Get ready for a total ecological adventure with over 2800 animals inheriting our lush tropical rainforest. Boasting over 40 animal feeding sessions, photo opportunities, shows and rides, the fun never ends at Singapore Zoo!
Sounds great right?! And it really is! The Singapore Zoo is divided into three parts; the main Singapore Zoo, the River Safari, and the Night Safari. They are located right next to each other, with just a 2-minute walk on a solid pathway.
We have visited all three parts several times as we love animals! 🙂 Here we give you a guide to Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Night Safari.
The Ultimate Guide To Singapore Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari
The Singapore Zoo opened in 1973 and is one of Singapore`s biggest attractions with 1,6 million people visiting each year. It was pretty crowded when we were there, but still not too bad. The area where the animals are is huge, and in some places, we were even on our own. The only place where it got really crowded was in the restaurant/ cafe area, toilets, and at the boat ride, which we skipped due to the enormously long queue.
The nice thing about Singapore Zoo is that most of the animals are in “open” exhibits with hidden barriers, moats, and glass between the animals and the visitors. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures where one can walk around and look at them. Dangerous animals that can climb, and animals that require colder climate like the polar bear and the penguins, are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.
The visitors can walk all around the Zoo on solid pathways, and it is really nice and peaceful to walk around at your own pace and look at all the animals around the rainforest. If you are too lazy to walk, you can take a tram that goes around the area.
What Animals To See At Singapore Zoo
We saw a lot of cool animals in the Singapore Zoo part of the park. Here are some of the animals you will meet in Singapore Zoo:
Singapore Zoo houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world! In 1977, a primatologist actually lived here, inside a cage, together with eighteen Orang Utans for six months to study their behavior and communication. That sounds a bit too crazy if you ask me! 🙂
This part of the Zoo was really nice! The Orang-Utans could move freely around a pretty big forest area packed with ropes, where they could swing and jump around as they wanted. There were no nets or fences. It was so fun to see them swinging around with their amazing body control!
We saw two big lions, one female and one male. They were behind a glass fence (so sorry for the bad picture quality as the photos were taken through the glass….), but they had a fairly big area to move around on including some caves. The lions were amazingly beautiful!
The giraffes were impressively graceful and sooooo tall! Beautiful animals those giraffes, with such a pretty patch of colors on their fur.
The White Rhinos are strange and a bit scary looking animals, who live in the wild in Africa. It is the largest and most numerous species of rhinoceros that exists and consists of two subspecies: the Southern White Rhinoceros (estimated 17 460 wild-living animals left in the world) and the much rarer Northern White Rhinoceros. The northern subspecies have very few remaining in the world, with only seven (!!) confirmed individuals left, and only four still able to reproduce (including those in captivity). Very sad!
The White Rhino in the Singapore Zoo is Southern ones, and looked pretty calm and were just slowly walking around grazing while we were there. Apparently, the White Rhino is the most social of all rhino species.
The Zoo has several zebras, here are two of them. They were really easy to spot with their distinctive black and white stripes. Actually, each zebra has a unique stripe pattern, no one has the exact same set of stripes! Pretty amazing! So then the question is: Are zebras white animals with black stripes? That`s what I thought at least. Scientistic evidence, however, shows that the animal’s background color is black and that the white stripes and bellies are additions. Hmm…..so then I learned something new. 🙂
The stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and the main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the zebra. But why DO they have these stripes? Here are some explanations:
- The vertical striping may help the zebra hide in the grass by disrupting its outline. In addition, even at moderate distances, the striking striping merges to an apparent grey.
- The stripes may help to confuse predators by motion dazzle—a group of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large mass of flickering stripes, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out a target.
- The stripes may serve as visual identification. Although the striping pattern is unique to each individual, it is not known whether zebras can recognize one another by their stripes.
- Experiments by different researchers indicate that the stripes are effective in attracting fewer flies, including blood-sucking tsetse flies and tabanid horseflies. It is the first time I see zebras in real life, as I have only seen them on TV before, and they were much smaller than I though! They are more of the size of a donkey than a horse.
The African penguin is also known as the “Jackass penguin” and “Black-footed penguin”, and live in southern African waters. It got its name Jackass penguin from the strange donkey-like sound they make.
They are sooooo cute! Especially when they walk around with their big feet and funny wings. The penguins were in an area covered with glass, where they also had a small lake to swim in.
