One of the seemingly most popular attractions when I was there, was the so called Singapore’s Night Safari. Well, “while in Singapore”, right! I have stumbled upon this tour numerous times when I was reading about the city, planning to travel there, so thought it wouldn’t heart to try.
It sure is one nice visit if you are traveling with children, if not, and such is the case that you don’t have enough time, then just skip it and rather go to the zoo.
Growl in the dark
What makes the Night Safari interesting is the fact that they put tourists in a small open tour train and then take the trail along various parts of the park where nocturnal animals live.
The train will stop few times to let through a lion or some other animal, whose eyes glow in the dark! You don’t even care what species that really was, since you are aware of the fact that they probably hunt at night, so you put your feet back inside that small open train.
As usual, tourists were not that disciplined and it seemed hard for people to acknowledge the fact that they shouldn’t use flash while taking pictures, that those animals were not used to that kind of light, that “there is a reason why they hunt at night”. The train will not stop if it doesn’t have to, so don’t expect to clearly see everything along the way.
The great atmosphere of the Night Safari was certainly made by the thick darkness, while the train glided through the chilly rain forest and you can only hear unfamiliar roars and growls all around. You can imagine what it would be like to find yourself alone in the middle of the forest, not having a clue what might jump out of the dark.
One more performance
For those of you who might be a bit more adventurous, it is even possible to walk along certain trails with special warning not to astray off the track. It is easy to get lost around here. You will get a quick “lesson” on how to react if you find yourself face to face with an animal, whose territory you are actually crossing into.
Or you can attend one of the performances, led at the time by an Indian lady who obviously loved her job and all those animals. Still, she just couldn’t deal with the disobedient audience who were still flashing with their cameras!
If you haven’t had dinner yet, you will find a range of Indian and Chinese restaurants at the park with delicious meals. It will be crowded, but such is the atmosphere of the park, being bustling and touristy. Then again, it feels nice to be surrounded by humans once again, and all those lanterns and night lights!
Growing family of orangutans
Anyway, try not to miss out on Singapore’s zoo (the “normal”, daily visit). Where else would you get the chance to have a breakfast with orangutans! Singapore was proud to take care of ever growing family of orangutans who were among protected species. They were the main attraction of the zoo with the vast rain forest area as their home.
It was possible to stand next to them and take a photo, not to disturb or touch them, and than have your meal at the terrace while you gaze at them standing on a branch eating their fruit. Still, you will be interrupted by zoo’s photographer who took your picture while you were standing in front of orangutans, nicely framed with “best wishes from Singapore” for 25 dollars or so.
Meeting the orangutan family was just extraordinary, I was amazed by the way they eat, move, play around, walk! And finally they left, went home, into the forest.
No cages in the zoo
There were a lot of monkey species in the zoo to be seen. Sometimes there were some I wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t look up.
Just hanging up there, minding their own business, they would eventually look back, all curious. There were tigers, lions, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, snakes, baby elephants, bears from all over the world, and their home was at the lake or along the overgrowth, while you have to wriggle through thick vegetation at some parts of the zoo trail.
Try to navigate with the map you find at the entrance since you just might go around twice, well, as I did. But, even if you go off the trek you are supposed to follow, do not be alarmed when you realize that there are no cages and that it takes only one minor jump for the animal to come before you, it is all safe for visitors and animals alike. Also, there are frequent bus stops where you can hop onto one and easily reach the exit. Since Singapore is into every detail, you will notice that even trash cans and tour buses alike are painted in animal print, and so you will be riding a zebra-bus or a giraffe-bus.
If you have enough time, spend the whole day here. The zoo is well organised, it houses a lot of animals in nicely arranged small meadows and ponds serving as their home, and you will be strolling along the tour path while animals would just yawn, or jump around, hiding behind trees. This is a must if you travel with children, because such a place is perfect for teaching them about the animal world and about taking care of them properly.