After our hotel check in, we rested a bit before all leaving, via 2 taxis (a 30-min. drive), for the world-famous Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal zoo. The Night Safari opens at 7 PM, only after the zoo itself has closed for the day (6 PM) and, because it takes place at night, everything was dark and the habitats are only illuminated, if at all, by soft, indirect lighting that resembles moonlight. The paths between sites are very dark.
Built at a cost of S$63 million, the 40-hectare Night Safari, adjacent to the Singapore Zoo and Upper Seletar Reservoir and managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, was officially opened on May 26, 1994. It currently houses a total of 1,040 animals of 120 species (29% of which are threatened).
We availed of the 45-min. night tram ride which took us past areas only accessible by tram, passing lots of wild South American and Asian animals roaming free in naturalistic enclosures that simulate the animals’ native habitat. On the first part of the trip, those seated on the right side of the tram had the best views (opposite on the second leg).
Carrying anything too bright is prohibited, and pointing lights at the animals is not allowed. I wasn’t able to get pictures of the animals because it was very dark, and all flash photography is prohibited so as not to freak out the animals. We were dropped off at a “jungle station” where some explored, on foot, the walking trails to get a closer look at some of the animals. Later, we were picked up again for the second half.
Later, we attended the “Creatures of the Night” animal show where we saw the animals in action. At one point, a night barn owl, on cue, swooped over the audience at hair top level.
Back at the main entrance, we checked out the food and beverage outlets there for our dinner. Choices include very tasty satays, noodles, fish and even burgers offered by Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, Bongo Burgers and Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop. We decided on Bongo Burgers.
Singapore Zoo: 80 Mandai Lake Rd., Singapore 729826. Tel: 6269 3411. Website: www.zoo.com.sg. Open daily, 6 PM-12 midnight. Admission: S$22.00 (adults) and S$11.00 (children 3 to 12 years old).