The giant tortoise was BIG! They can be up to 1,5 meter and weigh as much as 300 kg! They live in the wild on tropical islands, where Seychelles is the place with the largest population.
While we were watching them, they did not move much. It seemed like they were just laying in the sun sunbathing.
And then over to the BEST part of the Zoo, and one of the main reasons why we came here – The White Tiger! This was by far the best part of the Zoo for us, and we were so lucky to see them get fed, which was an amazing experience. The Zoo had two White Tigers, and they were absolutely gorgeous!
The white tiger is a rare pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in Assam, Bengal, Bihar and especially in the former State of Rewa. There are very few species left in the world, hardly any in the wild, and it is on the endangered species list. The last white tiger ever seen in the wild was shot in 1958. So now there are some in captivity, like these two in Singapore Zoo.
The sea lions were real cutiepies! ♥ Especially this little fellow who gave us a small little private show/ dance on his own.
The Proboscis Monkeys are so funny looking with their strange and big noses! They are also called “Long-nosed monkey”, and live on the South-East Asian island Borneo. Here the monkey also goes by the Malay name `Monyet Belanda` (“Dutch monkey”), or even Orang Belanda (“Dutchman”), as Indonesians remarked that the Dutch colonisers often had similarly large bellies and noses. Yeah, well, us European ds maybe look a bit similar nose wise. 🙂
The proboscis monkey is assessed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Its total population has decreased by more than 50% in the past 36–40 years, due to ongoing habitat loss and hunting in some areas.
These might have been the cutes animals in the Zoo! Look at them, awwww!
The Meerkat or Suricate, is a small mammal belonging to the mongoose family, and live wild in Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa). They live in groups called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”, which often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. So they are very social animals!
They are famous for their strange standing pose on a hill or a rock. The reason for this pose is that some of them do guard watching for predators while the others search for food and play around. This guard duty is usually approximately an hour long. When a predator is spotted, the Meerkat performing as sentry gives a warning bark, and other members of the gang will run and hide in one of the many bolt holes they have spread across their territory.
Because of their cuteness and funny guard pose, Meerkats have been in several cartoon movies over the years.
The River Safari is an area located just next to the Singapore Zoo (same entrance and ticket office, with just 2 minutes walk between them), by the river.
Embark on a journey of discovery into one of the world`s largest repositories for river dwelling animals. Let your curiosity run wild across 2 zones in the park, Rivers Of The World and Wild Amazonia. Dive in to a whole new wildlife adventure to uncover over 5000 amazing land and aquatic animals representing 300 species! The River is Calling…
In the River Safri part of the zoo, you can take a riverboat. But the queue was ridiculously long! So we skipped the boat ride and walked around in the park instead. You can, however, skip the line and buy e-tickets here and even get reduced ticket price. Great deal!
Here we saw some of the cutest and rarest animals in the whole Zoo, including my favorite the Giant Panda:
The Iguana is a large species of lizard which lives in the wild in a large geographic area, from southern Brazil and Paraguay and as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean Islands.
It is commonly found in captivity as a pet due to its calm disposition and bright colors. But it can be very demanding to care for properly as it needs a lot of space, special lighting, and heat. It is a bit too ugly for my taste!
The Komodo Dragon was a giant!
The Komodo dragon is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 meters and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms! It lives wild in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.
Scientists believe that the Komodo Dragon originally came from Australia, as fossils very similar to it have been found in Australia dating to greater than 3.8 million years ago! Wow, it sure looks like it came from 3,8 million years ago to as it looks a bit like a dinosaur! Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910.
In the wild, there are not many of them left, and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. We have also seen Komodo Dragon in the wild, in its natural habitat – Komodo National Park.
I have always wanted to see the black and white Panda. We tried to see Panda while traveling in China several years ago, but it was winter so they were not out. So when I saw the Panda on a poster advertising for the River Safari, I knew we HAD to go and see it! And we were not disappointed, or well, a little bit since the pandas were not very visible!
The Singapore Zoo has two Pandas, named Kai Kai and Jia Jia. They live in a green lush and pretty big garden, a bio-dome kept at a cool 18-22 C, where they lived together with the adorable Red Panda. Apparently one of the Pandas are extremely shy, so she was in her cave the entire time we were there. The other one, Kai Kai, ate some bamboo when we arrived and then went to sleep and slept the rest of the time! Below you can see Kai Kai sleeping.
