The Night Safari was one of our best experiences in Singapore. Since we were trying to save money in an otherwise expensive city and we aren’t normally fond of clubs or swanky bars, family friendly excursions are usually more appealing. The safari was so much fun we plan on going back to the adjacent daytime zoo on our next visit!
Other posts in this series:
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco
- Singapore Airlines First Class SFO-ICN (SQ 15)
- Singapore Airlines First Class Menu
- Singapore Airlines First Class ICN-SIN (SQ 15)
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Historical Sights, Ethnic Neighborhoods, and Raffles Hotel
- Modern Singapore at Marina Bay and Orchard Road
- Birthday at the Night Safari
- Where to Eat in Singapore
- Singapore First Class Departure and The Private Room
- Singapore Airlines First Class SIN-HKG (SQ 866)
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Central District Parks and Victoria Peak
- Exploring the Markets of Kowloon and Mong Kok
- Day Trip to Stanley Harbor
- Where to Eat in Hong Kong
- Singapore Airlines Business Class HKG-SFO (SQ 2)
- Concluding Remarks
We are always concerned about what we will do to occupy ourselves after dinner when we vacation. Megan and I enjoy a good drink with friends but clubs and bars aren’t part of our normal routine. (Loud music and overpriced booze are more annoying than fun.) Everyone kept telling us to go to the Night Safari, which bills itself as “Singapore’s No. 1 Nightspot,” and when I found out they offer free admission on your birthday, it was the obvious choice.
I forget the exact price, but I recall a taxi to the night safari was only about $15-25. Taxis are relatively cheap in Singapore, but not nearly as cheap as Hong Kong and we drove for a while. My biggest concern was how we would get back, but it turns out lots of taxis are waiting when the park closes.
If you show up early, there are shops and restaurants to entertain you. There is also a daytime zoo next door, so you could turn this into a long family excursion. We are thinking about stopping at the zoo during our 12-hour layover on the way to Bali this fall, but I don’t think I would choose to do them both in the same day.
A trip to the night safari begins with a tram ride that passes by about half of the main exhibits. Our tour guide was extremely friendly and informative, stopping by several pens so we could get a closer look. However, you will need to spend more time walking by on your own to see some of the animals. The words “pen” or “enclosure” are inadequate to describe the Night Safari experience. It has smaller areas devoted to each species like a zoo, but the experience is more similar to visiting a wild animal park.
(I apologize for the crap-tastic photos. I did not bring a tripod, and taking pictures in near darkness would still be difficult. These are ALL of the photos I have that vaguely resemble anything.)
We saw few, if any, fences or pits to separate us from the animals. The genius of the safari experience is that they manage to hide most of these with vegetation and perspective. When you look at the animals, you wonder why they don’t just jump out and join you on the path. Add to this the fact that many animals are nocturnal and far more active at night. It can still be hard to see them, but at least they aren’t just sleeping in the corner.
After getting off our tram ride, we walked on the two paths that get you closer to the animal exhibits and also take you by some that aren’t accessible by tram (if you become exhausted or worry about running late, there are stops where you can get on or off the tram). My favorite of these was the bat enclosure. Megan was terrified and ran out after a few minutes, but that just meant she was now waiting outside by herself while I enjoyed peering at the giant winged creatures.
Some people will describe bats as flying rats, but I like rats. (Pet rats. I usually use the term “flying rats” for pigeons, and in that case I’m referring to the rats you’d find in the sewer or subway. Filthy vermin.) Once you realize that bats eat more fruit and insects than human flesh, they’re actually kind of cute! I think they look like tiny pug-nosed dogs with wings, though some of the bats in the enclosure were as big as cats.
Overall it was a great way to spend an evening experiencing something new, including this view of the Upper Seletar Reservoir, an area as rural as any other you are likely to find in this small island nation.