About the Parks

Our parks are evolving from being "Viewing" parks to "Learning" parks; leisure attractions providing an experiential learning experience for visitors as they learn more about animals, birds, plants and the environment through sight and sounds, and to gain awareness on the need for conservation of wildlife.

Jurong Bird Park - Where Colour Lives

Opened in 1971, Jurong Bird Park is Asia’s largest bird park, offering a 20.2-hectare hillside haven for more than 5,000 birds over 380 species. Committed to its efforts in conservation and exhibiting birds in naturalistic settings, the Bird Park creates simulated natural habitats from the grasslands of Africa to the rainforests of South America for different bird species.

The park provides opportunities for those interested in wildlife to enhance their understanding of the avian world through interactive bird-feeding encounters and world-class bird shows, all of which draw over 900,000 visitors annually.

Jurong Bird Park is home to the world’s largest walk-in lory flight aviary at 3,000 square metres and over 9 stories high.  Featuring 15 colourful lory species, this exhibit is a favourite amongst guests who get to feed the gregarious lories a nectar mix while observing them up close.

Other not-to-be missed highlights include African Waterfall Aviary, the hornbill and toucan exhibit, Penguin Coast, Macaw Island, Flamingo Lake and Heliconia Repository.

In Asia Pacific, this is the only bird park with an Avian Hospital. It has a Breeding and Research Centre tasked to ensure the welfare, breeding and promulgation of birdlife and is also a designated rescued avian centre.

Birdz of Play, the newest playground for children promises a splashing good time, with wet and dry zones for little ones to have a fun run in.

Committed towards conservation, the Bird Park is the first in the world to breed the Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise in captivity and received the Breeders ’ Award from the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society in 2001. In 2006, the Bird Park became the recipient of the Conservation & Research Award for the Oriental Pied Hornbill Conservation Project by IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity (ISBBC).

A collaborative study between Jurong Bird Park, NParks and Singapore Avian Conservation Project was initiated in 2005 with the intention to study breeding and conservation of these birds in the Bird Park and on Pulau Ubin. With the knowledge gained from observing these birds in the Bird Park, artificial nest boxes were introduced to Pulau Ubin, which greatly increased the breeding of the Oriental pied hornbills on Pulau Ubin. During the length of the project which took 5 years, Oriental pied hornbill numbers in the wild increased from around 10 individuals to 50 individuals.

The Bali mynah project aims to increase the number of Bali mynahs in Nusa Penida, Indonesia where they originate. Jurong Bird Park had sent three birds to the island, which increased the genetic pool at their breeding centre. All the progenies will be released at Nusa Penida, which will eventually increase the population of these birds.

The opening of the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC) to the public in 2012 is a concerted effort to showcase what goes on behind the scenes to instill a deeper appreciation of avian wildlife. There are eight areas (incubation rooms, nurseries, weaning rooms and a food preparation room) through which visitors can take a peek at the eggs and chicks as they mature through life’s stages. Visitors also get a chance to watch a live streaming feed of avian nest activities at the Breeding Blocks which are not publicly accessible.  

The Bird Discovery Centre is a ‘living classroom’ for visitors to learn more about the avian world, from the life stages of a bird to exploring how birds command mastery of the sky. Additionally, the park has a variety of educational programmes for students of all ages. These comprise of day trips, overnight camps, behind-the-scenes tours, workshops and wildlife publications.

Lunch with Parrots at Songbird Terrance gives visitors a chance to mingle with some prized birds, while enjoying a leisurely buffet amidst lush surroundings. Other food outlets include Bongo Burgers, Hawk Café and Safari Scoops.

Night Safari - The World's First

Opened in 1994, Night Safari is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. It spans 35 hectares of secondary forest and is home to over 2,500 animals of over 130 species, of which 38% are threatened.

Night Safari, a 10-time winner of Best Attraction category awarded by Singapore Tourism Board, receives over 1.1 million visitors annually, luring visitors with its world class service quality, product offerings and physical surroundings.

A large part of the park is designed to bring visitors on a 35-minute tram ride through seven geographic regions, from the Himalayan foothills to the jungles of Southeast Asia. Through live commentary on tram, the park hopes to educate visitors on the importance of wildlife conservation. Four interlinked walking trails offer close encounters with threatened and endangered species such as the pangolin and clouded leopard. Other attractions include the Creatures of the Night Show which showcases the predatory and survival instincts of nocturnal animals, as well as fire-eating performances by Thumbuakar tribal dancers.

Night Safari’s iconic animal is Asian bull elephant Chawang, who has sired four calves thus far. Through successful breeding programmes like these, the park hopes to continue contributing to the overall global population of Asian elephants. Visitors will be able to view the majestic tusker via tram.