Pandas live in the wild in China, where their diet consists of 99% bamboo. It is an endangered species, with around 2000 individuals left in the wild. Luckily reports show that the number of wild Pandas is increasing.
Awww, look at this cutie! It looks like a teddy bear, I just wanted to hug it take it home with me!
The Red Panda also called Lesser Panda and Red Cat-Bear, is a small panda living in the wild in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is classified as vulnerable by IUCN as its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals.
Even though it is called the Red Panda, it is not closely related to the Giant Panda, although this too eats bamboo. It is slightly larger than a house cat.
The Toco Toucan bird is incredibly colorful, both his beak and his eyes! What appears to be a blue iris is actually thin blue skin around the eye. So only the little black circle is his actual eye. Its beak is between 15-23 cm, so pretty big!
The Toco Toucan lives in the wild in Central and Eastern America.
Singapore Night Safari
The Singapore Night Safari is a part of Singapore Zoo that is separated from the rest of the zoo and opens at 19:15 each evening.
Here you take open-sided shuttle trams that drive you on a guided tour of the park where you get to see different animals that are active after dark. You get to see animals like leopards, babirusas, Malay tigers, and giant flying squirrels. You can also walk specific trails of the park.
Going around in the jungle after dark is a truly unique and special experience. The atmosphere is awesome and it is this peaceful and a bit spooky vibe to the whole experience. We love the Night Safari part of Singapore Zoo and have been there several times!
Don´t miss the Creatures of the Night show; an interactive 20-minutes show that is great fun especially for kids. The show is every day at 19:30, 20:30, and 21:30 (+ 22:30 on Fridays and Saturdays). The show is awesome and I love it! ♥
The Night Safari part of Singapore Zoo opens at 19:15, and the park closes around midnight.
If you want to see the animals in daylight, you should instead visit the Singapore Zoo (opening hours: 08:30 – 18:00), or you can, of course, visit both the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. You can save a lot of money and buy a bundle discounted ticket for both the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari here if you want to visit both parks.
After many hours of walking around both Singapore Zoo and the River Safari area, we were exhausted! We jumped with joy when we spotted our favorite ice cream Ben & Jerry`s!!! It is the only place in whole Asia that we have found it! So we ended up eating two ice creams each! 🙂 Eh, what diet?!
The Singapore Zoo and River Safari is such a nice zoo with an impressive number of different animals. Usually, I have a mixed feeling about Zoos, but this didn`t feel like a normal zoo, more like a big open area with a lot of animals. They have done a great job in keeping the animals in their original environment.
The only sad thing was the Polar Bear who was inside a building called the “Frozen Tundra“, where the air temperature was kept at around a few degrees Celsius. He did not have that big space, and he was really thin and his fur was more grey than white. Maybe it is because I have seen a wild Polar Bear on Svalbard, that I felt so sorry for him. But he looked miserable and I could not stay in that room for long! It was too painful and tear breaking to watch the poor animal so far from his natural environment. The rest of the Zoo was much better! 🙂
We really enjoyed our day in Singapore Zoo, wandering around looking at all the animals in our own pace.
⇒ If you need tips on what else to do and see in Singapore, check out our recommended 3-5 days Singapore Itinerary.
How To Buy Tickets To Singapore Zoo & Night Safari
We bought our Singapore Zoo e-tickets here and got huge discounts. We could also skip the very long ticket line once we got to the Zoo, and could walk straight into the park. Very easy and convenient! The tickets are flexible, so you can buy them now and use them any day within the next five months.
You can also buy discounted bundle tickets for both the Singapore Zoo & Night Safari here if you want to visit all three parts of the park – the Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Night Safari. Highly recommended as they are all amazing and a great experience!
When you buy these e-tickets, you also get an option to join a shuttle bus service that takes you to the Zoo which will save you even more money. So if you want to save money on transport, you should opt for this shuttle bus (it picks you up at your hotel).
Singapore Zoo & Night Safari Opening Hours
- Singapore Zoo: 08:30 a.m. – 18:00 (6 p.m.), last entry is at 17:30 (5:30 pm)
- River Safari: 10:00 a.m. – 19:00 (7 p.m.), last entry is at 18:30 (6:30 pm)
- Night Safari: 19:15 (7:15 p.m.) – midnight, last entry is at 23:15 (11:15 pm)
Estimate at least two to three hours in each zoo.
