Singapore is very proud of its Zoo, and rightfully so. It is truly amazing, set in the Mandai region of Singapore Its a Zoo within a rain forest, please ignore the road that brings cars in and out of the zoo, I can imagine that its visitor numbers would diminish somewhat if you had to trek through the rainforest to get there, many more people get to Machu Picchu by train than trail, a tourist attraction, World Heritage or not, needs accessibility.
But I’m not here to talk about the Zoo, or really the Night Safari or River Safari that I’m going to mention. I’m here to talk about how to manage the attractions, Singapore is Hot, very Hot, I’d like to quote Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam” right now, but this is a family website, so please Google it.
With the heat comes the endless “lets sit down and have a coffee (insert favorite beverage here)”. But as a tourist its always nigh on impossible to find the right place to sit and do so, you end up in either an overpriced hotel paying S$20 for a latte or 711 buying a highly luminous liquid that you would never let the kids touch back in your home country. So I’m here to help.
Arrive at the Night Safari at about 6:45pm, tickets already purchased, head for the Creatures of the Night show, which starts at 7:30. This only lasts for about 30m, but it’s a good start to your visit. Now, after that, instead of following the crowd onto the trams that take you around the Zoo, take a break, head out of the exit (remember to get you hand stamped) and grab yourself a smoothie/Juice from Lulu Beverage’s, I can recommend the Very Berries Juice, the stall is the first one you come to, ask for the drink in option and it will be served in an old style pint glass, much nicer to drink from than the slimy plastic rubbish you usually receive your drinks in. THEN, walk a few more meters to the Indian stall, there, you can see your naan, be it plain garlic or whatever, being baked behind the glass partition. Only then, when your party is fed and watered, head back into the Night Safari and head to the Tram, this will take about 40m, and doesn’t stop anymore. After that, you can grab a map and explore until your heart is content. The bat and flying squirrel enclosures I can definitely recommend. You will work off the Juice and Nan in no time.
The River Safari is slightly different, we usually do it on a different day, and doing 1, 2, or even 3 of the attractions in one visit can be a bit much, especially if you have kids. Talking about kids, the most important part of the River Safari is knowing there is a Starbucks at the entrance, that will stop you buying whatever it is they serve you in a coffee cup at KFC, or trying to work out what a Kopi-c or Kopi-lah is (please do this, but not just before you head into a 3 hour zoo visit, with kids). You can take your coffee into the River Safari, and drink it slowly while the kids race about like demons shouting “its a crocodile” its actually an alligator, “its a shark” nope, that’s a catfish, “Daddy, what’s that” that’s a eeer good point, I don’t know what that is.
The coffee helps.