Captive breeding of threatened species is one of Night Safari’s focus areas, in line with its mission to promote biodiversity. Over the last few years, it has bred Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, fishing cats, red dholes, clouded leopards, anoas, markhors, bantengs, Malayan tapirs and Asian lions, among other endangered species.

Experiential Dining
A visitor’s experience at Night Safari extends to experiential dining as well. Bongo Burgers restaurant offers al fresco dining and performances from tribal dancers from the tropical rainforest, who perform fire-eating and blowpipe demonstrations just a few metres away.

In addition, visitors can dine at Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant. Opened in November 2006, the 600-seater restaurant evokes a kampong (traditional village) feel among diners and offers both al fresco or indoor dining, buffet or a la carte.

The park’s award-winning Gourmet Safari Express, in which visitors dine onboard a tram traversing Night Safari, is a Gold Award winner in the prestigious International Festivals and Events World Forum (IFEA) Pinnacles Awards 2001.

River Safari - Asia's First and Only River-Themed Wildlife Park

River Safari is Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park, and is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks. Occupying 12 hectares, it houses one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater animals. The park is home to over 150 plant species and 5,000 animal specimens, including 42 endangered species.

A large part of the park is designed to profile freshwater habitats from iconic rivers of the world such as the Amazon River, Mekong River and River Nile. River Safari will take visitors on a journey to discover the unique aquatic and terrestrial animals from river habitats as well as the cultures that surround these rivers. Visitors can stroll through freshwater galleries, enter walk-through exhibits and embark on a boat ride to learn about the fascinating flora and fauna of river habitats.

Animal attractions in the park include river giants and megafishes such as the giant river otter, giant salamander, giant freshwater stingray and the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish, all housed in themed exhibits representing each river zone. River Safari is also home to a pair of giant pandas that resides in a climate-controlled exhibit along the Yangtze River zone.

Visitors can enjoy an immersive experience into the world of rivers and the wildlife they support, and appreciate the importance of freshwater ecosystem conservation.

Main Galleries and Special Exhibits

  • The park offers close encounters with fascinating river inhabitants, some of which include river giants and megafishes such as
    • Giant river otter - world's largest otter; up to 1.8m and 34kg
    • Chinese giant salamander - world’s largest amphibian; up to 1.8m
    • Mekong giant catfish - world’s largest scaleless freshwater fish; up to 3m and 295kg
    • Arapaima - world’s largest scaled freshwater fish; up to 2.75m and 200kg
    • Giant freshwater stingray - up to 5m and 600kg
    • Alligator gar - up to 3m and 140kg
  • The Amazon Flooded Forest houses the world’s largest freshwater aquarium with a volume of 2,000m³. It has the world’s largest viewing panel for a freshwater aquarium measuring 22 metres (L) by 4 metres (H), providing visitors with an immersive Amazonian underwater forest experience. Over 18 animal species, including the manatee and arapaima, are featured in this aquatic display.
  • The Amazon River Quest, a boat ride which meanders through a 483m man-made river, brings visitors up-close to over 30 animal species that live along the edges of the Amazon River including the jaguar, Brazilian tapir, capybara and giant anteater.
  • River Safari is the first park in Asia to display the giant river otter, to be housed in the Amazon River zone. The park is also one of only three institutes outside of the Amazon to display the red howler monkey.
  • The 1,500m2 Giant Panda Forest at the Yangtze River zone is the largest of its kind in South East Asia. This S$8.6 million exhibit simulates the bears’ natural habitat with lush plants, boulders and water features. The temperature is kept between 18-22 degrees Celsius year-round to ensure the pandas’ comfort.

Education and Conservation
In recent years, habitat loss and degradation, water extraction, over-exploitation and pollution threaten the planet’s freshwater ecosystems and their associated biological resources. Biodiversity in freshwater habitats is disappearing at a faster rate than marine and forest environments. By bringing visitors up-close to the fascinating underwater and terrestrial animals that live in such ecosystems, River Safari aims to highlight the importance of freshwater ecosystems and inspire positive actions for conserving them.

River Safari will play an important role in global captive breeding programmes, ensuring the long-term survival of endangered and threatened species such as the manatee and the giant river otter. Through captive breeding programmes, the park hopes to contribute to the population of endangered freshwater species. The park is also involved in research initiatives, such as a tagging and tracking project for giant freshwater stingrays in Thailand, to contribute to the conservation of endangered animal species.

A dynamic range of interactive in-park activities such as enrichment programmes, interdisciplinary trails and workshops that enliven the learning experience for both teachers and students will soon be available at River Safari.  Set within River Safari, these immersive programmes engage the senses and are filled with various hands-on activities to make learning an enthralling journey.

Conceptualisation and Design
The idea of a River Safari started out as a simple aquarium exhibit. In 1996, it was thought that a freshwater aquarium with an extensive collection of fish and flora would complement the offerings of the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, at the same time, highlight the pristine, freshwater surroundings of Upper Seletar Reservoir.

