Singapore is not only well-known for Sentosa or the Marina Bay Sands. The city state is also home of several leading animal parks. One of them is Singapore Zoo, which I visited on one of my trips to Asia. Here is my review.
Singapore Zoo – Location & Admission
Singapore Zoo is located at the Upper Seletar Reservoir, a water reserve quite North of the city state, in the Mandai Borough. The place, which is driven by the Singapore Wildlife Reserves, is located right next to the famous Singapore Night Safari and the River Safari. The typical way to access Singapore Zoo is by the so-called Mandai-Khatib Shuttle, which connects the zoo area with the Khatib metro station. The bus is not part of local transport day ticket, you have to use the EZ-link card or pre-purchase a ticket. It is very popular and operates in a twenty minute interval. Fare is one SGP. Alternatively, you can of course take a taxi.
The nominal walk-in rate is 39 SGD, roughly 25 Euro. You however already get a discount if you pre-book the ticket online. There are also multi-park tickets for the three parks in Mandai and / or the Jurong Bird Park. SIngapore Zoo opens daily, 8:30 to 18:00 hrs.
Singapore Zoo – The Visit
Singapore Zoo can more or less be split into two sections. Right behind the entrance area, there is a normal park-alike area which lead you to Palm Park and the Rainforest Walk. From there, when you reach the Forest Lodge, you can see most of the animals by walking a round trip. Especially due to the climate conditions in Singapore, it is very handy that in this part of the zoo, a tram is operating, so that you can have a ride instead of a walk as well. The zoo is well signposted and sometimes even comes with accessible habitats and animals, which are allowed to move freely in a certain area. The park map also marks the air conditioned Cool Zones, which are very helpful to cool down in the heat.
I love to visit zoos – and I have visited a lot of them in Europe and North America. The more, I was amazed from the very beginning about quite a lot of animals, which you do not meet in home zoos too often. As I had visited the River Safari right before Singapore Zoo, I was quite exhausted of the heat already – so please excuse the limited number of pictures in this review. I followed the round trip clockwise and loved to meet kangaroos or explore our closest relatives in the Primate Kingdom.
One of the key attractions of the zoo is Elephants of Asia, there are also two daily elephant shows. I loved to meet the merkats or the Orangutans in their free ranging habitat. Needless to say that you meet a lot of different kinds of animals on top of that. Even if you hurry, you should at least reserve a three hour time slot in your schedule, excluding transportation to / from the animal park.
Singapore Zoo – Services
I already mentioned the handy tram service above, which is a very helpful service. The zoo also featured four shows (daily) at the time I visited. I did not take pictures of the playground area Rainforest Kidzworld. There are numerous food outlets and restaurants. Like in the other Singapore Wildlife Reserve parks, quality and pricing was really reasonable. The park also offers lockers and strollers. Some areas feature free WiFi.
Singapore Zoo – My View
I am very sorry, Singapore Zoo. My physical constitution is just not made to visit two or three of the Singapore animal parks the same day. This is also the only negative aspect of this review: if you are not in a good physical condition or struggle with the Singapore heat, don’t feel tempted to do too many of these parks the same day. Singapore is quite hilly and you might spoil your experience. Undoubtedly, Singapore Zoo is a lovely park and one of the best zoos I have visited so far. The selection of animals is beautiful and the zoo is well-driven. The tram service is very helpful. I nonetheless have to say that I preferred River Safari even more – but it is a close call between two very good contestants.