Nowadays, you like have zoos in every major city of the world. If you are not a lion fetishist, you will likely recognize that visiting these places frequently makes you more and more bored. However, in Singapore, there is a very special attraction: the Singapore Night Safari is a zoo with is specific for nocturne animals. It has very good reviews and thus feels to be the perfect finish of the day after visiting the “ordinary” Singapore Zoo and the lovely River Safari. Here is my view on the Singapore Night Safari.
Due to the really dark conditions and the fact that I only had compact cameras in Singapore, the picture quality is rather limited.
Singapore Night Safari – Location & Admission
Singapore Night Safari is located in the North of the city state, the Singapore Zoo and the River Safari are closeby. There are some more information about how to get there in the River Safari posting. In general, I would recommend to opt for a taxi ride to the parks and do them in one day. The Night Safari is open from 19:15 until midnight. You may find more information on public transport to the zoos in the River Safari posting.
Your tickets to the Singapore Night Safari are timed. Even if you buy a four park hoper ticket, you have to select a date for your Night Safari visit. An adult ticket for the Night Safari ist 49 SGD. There is a a four park park hopper tickets which includes all three zoos in the area plus the Jurong Bird Park (which will move there in the future) for 80 SGD, which is about 51 EUR. A 10 SGD top-up adds the boat rides at River Safari and the Singapore Zoo tram.
Singapore Night Safari – The Visit
You may roughly split your Night Safari visit into three stages. The first one is queuing. It takes quite a while to get into the park. However, there is an excellent fire-eater show which will give you a great time.
In the park, there are two parts of your visit: most of the people follow their intuition and head towards the trams, which give you a guided tour through the enclosures. The second part is closer to a normal zoo visit. The “trails” is just a path through the zoo where you see more and other animals by walking through the park. Especially if you arrive early on a busy day, the queues to the tram rides may be massive. In these cases, I recommend to consider talking the walk first. When I came back from my “trails” experience, there was hardly anyone waiting for a tram ride.
Riding the Night Safari Trams
It feels like the tram cars are the same used in Singapore Zoo in the daytime. They serve four people in each row. However, groups are people are typically not split, so that you may end up sitting in a row of three as well. The trams are rather comfy. Queuing for the trams took me roughly 45 minute and tended to be chaotic as there were some vendors in the lines as well. You may speed up that process by buying VIP tickets, though.
The tram ride is roughly 30 minutes. There are a lot of animals on that trip. For example, there is the Markhor, Asiatic Lions, Sloth Bears and Hippopotamus along the way. Some of the enclosures are practically exclusive to the tram ride, you cannot access them by the trails (and vice versa). This is especially the case for the last habitats you visits, which include the Asian Elephant, the Indian Wolf or the Asiatic Black Bear. It is quite a nice selection of animals.
However, being in the tram gives you a very tough time to take pictures of the animals. At several animals, you just drive by and do not stop. Of course, due to having four people in a row, there is a some-sort-of-obstructed view for half of the inhabitants anyway.
The Night Safari Trails
The Night Safari park map shows four trails. In fact, these are four sections linked to each other. You may cross the road used for the trams at some points, but you never share the road with these ones. There are some short detours, but no shortcuts, so that you end up with one decision: clockwise or anti-clockwise. I went for the anti-clockwise options. This means, I started my visit with the Fishing Gate Trail, which is starting close to the tram queues. The Indian Gharial and the Barasinga are two amazing species.
The second section of the trails is called Leopard Trail. There is much more than leopards and snow leopards. My favorite enclosure was a cage of bats, where you can walk in. There are also loris, purcupine, otter and more.
The third section I visted was the East Lodge Trail. Apart from the Malaya Tiger, there are Barbirusas, buffalo, serval, hyena and Asian Elephants (which you more or less just see from the tram).
Short before making it back to the entrance, the Wallaby trail hosts wallabies, owls, python and possums.
Creatures of the Night Show
There is also an amphitheatre hosting the “Creatures of the Night” show. It is quite well-rated, but majorly due to the long time in line and the many people around, I just did not make to see the show.
Singapore Night Safari – Services
Nearly all services of the park are located at one out of two spots: the key area to dine, spent money on souvenirs and relax is the main entrance. There is also a significant part of these places outside the park gates. At roughly the middle of your hike (between the Leopard Trail and the East Lodge Trail), there is also a refreshment area for the trail visitors. However, the services are done my automatic vending machines there.
Singapore Night Safari – My View
Many travel guides name the Singapore Night Safari one of the top attractions of the city. I feel the place is definitely a really good one and has a lovely idea. Nevertheless, there were lacks of organisation, especially around the tram rides. I loved walking around the Night Safari on the one hand – on the other one, there was some disappointment on the tram ride. Thus, I feel that the park does not deserve an excellent, but “only” a good rating. Out of all three Singapore Zoo parks I visited, I simply favor the River Safari one.