As I continue to provide details on our 2016 Singapore trip, one of our unforgettable experiences is in Singapore Zoo. Among all the other places of interest, Singapore Zoo is one of my son’s favorite places that we visited. Singapore Zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions along with Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Night Safari. For my son’s birthday, we decided to bring him to the zoo and have fun on his special day by meeting all the animals he saw on the books and TV. And I guess I was right on hunch to bring him in the zoo because I believe he will have a best time of his life. Even after our trip, he keeps on telling stories to his grandparents and friends on his trip to the zoo and all the animals he met and saw.
Based on the Wildlife Reserve website, Singapore Zoo occupies 28 hectares (69 acres) on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore’s heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9 million granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 27 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manages the neighboring Night Safari, River Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16 percent are considered to be threatened species. The zoo attracts 1.7 million visitors each year.
Getting there was quite far from our place of stay. We used the Singapore’s MRT and almost stopped at all train stations across Singapore. It took us at least an hour and a half to reach the nearest station to go to the zoo. We alighted at Woodlands Station and traverse the Causeway Mall to find a taxi that will bring us to Singapore Zoo. We paid 10 SGD for the trip and then went inside to avail the tickets. After getting our tickets our journey and experience with Singapore Zoo starts.
Upon getting inside we were able to meet monkey hanging from the tree and otters rolling around the pond. My son was so excited seeing the animals. The zoo also uses hidden barriers and natural enclosures that you feel that the animals are in open display. There are hidden barriers with grass, moats and glass enclosure. Another feature of the zoo that I love is that it is well-maintained and has many animal species on display. I had to admit, I’ve been to different zoos before in the Philippines but seeing a lot of animals that I only used to see on Internet and books are a surreal experience. It was my first time to see these animals:
Aside from animal display, my family and I watched two animal shows which feature the Asian Elephants and Nature Conservation which is very appealing and enjoyable with kids. My son was in awe seeing elephants at work and showing off their skills and the different types of animals which shows their different talent and skills while educating people the importance of wildlife conservation and taking care of nature. The schedule of the shows is being listed in the Singapore Zoo pamphlet they distribute to the visitors.
Another highlight of our trip is that we let our son experience feeding of the animals. We fall in line with Giraffe Feeding activity so that we would be able to meet the giraffe up close and personally feed it. You have to pay 5 SGD to avail the giraffe’s foods which consist of sweet potato and carrots. My son was so excited and happy seeing the giraffe first hand and able to experience the feeding. After our feeding, he wouldn’t stop talking about it. We also availed the free tram rides in the zoo because the zoo is so large and would take more time to walk all the places of interest. We even used the map to check if we already covered all the animals we wanted to see. It took us a day to visit the zoo and I must admit that it is tiring to roam around and check out all places. During the last leg of our visit in the zoo, we already availed the tram rides because our feet were already sore from whole day of walking. The experience of Singapore Zoo was a memorable, fun and one of a kind experience for our family. It made me realized that it was a good decision to spend my son’s special day in the zoo because it was one of his memorable trips.
What I Love Singapore Zoo
- It is clean and well-maintained.
- Though the place is quite far to city centre, it is accessible to all types of transportation. There are also buses that offer trips to the zoo and you need to check the schedule of departure and location. In addition it is also near within Woodlands MRT and getting a taxi going to and from the zoo is not a problem.
- It was fun experience seeing animals for the first time. (Hello white tiger and polar bear)
- I love their animal shows. Everyone will enjoy their shows especially the kids
- The zoo offers knowledge on animals and encourages everyone to protect the wildlife
- The 2.50 SGD chicken legs sold at their food kiosks. (It was a quick and delicious snack). You can also bring your packed lunch. Restaurants lines and tables tend to be full during lunch hours so it is also best to bring packed lunch – just ensure that you clean the place after eating.
- The ticket kiosks for online reservation. It was an automated machine which produces your tickets in an instant
- The zoo is managed by Wildlife Reserves and has the support of Government of Singapore. I loved the fact that Singapore Government is taking part in conserving wildlife and each animal is adopted by different organizations and companies across Singapore. (It reminds me of Philippine Eagle Conservation Center in Davao City)
- It exceeded my expectation. I had to admit my zoo experiences in the Philippines were very far from what I’ve seen in Singapore. I wish our country would also improve and upgrade Manila Zoo in the Philippines because I’ve seen how Singapore ensure that even though they are progressing economically, they are also taking an active role on promoting wildlife and nature conservation. Plus, it is very educational to see the animals up-close and learn about their habitat.
- I also had a good time with the giraffe feeding session with my son.
Tips while visiting Singapore Zoo
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. While our visit is not too hot on a November day, it is still best advised to dress comfortably. Also wear shoes or slippers that will provide comfort because most of your visit will be walking around the area.
- Reserve tickets via online website. When you get via online website, you have complimentary tram rides during your visit. The complimentary tram ride saved us at least 45 SGD because each times your ride a tram you need to pay 5 SGD for each person. We tried the tram rides three times and it saved us time from walking and the money we saved was used for our lunch.
- Bring insect repellants. Make sure you apply insect repellant lotion and stickers especially to your kids prior to going to the zoo.
- Bring water and light snacks. Strolling across the zoo can be very tiring especially to your little ones so it is best to have a quick drink and light snack especially on peak hours on restaurants.
- It is best to go there early so you may be able to see the whole zoo and shows offered. The zoo opens as early as 8:00 AM.
- Bring extra shirts or clothes during your visit. You may want to change your clothes after a whole day of strolling at the zoo
- Time your visit. Check out the shows and feeding schedule in the pamphlet. It is fun to experience the animal shows and animal feeding. (That is why it is better to arrive at the zoo early in the morning)
- Enjoy the day!
- If you have toddlers or pre-school kids, it is advisable to bring strollers in the zoo for convenience. There are also available strollers for rent but you need to shell out few Singapore dollars to avail it. The strollers for rent are first come first serve basis. So it is best to bring your trusty strollers with you.
Our Singapore Zoo is one big memorable experience for us!