One of the best attractions in all of Singapore surely has to be Jurong Bird Park. Located on the west of Singapore Island, Jurong Bird Park is quite far away from most of the other main attractions in the country, but the journey is certainly worth the extra effort!
I got a taxi ride from my hotel to Jurong Bird Park. I think the cost was around S$18, or something like that, and the journey took 20 minutes as we drove up the west coast past the harbour and Telok Blangah. The ticket price for admission to the Bird Park is S$25 per adult, and S$16 per child. When buying your tickets at Jurong Bird Park it is worth considering that there are Park Hopper tickets available for here and the Zoo, as well as for the Night Safari and the new River Safari. If you are intending to visit most – or all – of these attractions during your stay in Singapore then it works out much cheaper to buy a Park Hopper ticket, rather than 4 separate admissions at the gate.
One of the things that strikes you most about Jurong Bird Park is the colour – everywhere you look you are bombarded with yellows and pinks and reds and fluorescent greens and blues. It really such a sight to behold. As soon as you enter the park after purchasing your ticket, you will see the scarlet macaws and parrots perched high above, and then across the lake you’ll notice a flamboyance of flamingos.
A guided tram ride around much of the park also departs from here at what is known as the Main Station, calling at Lory Loft Station and Waterfall Station before returning back from whence it came. This guided tram ride costs S$5 and S$3 per round trip for adults and children respectively. It is a useful option to navigate the [often severe] elevation changes at Jurong Bird Park without over-exerting yourself.
Further on around the park, you get to the dedicated parrot enclosure, and while these birds are not free-flying like the ones you saw upon entry to the park, they are nonetheless very impressive to look at. There are warning signs on the cages reminding you that these birds can bite, so you should not put your fingers anywhere near them. There are so many parrots, macaws, and cockatoos of different species that it can get a bit overwhelming at times, especially the birds screeching at you at every opportunity!
One of the best areas of Jurong Bird Park is the African Waterfall Aviary. Inside here, there are free-flying birds from the African region, which can do as they please. There is a lovely little two-storey café here too, so you can wile away the hours with a bite to eat while watching some of these birds go about their business, all with the sound of the waterfall crashing down around you. This section inside the African Waterfall Aviary is very steep and in the Singaporean humidity it may be challenging for some people to make their way up the steps to the top of the enclosure. That said, you can walk around the bottom of the enclosure if you wish, it’s just that from down here, you cannot get very good views of the falls. It was while walking around the top levels of the enclosure that I spotted a peacock – I am not sure peacocks are African, but it still looked very nice!
After walking past ostriches, emus, vultures, eagles, and going inside to look at some night owls (it’s very dark in there so photography is not a good idea), it was time to hit what I consider to be the highlight of Jurong Bird Park: the Lory Loft!
The Lory Loft is a walk through enclosure containing many different kinds of lories, including my favourite kind, the Rainbow Lorikeet. In Australia, these birds can be found in the wild, some even flying through such popular tourist attractions as Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Gardens beside the Harbour. Here in Singapore, however, I do not think they are as omnipresent, so it is nice to be able to see them here free-flying inside their enclosure!
The Lory Loft is actually quite a small enclosure really, considering the amount of people that want to experience it. However, it is designed very well, with rope bridges and winding staircases which spreads out the tourists who are here to feed the lories some nectar. The nectar can be purchased from an official vendor at the entrance of the enclosure, and I imagine parents spend a fortune keeping their young children entertained in this way! The enclosure is full of dense tropical foliage in which the lories like to hide until they can smell the nectar in the hot and humid air. I found it easy to spot the lories and to take photos of them in the trees, but it is always better if you can spare S$3 for a cup of nectar, because that way you will entice them out literally right into the palm of your hands. Automatic water cannons gently spray the lories with much-needed water at regular intervals during the day to cool them off from the brutally hot weather, and I noticed that they really seemed to enjoy getting a hosing down!
One of the final attractions I saw as I made my way out of the Lory Loft and heading back to the exit was the presentation of the hornbills and toucans. This is another amazing attraction, with many different exhibits over which to ponder. I noticed some of the exhibits were empty here, so I guess there must be some relocating of the birds going on at present. Although the trek up to this point in the park is very strenuous due to the elevation coupled with the humidity, you will be pleased to discover that after the toucans and the hornbills it is virtually all downhill enroute to the car park, which is a godsend to both the legs and the lungs!