There are several shows (each last for about 20 minutes) and feeding of the animals that you can participate in. Check the webpage for Singapore Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari for the feeding times and shows.
Singapore Zoo & Night Safari Ticket Prices
- Singapore Zoo ticket prices: adult: 35 SGD = 26 US$, child: 23 SGD = 17 us$
- River Safari ticket prices: adult: 32 SGD = 23 US$, child: 21 SGD = 15 us$
- Night Safari ticket prices: 47 SGD = 34 US$, child: 31 SGD = 23 us$
- Official webpage for Singapore Zoo
- Official webpage for River Safari
- Official webpage for Night Safari
Where To Stay In Singapore
There is no getting around that Singapore is a pretty expensive city when it comes to accommodation. But on the plus side, the hotel standard is very high, and there are some genuinely wonderful hotels here. Below are some of our favorites hotels at different price ranges.
The Fullerton is widely regarded as Singapore’s most luxurious hotel. While the Raffles hotel is under renovation, the Fullerton Bay Hotel is the best choice for old-school five-star colonial style luxury and world-class service. If it is within your budget staying here is an experience in itself. The 25m rooftop swimming pool overlooking Marina Bay is truly spectacular!
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Hotel Fort Canning
Surrounded by the green and peaceful Fort Canning Park this beautifully restored old colonial fort made heritage boutique hotel is a quiet oasis in the heart of the city. The rooms are large and beautiful with high ceilings, hardwood floors, and super comfortable beds. We loved the spacious bathroom with the stylish bathtub.
There are two large swimming pools and a well-equipped gym. It has a very central location, within walking distance to both the main shopping street Orchard Road and the Colonial District with all the main museums and sights.
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Parkroyal on Pickering is something as rare as an eco-conscious five-star hotel. It shows through in everything from the small touches like the daily refilled glass water bottles to pens made of bamboo to the architectural marvel of the green hanging terraces that decorate its facade.
The rooms are modern, spacious and very comfortable. The view of the Singapore Skyline from the room and also the bathtub is amazing! There is an infinity pool as well as a well-equipped gym. The breakfast buffet is spectacular, and the location is excellent with both the Chinatown MRT Station and the Clarke Quay MRT Station very close by.
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If you want a modern, comfortable hotel that is close to the shopping along Orchard Road, then look no further. Occupying the top floors of the Orchard Gateway mall the location just simply can’t be beaten. The rooms are very comfortable, but the real standout is the enormous infinity rooftop swimming pool with its spectacular evening views of the city. We also loved the room service robot (yes, indeed a robot!) 🙂
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If you are looking for something unique, then the Amoy Hotel might just fit the bill. This renovated old temple building at the edge of Chinatown has become a world-class boutique hotel.
Every room is unique, and the old building creates a special and cozy atmosphere.
The staff is always friendly and helpful. There is an MRT station, Telok Ayer MRT Station (blue Downtown Line), right across the street, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes around.
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Located in a quiet residential neighborhood only a few minutes walk from the main shopping street of Singapore, Orchard Road, Lloyd’s Inn has a perfect central location and is excellent value for the money.
The rooms are small but stylish and well decorated like out of an Ikea catalog with some unique touches. Our room had a fantastic open-air shower. It is worth paying a little extra for a garden facing room.
The garden is beautiful and contains a lovely wading pool and resting area. Breakfast is served in a local Kopitiam (coffee shop), Killiney Kopitiam, on the adjacent road, Killiney Road. This road has plenty of affordable restaurants serving everything from Vietnamese to Indian food.
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Hotel G was a positive surprise to us! While the rooms are tiny, the standard is excellent for the price with clean, modern and comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms with rainwater showers.
We opted for a slightly larger room since we were traveling with a lot of luggage and we were extremely comfortable.
Downstairs is a classy and cool wine bar, and the burger bar “Twenty Five Degrees” on the corner serves some of the best burgers in Singapore. Try the truffle chips, they are heavenly!
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⇒ Click here to read our complete guide on Where To Stay In Singapore, with tips on how to find the best hotel and area to stay in for you
We used the Lonely Planet`s Singapore travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:
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Have you been to Singapore Zoo or Night Safari, or maybe both? Did you like it? Please leave a comment in the comment area below! Thank you! 🙂
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