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The twilight zone - a very different type of zoo
Night Safari Park (Singapore)
Member Name: clumsy1974
Night Safari Park (Singapore)
Date: 04/04/04, updated on 04/04/04 (224 review reads)
Advantages: Unique animal attraction, Great value for money
Disadvantages: Only open for 5.5 hours per day!
Singapore Zoo, is by all accounts, well worth a visit. My recent trip to Singapore was unfortunately for business, so I was sadly obliged to be indoors for the whole day - limiting my chances to visit most of the daytime attractions. The zoo is not much fun at night really, so I missed out on that one. Never fear though - Singapore has thought of us poor business travellers. They have a Night Zoo!
The Singapore Night Safari is in fact part of Singapore Zoo, and is situated in a lovely pocket of rainforest, a little way outside of the main built up "city" area. We were staying on the Sentosa Island, and were able to reach the park in a little over 20 minutes (mind you, you could do a circuit of the whole country on a Uni Cycle in an hour). Due to our meeting finishing at 5:45, we were a little rushed to get to the turnstiles by 6:30, when the attraction opens, but it is possible to stay inside until 12am - so there was no need to rush.
Entrance to the zoo is Singapore $18.00 with a $6.00 charge for the optional (but in my opinion, essential) tram safari tour. In UK money, that works out as about £7-£8.00.
As most visitors to the zoo will be skipping their tea, a good "International" buffet is available, as well as the usual fast food options. You can eat all you like for sing $13, with a Tiger beer on the side for about $7. Pretty good value all round.
Once you have had your fill of the buffet, you can begin the tour of a very well stocked animal park. We were able to look at a couple of displays, including some impressive Sumatran Tigers, before hopping on the tram for a tour around the larger exhibits. The motor train takes you through various zones, where animals are grouped by their natural region. All enclosures are subtly illuminated to giv
e a moonlit effect. Most animals were fairly active, and a good commentary gave plenty of information on each species.
The tour in broken up with a chance to take in some of the walks - such as the big cats and fruit bats. The bats were a particular favourite of mine. Expecting to have to really scan for small Pipestrel sized creatures in the walk-through aviary, I was fairly shocked when a giant fruit bat around 18" across swooped over my head. Outside of the aviary you can find snow leopards, Asian Lions and other big cats. we were lucky enough to catch the male lions in a full display of their vocal talents - pretty impressive!
You rejoin the tram and complete the tour through the rainforest, often moving through enclosures where animals such as Taiper and deer are roaming freely. The guide makes a strong effort to enforce the environmental message - stressing how lucky we are to be able to see the animals at all, such is the precarious state of some of the species.
Once you get back to the tram station you can take in the very informative, and entertaining Nocturnal Animals show. The display includes some great tricks from Civets (those little cat like creatures who apparently spread SARS), Asian Otters, Hyenas and a huge Python. All the animals seem to be in great condition, and handled with care and respect.
We were unable to take in the fishing cat trail - where you can see the small cats actually working for their supper, hooking live fish from a running stream in their enclosure, but in our three hour visit, covered pretty much all of the other exhibits.
The Night Safari was an excellent evening out of the hotel, and at the current exchange rate, better value than most UK attractions. Its a fairly unique experience, and would have to go on the must see list of any visit to
this small, but fascinating country.
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