Singapore Night Safari
The Zoo's Evil Night Time Twin
You may think the Singapore Night Safari is nothing more than a zoo at night.
And, in a way, you are right. The open enclosure concept, wildlife landscapes and general design from the
has been copied here, so no magic really.
Nevertheless, walking in the dark among animals who are now programmed to hunt....
Errhh, did something just move over there?
Where It Is
The Singapore Night Safari is literally next door to the Singapore Zoo - from the parking lot, go left to the Zoo and go right to the Safari.
Same buses, same cab ride and same parking areas.
It opens at 7:30 pm - perfectly timed to nightfall, and stays open to midnight.
The venue is very popular, so it is worth your time getting there earlier to buy tickets and avoid the crowds. You can buy combi-tickets with the Zoo during the daytime if you plan to hang it on afterwards.
Men in Skirts
Once you arrive - greeted by torches and drums - you can stick around at the entrance of the Singapore Night Safari for a dancing and fire-spitting routine put on by well-built men in grass dresses.
The show is morbidly cool. I mean who doesn't cringe at the thought of these guys possibly burning their faces off while the flame roars and dances across the stage.
But this a zoo, in the end - do we need such a spectacle? See it and decide for yourself.
Escaping the Predators - Run or Ride?
Once you've felt enough of the heat and skirts, head over to where the Singapore Night Safari really starts and board the tram.
It is fast and full, and the queues are long. Although you have to wait a while to board, it does take you the farther route than the walk, where some of the animals actually range free, right next to the tram.
The tapirs are the highlight of the tram ride for many people.
I do say so myself: what a life.
Eat, drink and be admired - what more can a tapir wish for? Surely no tigers around, old chap, har har?
You can, of course, opt out of the cushy-sissy-girly way and start walking through the foliage, following dimly-lit paths while the sounds of the jungle envelope you.
Then. All of a sudden. I kid you not: the roar of a lion and the musky smell of predators.
It is a zoo, I know, but those African savannah reflexes kick in hard for just a moment.
The smell, especially - wow.
Here is the
Singapore Night Safari map
with all the details.
To plan ahead and book online, have a look at their well done
Animals and Shows
The Singapore Night Safari dedicates a large part of the compound to Asian animals, what is left of them, I guess, as well as your staple of giraffes, elephants, tigers, hyenas and other African creatures.
One thing not to miss is the bat enclosure and the giant flying squirrels.
The bats flutter around you as you walk through a leafy cage and you can watch from very close as they munch on fruit put out in the branches by the keepers.
The squirrels - really big ones - will sometimes spread their legs and leap from a tree down to a low-hanging branch, literally whizzing by your face.
Good fun, especially for the kids, and a marvel to watch.
Night Safari also offers a 'Creatures of the Night' show with civets (a type of wild cat), owls and other night animals.
Go early - seats fill up fast.
Food and Drink
Once you have tangoed with tapirs and danced with wolves, come back to the entrance where you'd have to be blind and deaf to miss the stores and restaurants to fill your belly and empty your purse.
Check out the big aquariums next to the bathrooms with huge, lazy fish slowly making their rounds.
Here's a tip for the strong-of heart: after the fire breathers have done their thing, keepers sometimes come out with two or three pythons and boa constrictors.
For a fee of about SGD 5 or 10, you can go up very closely and gently touch these beautiful animals.
Maybe you can even hold one and get your picture taken before you are digested.
They are NOT slimy, by the way - their scales are very dry and their markings are just a treat to look at.
You may just fall in love with those snakes. I sure did.
Back to more Singapore attractions...