The idea of the Amazon Flooded Forest was developed – a place that would give visitors a breathtaking view of the underwater forest and its wildlife inhabitants. As a result of extensive research and various study trips to aquariums all over the world, the idea grew to include other iconic rivers of the world, and eventually evolved into River Safari in 2006, with the inclusion of a boat ride and greater emphasis on river eco-systems and cultures.

The park is designed to recreate the sights and sounds of each river zone from exhibit design to the represented animal collection to help visitors learn about the cultures and wildlife, and to inspire them to contribute to conservation efforts.

Green Construction
River Safari is the first attraction in Singapore conferred with the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Award in the Park category.

The park is designed and developed with utmost concern for the environment, particularly the Mandai Nature Reserve area where it is situated. River Safari brings together the best in zoological architecture and design, with state-of-the-art exhibit artistry and technology. Every exhibit design surpasses standards set by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

As the park is situated by the Seletar Reservoir, one of Singapore’s water catchment areas, architects and engineers had to take care to avoid any potential disruption to water supply. Control measures were put in place to ensure minimal soil erosion and to manage steep terrains.

At the same time, mitigating measures were required to minimise disruption to existing habitats around the area. The welfare of existing inhabitants in the area was of utmost priority. Green corridors for such wild animals were created and maintained.

Part of the many engineering features was the construction of bioswales, which are landscape drainways integrated into urban landscape design. They are designed to collect rainwater runoff from roofs and footpaths.  Impurities in the rainwater are removed when it passes through plants and soil. Bioswales provide clean homes for native animals such as frogs, dragonflies and other aquatic animals.

Year 2013: Opening of River Safari
River Safari - Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park - opened in early 2013, in line with the United Nation’s International Year of Water Cooperation*

Rapid population growth, economic development and industrialisation have led to the unprecedented transformation of freshwater habitats and consequent biodiversity loss. Biodiversity in freshwater habitats is disappearing at a faster rate than marine and forest environments. By bringing visitors up-close to the fascinating underwater and terrestrial animals that live in such ecosystems, River Safari aims to highlight the importance of rivers to our survival. Visitors will view and learn about the flora and fauna of river habitats so they can be inspired to protect these fragile ecosystems.

*In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, with the objective of raising awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation, and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. More information can be found on http://www.unwater.org/watercooperation2013.html

Go local at the River Safari Tea House, situated at the Entrance Plaza. Visitors can savour over 60 dishes including Dim Sum, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Fried Hokkien Noodle, all in a quaint teahouse setting. Or choose to dine at Mama Panda Kitchen for a selection of Szechuan-inspired cuisine such as Bamboo Rice, Prawn Dumplings and panda-shaped buns or 'paos'.

Singapore Zoo - World's Best Rainforest Zoo

For 40 years, Singapore Zoo has been known to have among the most beautiful settings in the world, where animals roam freely in open and natural habitats. Covering 26 hectares, the park is home to over 2,800 animals representing over 300 species.

Singapore Zoo was named Best Leisure Attraction Experience in the 22nd Singapore Tourism Awards in 2008. This accolade is its ninth win since the award category was introduced in 1985.

As Singapore’s premier leisure venue, Singapore Zoo receives over 1.7 million visitors annually. With that, the park will continue to ensure its service quality; product offerings and physical surroundings adhere to world-class standards.

Singapore Zoo boasts the world’s first free-ranging orang utan habitat in a zoo. This environment showcases the charismatic apes, which are the Zoo’s flagship species, in natural surroundings. Guests also get a vantage point along a raised boardwalk.

Other not-to-be missed highlights include Fragile Forest and Elephants of Asia, both of which offer educational elements such as interpretive signages and discovery stations. Australian Outback and the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia are other fascinating areas to be discovered where guests are immersed in habitats representing the respective geographical region.

Another significant breakthrough was the opening of the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre in March 2006. The $3.6 million facility includes a viewing gallery that allows visitors to observe the animal surgery and treatment areas and interactive displays that will educate visitors on the work of zoo vets. 

Singapore Zoo continues to contribute to the global conservation effort with its captive breeding programmes of endangered animals. In 2012, the Zoo bred over 140 animals, many of them endangered or threatened in the wild.

As part of its efforts to transform itself from an Open Zoo to a Learning Zoo, Singapore Zoo also has a myriad of educational programmes that cater to both local and overseas student groups of between 30 to 200 persons. These range from day and night camps, behind-the-scenes and specially guided tours, workshops to wildlife publications. In addition, worksheets are also distributed to students to further enrich them when they visit the Zoo on school trips.

A popular treat for most visitors to Singapore Zoo is Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife. This programme allows guests to dine whilst enjoying the company of the Zoo’s icons – the orang utans. Other food outlets available include Inuka Café, Ah Meng Restaurant, The Wild Deli and Casa Italia.