of the water as it reached the barrier, offering ample opportunity for those much sought after selfies.
There are chances to grab some food and drink along the way, breaking up the adventure for some well-needed sustenance to last the day. The Zoo is not only great fun and an exciting afternoon; it’s also an educational trip for everyone, teaching us a bit more about the world we live in. Singapore zoo also boasts the River Safari, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park, so there are plenty of choices on what kind of day or night you have when you get there. We loved our day out at the zoo and can’t wait to go back for a nocturnal adventure at the night safari.