Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Visiting The Singapore Zoo [Part 1]

Photo By: Elin Chow

The Singapore Zoo, formerly also known as the Singapore Zoological Garden or Mandai Zoo among the locals, is undoubtedly one my most favorite places to visit in Singapore. In fact, I love the Singapore Zoo so much that I made it a point to visit the place once every half year. So, that made it a total 4 trips to the Singapore Zoo within just a short 2 years time.

What Makes The Singapore Zoo Unique?

Since their official opening in 1973, the Singapore Zoo has been known to have one of the most beautiful wildlife park setting in the world. Adpoting an "open concept" of zookeeping, animals are free to roam and live as if they are in their natural habitats. Unlike most of the other zoos in the world, cages are almost non-existant. This allows the visitors to observe the animals from afar without the any kind of cage bars or wires obstructing their views.

The Singapore Zoo opens at 8.30am and closes at 6.00pm everyday. If you wish to visit every animals at the Singapore Zoo, be here early. I always make it a point to reach the place latest at 9.30am in order to visit every animals in the zoo.

I believe the Singapore Zoo has increased their admission fee recently. I remember it was SGD 20 per adult at the time I visited a year ago. But now, it will cost me as much as SGD 28 per admission into the zoo. Luckily there is a 20% discount given to all visitors if you have purchased your admission ticket online.

In this particular blog entry are the main highlights which I thought should never be missed whenever you visit the Singapore Zoo. I have decided to split this blog post into several parts to prevent it from getting too long and tedious to read.

The parts are as below. Click here to read: 


Before you start your wild adventures, it will be great if you could grab a copy of the Singapore Zoo's map. It will help you to plan your itinerary for the day. 

Tips For Visiting The Singapore Zoo

Here are some tips to follow in order to make your day at the zoo enjoyable and memorable.

1. Wear comfortable footwear and prepare yourself for an entire day of walking
2. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated
3. Apply sunscreen and bring along an umbrella
4. Apply insect repellent (optional)
5. Be there early in order to visit every single animal at the zoo
6. Most importantly, avoid feeding the animals

So, are you ready to explore the Singapore Zoo with me? Let's get started now!

Treetops Trail

The Treetops Trail - this is where your journey to the wild begins. Located right after the entrance of the zoo, leading into a rain forest courtyard and eventually onto an elevated boardwalk, this is where vistors could get closer and experience the real nature . 

#1 White-faced Saki Monkey

We were really lucky to be able to spot the White-faced Saki Monkey on a particular early morning. Having visited the Singapore Zoo for several times, that was actually the first time we ever saw a White-faced Saki Monkey chilling on a treetop.

The White-faced Saki Monkey, also known as the Guianan or Golden-faced Saki Monkey are largely found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezue. It is easily distinguishable by its furry black coat, flat wide noses, long bushy tail and reddish or white face.

I always enjoy the moment of peacefulness whenever I stepped onto the wooden boardwalk through the forest canopy. I love the feeling of being close to the nature once again. It seems to have the powers to make all the stress of living in a city to disappear instantly.


#2 The False Gavial

Right beneath the boardwalk, the False Gavials were seen lazing around the murky jungle swamp area. The False Gavial, also known as the Malaysian Gharial, is a freshwater crocodile with a distinctive thin and elongated snout.

The False Gavial is critically endangered due to the drainage of freshwater swampland and rainforests clearing activities. Apart from that, the False Gavials are also often the targets of illegal human hunting activities due to their valuable skin and meat.

Really fearsome looking creature, isn't it? Just the sight of the false Gavial is sufficient to send shivers down my spine!

The Tiger Trek

Right after the Treetops Trail, we headed to the Tiger Trek. Please do not ask me why are there dinosaurs in the Tiger Trek because I do not know the answer too. The main highlight at the Tiger Trek is no other than the White Tiger.

#3 White Tiger

Situated just right behind the Treetops Trail, after the Tiger Trek, is the White Tiger enclosure. The White Tiger is undoubtedly one of the star attraction of the Singapore Zoo due to its rarity and extraordinary beauty. A sub-species of the Bengal Tiger, the White Tiger are distinct for its creamy white fur with light brown stripes.

How beautiful and captivating these animals are! The White Tigers are definitely my most favorite animals to visit at the Singapore Zoo. Strangely, I find these dangerous animals rather adorable too.


Although the White Tigers are extremely fascinating animals, I got bored after observing it for a while as it spend most of the time of its days pacing back and fro in its enclosure.



#4 Greater Flamingo

The Greater Flamingo is the most commonly seen species in the Flamingo family. It is the largest species among the Flamingo family and its population can mostly be found in parts of Africa, Southern Asia and Europe. 

I wish I could observe these Flamingo from a closer distance. But sadly, this is the closest I could  get to these beautiful pink white birds.

#5 Babirusa

The Babirusa, also known as pig-deer, are found mainly on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula and Buru. Why pig-deer? Well, the answer is  very simple. The Babirusa is actually a pig born with a pair long upper canines, which in fact, remind people of a deer. That is how the name "Pig-deer" came from.

Frankly speaking, I could not remember a time when the Babirusa were awake. They were always soundly asleep everytime I visited the zoo. Oh, did I mention that the Babirusa smell really horrible too?

#6 Malaysian Tapir

The Malaysian Tapir, also known as Asian Tapir, is the largest among all species of Tapir. It is easily identified by its appearance, looking something like a mix of a pig, an elephant and a panda.

#7 Pygmy Hippopotamus

Next, we headed to a giant aquarium where it houses two Pygmy Hippos. The giant aquarium is separated into two viewing galleries - the first one houses a varieties of freshwater fish and the another houses the Pygmy Hippos. 


Interestingly, if you have checked up the dictionary, "pygmy" refers to something very small of its kind. Therefore, I suppose Pygmy Hippo literally also means small hippo. Indeed, comparing to its larger cousins, the Pygmy Hippo is much more smaller in terms of size.

Unlike the common hippos, Pygmy Hippos live either live alone or in a very small group. Pygmy Hippos spend most of their time in hidden in the waters in order to keep itself cool. 

Finally, I snapped a face shot of the Pygmy Hippo on my iphone! A very painful wait.

With these, I shall end this post here. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Click here to read Part 2: Visiting The Singapore Zoo [Part 2]


3 comments:

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    Replies
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  2. Thanks for your post on Singapore tourist attractions. Your post inspired me to check Singapore flyer price and it offered me most enthralling experience to my family and friends to spend the vacation in the most beautiful place in the world.

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