Last weekend was a great fun trip out to Mandai for the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. Considering that I have never been to any other Zoo around the world except for the Singapore Zoo, I cannot really compare the differences though. The only places I have been to was the SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World which was many years back which I could do a comparison to the SEA Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa. But either way, the purpose of this write-up is not to do a comparison between an apple to an orange. it serves more as a reflection of the many visits to the River Safari and Singapore Zoo – to be exact 3 times for the River Safari, and countless times perhaps to the Zoo considering that since I was very young I had frequent the zoo with the many school trips.
I will be separating this write up into 2 parts. With the first part featuring the River Safari, while the second part will feature the Singapore Zoo – with more details on the Zoo-rassic, Reptopia, Frozen Tundra and the Australasia zones.
The river safari was purpose built to house the pair of Giant Pandas – Kai Kai and Jia Jia from China as part of a 10 years collaboration between the two countries. As I step into the River Safari, the welcoming sight is the introduction to the River Safari.
The River Safari is spread across two “lands” separated by a segment of the Upper Seletar Reservoir in Mandai, within the vicinity of the Central Catchment Area. The majority of the animals showcased in the River Safari are the freshwater aquatic creatures found along the Rivers of the world (on the Left sector) leading up to the Giant Panda. While the segment at the Right sector of the park features animals which can be found in the Amazon Basin.
As you begin the quest around the River Safari, you can choose to begin from the left or the right side as both will eventually lead you back to the entrance as it forms a loop. Do note that the River Cruise and Amazon Quest are separate ticketed rides. So here we begin the journey – I have chosen to begin from the left side.
Rivers of the World
As you stroll along, you will see yourself immersed in the specially curated showcase of many fishes, crocodiles, alligators, snakes, monkeys, some birds too which litter the various rivers of the world. These series of immersive showcase brings close to us the importance in the message towards nature conservation and how important it is to not pollute the rivers and lakes surrounding the environment which we live in.
Moving on from River of the world, comes the Giant Panda observatory. It is divided into 3 sectors – 1 exhibit of Red Panda and 2 exhibits for the Giant Pandas. Both Kai Kai and Jia Jia have their own enclosure which is separated by a passageway. The way the enclosures are designed replicates the low slopes of the living environment back in Sichuan, China. The Panda Conservatory is a temperature controlled building with lights and temperature very close to home for the panda, along with the settings for the 4 season climate which they experience. It is quite a good life for the panda I would say, and I do notice that over the years, they seem to have grown bigger in size too.
Amazon River Quest – (my usual favorite)
My favorite of all in the River Safari is the Amazon River Quest ride. This is a short 10 minutes water log ride along the “Amazon” where you get to get close-up with some of the small animals as well as the “Jaguar”. As you can see on the tour map, all these animals are featured in the ride. It is very interesting to just look at them as you cruise around the “Amazon”. However, this ride is only available when the weather permits.
Amazon Flooded Forest
Last but not least, a very soothing and relaxing place to hide from the sun is the Amazon Flooded Forest zone. Over here you see the Manatees and Otters as well as some other interesting aquatic creatures like the Piranha and the Eels. One thing to note is that they only feature creatures found in the Amazon here. The Giant Otters over here are cute and adorable too, if you are lucky, you will see them swim around in their own enclosure.
River Safari Website | Mandai (Wildlife Reserves Singapore) Facebook
Location: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Opening Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
For public transport options or ticketing, please refer to the River Safari Website.
Previously written articles about Mandai: Night Safari Singapore (2017)