Singapore’s Night Safari is a good addition to the country’s tourist infrastructure, and its location near to the award-winning Singapore Zoo makes it a very popular haunt for travellers of all ages.
Singapore’s Night Safari is owned and operated by Wildlife Reserves SG, who also control the other major wildlife parks in the country. You may want to check out my reviews of all of these parks in the following links: the underwhelming River Safari, the award-winning Singapore Zoo, and the underrated Jurong Bird Park.
Being a Night Safari, you must understand that the purpose of the park is to see animals – usually nocturnal animals – in their natural habitat and roaming free separated from us by electrical trip wires, so be aware that it is VERY difficult to get clear photographs with a normal camera. My own personal Sony CyberShot picked up some good photos, and some not so good photos, but overall I would not encourage anybody to bother filming in the park, as the results will not be to your liking. The Night Safari is a park where you need to watch with your own eyes, and leave your cameras in your bags.
All visitors are encouraged to use the Night Safari Tram Ride, which will take around the circumference of the park and enable you to see most – but not all – of the exhibits. Upon entering the park at 6pm, there was a hideously long queue for the Tram Ride, so I perhaps ill-advisedly decided to go it alone and walk around the park. This is actually not really advisable, as the pathways are very, very dark, and with this being Singapore, and with this being very near the Lower Seletar Reservoir, I was worried about what wild animals could be lurking in the foliage beside the pathways. I will also say that if you are walking, YOU WILL NEED TO CARRY A PARK MAP, as you cannot understand where you are going otherwise!
Before it got too dark and the tropical sunset said goodbye for another day, I managed to see a few exhibits, like the mouse deer and fishing cats, as well as binturong, leopard cats, and the Indian Gharial (I swear there are some of these in the Zoo, too). There are also park staff members standing on the trail to guide you around and perhaps answer any questions you may have about the park or the exhibits themselves.
By the time I got past the initial exhibits on the Fishing Cat Trail, it was now completely dark, with only dim lights in the foliage to guide us around the park. I was not the only person walking, of course, but it is clear that most people use the Tram. Oh well. The flying fox exhibit was very interesting, to see with your own eyes, but as I mentioned before, the chances to take a good photo have now gone. I wondered if the ‘foxes’ would fly straight into me as I walked through their enclosure, although obviously they have much better eyesight than Humans! I saw some rhinos, hyenas and the Malayan Tiger, which was one of my main attractions at the Night Safari. Over at the Zoo, they have the famous white tigers, but only here do they have any of the ‘orange kind’. I am told that all animals in the Night Safari are free-roaming and separated from us by a mere electrical trip wire – APART FROM the tigers, as there cannot be any chances taken with such savage maneaters, and they have a proper fenced enclosure, you will be glad to hear (although the lions do not!).
I did not venture over to the western parts of the Night Safari, on what is known as the Western Loop, so I did miss out on seeing the elephants, but there is not much else over there, anyway. The rest of my time at Night Safari was taken up by hiking the Leopard Trail, either side of which were the amazing Slow Loris and the Lesser Bushbaby! Sometimes the smaller animals are just as fun to watch as the larger ones! Regarding the Leopard Trail, I found the lighting to be very poor in that area, so much so that it actually hampered my enjoyment. After checking out the clouded leopard (which I cannot remember seeing in any other zoo I have been to), I was ready to make my way back to the entrance and hail a taxi back to my hotel. The mosquitoes were also beginning to annoy me, and you must remember that here in the tropics you cannot ignore those little critters, even though malaria is not present in Singapore.
Admission to the Night Safari is S$39 per adult, and S$25 per child. Included in your ticket is 1 circuit of the Tram Ride, of which I would really recommend taking advantage. Night Safari opens at 6pm each day, whereas the Zoo closes at 5.30pm. Whether you are coming straight from the Zoo at closing time, or if you are arriving at Night Safari via taxi for opening time, why not treat yourself at the immaculately themed family restaurant Bongo Burgers to make sure you have a good start to your evening! When your dinner has digested and you enter the Night Safari, it would be best to see the park on the Tram, and then check out the amazing Creatures of the Night show at the Amphitheatre. Incidentally, the Creatures of the Night show lasts for 20 minutes and operates at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm, which an extra show at 10.30pm on weekends. Do not miss it! If there is any time left, go back to a few of your favourite places and see if you can spot the animals in different positions to what you saw earlier (and maybe see a lion that isn’t laying down?).