Stepping into the huge open spaces of Singapore Zoo you immediately know this is a special place. Since it opened its doors back in the early 1970s the Zoo has set out to remove barriers, bars and cages and provide its animals with large natural homes. Today this is still very evident in its approach and the result is an immersive and incredibly positive day out.
Across the seventy acres of zoo there are over 300 different species, many of which are considered endangered. There’s so much to Singapore Zoo it would be impossible to cover it all in one post so here’s our highlights.
At the very start of the zoo you come face to face with Cotton Top Tamarins, sitting in a tree in the middle of the path – this is where they live. There are no fences here, you can get as close as you like. It’s a delightful experience where you feel less like an observer and more like a visitor in the animal’s habitat.
From here you enter the Treetops trail which takes you out over a rainforest where there’s brown lemurs swinging around and below you a number of toothy False Gavial, a close relative of the Crocodile and native of Malaysia, living in their jungle pond.
Deciding that we didn’t want to hang around too long with the Gavial we headed on to see Otters leaping and playing and then onto the enormous Tapirs and White Tigers which my eldest loved.
Because the Zoo site is so vast you can leap aboard a tram for a small charge and it will take you around the main routes stopping at key locations. This is great to help little legs rest up, but make sure you consult the map before you board as you can miss areas which your children will love, such as the Giraffes where you can get an incredible view up close at their feeding platforms,
And the fragile forest – an indoor rainforest biodome which is home to the smallest of creatures such as frogs and mudskippers, through to ring tail lemurs, mouse deer and Malayan flying foxes the world’s largest, most enormous bats.
As we walked on through the shady cool paths we came across areas for chimpanzees and mandrills as well as a whole area dedicated to primates, the Australian outback and animals from the Rift Valley. The sheer scale of Singapore zoo was incredible.
I particularly love how much time Singapore Zoo dedicate to educating the public – everywhere you go there are notes about the animals, how we can help protect them and the ways we should be treating them. It was fantastic to see a zoo investing so much in to helping its visitors understand what we need to do in our everyday lives to help the animal population.
The highlight of the visit for my children was the chance to meet elephants up close for their feeding time, and to take part in helping provide the food!
My eldest two (my four-year old was happy to just observe) were given with a basket of fruit each as the elephants held out their trunks to collect their lunch. It was a real wow moment for them both.
Singapore Zoo has a wealth of different animals in creative and natural environments and as we walked back to the front of the park we wondered at the sheer scale and lack of bars and grills. This truly felt like a brilliant environment and it would be great to see more zoos following suit.
You can find out more about Singapore Zoo at their website.
We were guests of Singapore Zoo for the purposes of this review, but our views are our own.