There are many things to do in Singapore that involve animals and nature. In such a small city, surprisingly there are several options to consider, including a bird park, a river park, the zoo, etc. For many people, Singapore, being well position on the world map, usually serves as a transit stop before their next plane. This means they will only ever be able to access and see the stunning attractions like the Butterfly or Cactus Gardens at Changi Airport. But if you like to explore nature, without having to trek long distances or be put in potential harm’s way, you should consider visiting the fantastic Night Safari in Singapore. It is guaranteed to be a hit with the family. Also, if you want to visit the Singapore Zoo or take part in the River Safari, it is in the same location.
The Night Safari is located far from the city-center. However, given the Night Safari is a popular destination, there are several public transport options with just buses, bus and train, or taxi. Also, in Singapore the public transport fares are much cheaper outside the city-center. For me and my wife, we found the journey by bus using Google Maps to be simple and cheap. There was no issue getting there and back.
We purchased our tickets on Klook and they were very reasonably priced. The tickets are timed and are cheaper if you opt to join the line later in the night, but I recommend against any ticket other than the first available time, i.e. 7:00 pm, because the Night Safari queue is always huge (even on weekdays on each occasion I visited). I bet you don’t want to spend most of your night waiting in a queue.
I remember on my first visit the mistake I made deciding to enter the Night Safari around 9:00 pm. The queues were still huge and we were literally stuck waiting in line until closer to 10:15 pm before we could do anything meaningful. We were exhausted waiting in line and it killed some of the excitement.
When you enter, you can either stroll through the Night Safari on your own or you can hop onto one of the guided tours on their coach. There is usually a long queue for these as well. If you want to hop on the coach, you don’t have to hop on at the start, i.e. near the entrance, as there are several pitstops for people to hop on or off. You can decide to stroll for a bit and then hop on the coach at various pitstops, which are usually less crowded.
This time around, we opted to stroll around the Night Safari as we were keen to see the animals up close and spend more time with the animals we wanted to see the most like the lions and leopards.
The guided tour is good too, because you can sit back while the coach takes you along a set path and have things explained to you. But you can miss some of the action and you are always on the move.
If you want to catch any of the shows that are on periodically throughout the night, you should consider getting in line early. The spots run out fast in the earlier sessions. The shows are very good and enjoyable, particularly for the younger members of the family.
I recommend bringing a good camera that can capture the animals in the dark. Singapore’s nights can get incredibly dark and admittedly many of my photos, including ones with the lions and leopards, are blurry and aren’t worth sharing. Plus, there is usually limited light, because most of the animals are ‘night-owls’ and you aren’t allowed to take photos with the flash.
You are not likely to see all the animals in one visit, it will take several visits. If it’s your first time, you should decide early on which animals you want to see. If you are bringing the kids, it’s worth being mindful that you are already starting the adventure late in the night, so you and your family probably won’t have the patience to explore for any more than three or four hours. Two reasonably fit adults could not do more three hours and saw close to three fourths of the park.
Outside the main attraction area, there is also several diners, food options and desserts, and several merchandise stores if you need to eat or purchase gifts.
You are bound to have a great time at the Night Safari. It is usually very exciting for first timers. Give it a go and you will have something to talk about when you come home.
The Night Safari is located at 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826