It has been years since I stepped foot inside the gates of the Singapore Zoo. So much has changed as I walked down memory lane with wildlife accompanying me. Compared to other zoos around the world, the Singapore Zoo has their animals in wide enclosures, allowing us to get up close without the risk of imminent death.
A home that spans 26 hectares which houses 2,400 specimens of 300 different kinds of animals, the Singapore Zoo is indeed an attraction worth visiting for locals and tourists alike. Although I am by no means an avid animal lover, entering the zoo’s gate makes me feel like one somehow.
Since I’m no longer that young, lively kid running around back when I was six, the unlimited Guided Tram Ride (S$5) is definitely my first go-to especially in the tropical climate of Singapore.
Fret not, you will still be able to experience your wildlife adventure as the tram follows the walkway and you get to see the animals at a reasonable speed while listening to stories about the amazing animals.
It is definitely a more convenient and comfortable way to travel around the zoo versus walking to each animal exhibits, as the nearest tram stations are only a short distance away.
There are multiple shows at different timings at the zoo you can enjoy, such as the Animal Friends Show, Elephant Presentation and the seal’s performance.
Rainforest Fights Back, held at the Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre, is a highlight that you have to catch during your visit to the Singapore Zoo.
This show gives a glimpse into the lives of the animals living in the rainforest and how human activities have adversely affected their natural environment. A lucky member of the audience will also be selected to touch and handle a snake. It was truly an entertaining yet insightful show that left me with a deeper understanding of the impact we have on nature – probably one step closer to converting me to an animal fanatic.
Do take note of the show timings so that you can plan your trip not miss any of them. Yes, this is coming from personal experience as I missed those shows and only got to see the animals after the entire show.
The Singapore zoo also hosts an annual nightwalk event called Rainforest Lumina which shows a totally different perspective of the Zoo at night (not to be confused with the Night Safari). You can read our article to learn more about it.
The very first sighting of the wildlife that I had was the majestic Pelican. With their large bill, it is hard to miss the sight of these large water birds. Get to see pelicans cruising and enjoying themselves in the water as you make your way down the sheltered walkway.
In the canopy located in the middle of the pelican swimming complex, that’s where the Red-ruffled Lemur lives. I managed to have a rare sighting of the lemur enjoying his after-lunch snack consisting of leaves.
Of course, get to meet the face of the Singapore Zoo, Ishta, a Sumatran orangutan. She is the granddaughter of Ah Meng, an old icon in the Singapore Zoo for years before. It’s hard to spot her and it took me quite a while, but I am quite sure that she is the one caught on camera.
Heading down to the Wild Africa exhibit, it is probably one of the more popular zones in the zoo as there is often a crowd at the different enclosures. Get to look at the marvellous cheetah with their signature black tear spots prancing around their yard. The large cats look absolutely gorgeous as if they are having their very own fashion show catwalking (pardon the pun) to visitors.
Animals that we often associate with the wild in Africa such a rhinoceros and zebras can also be seen along the same walkway. Hold your nose though, as you might face an overwhelming stench from the animal wastes. It is indeed interesting though, observing life through the wild.
Just across the Cheetahs, experience feeding a giraffe as well. Strangely, the giraffe has a very long black tongue (as long as my face). You can even get a kiss from the gentle giraffe when you feed the towering animal.
Animal feeding sessions are held throughout the day around specific exhibits such as the giraffe enclosure, where a zookeeper will share information about the animal and their habits too.
At selected timings, you can purchase food for a small fee to feed these animals; this is a great way to appreciate them through education and contact.
It is a pity that during my visit, both the King of The Jungle and the White Tiger were taking a nap after meal time. Although there isn’t much action, it is still an amazing sight to marvel at. Animals also can get food coma, ok.
Just my luck, I was faced with a heavy downpour the day of my visit and most of the animals went into hiding. Though I am a little disappointed, I guess what I have seen for the day really brought back a sense of nostalgia from my childhood.
It is great to see and learn more about these animals living well and blessed that we have a zoo for future generations who might never see a real lion in our urban city (even though we’re called Lion City, which was probably a visual mistake).
I have to say this again, with Singapore’s unpredictable tropical downpours, you’ll want to check the weather forecast before planning your visit to the zoo!
Public Transport: Various buses from MRTs are available; Choa Chu Kang MRT (transfer bus 927), Ang Mo Kio MRT (transfer bus 138), Woodlands / Marsiling MRT (transfer bus 926* only on Sundays and PH)
Shuttle bus: This loop shuttle service (S$1) from Khatib MRT Station to the Singapore Zoo Coach Bay is available daily, from 8.00am to 10.40pm. It takes 15 minutes.
Ticket Prices: S$37 for adults, S$25 for child (Age 3-12), S$17 for Senior Citizens | Buy tickets via Klook
Opening hours: 830am-6pm daily