Singapore Zoo is touted as one of the world’s best zoos and has around 1.9 million visitors a year. We don’t usually visit zoos on our travels, but we felt that this one deserved our attention. Was it worth going? Read our Singapore Zoo review to decide for yourself.
While I’m not a big fan of animals in captivity, most exhibits are “open”, and it has an excellent reputation for its conservation and breeding programmes. In 2014, they successfully bred over 100 animals, some of which are endangered in the wild.
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There are 2,400 different specimens of over 300 species, of which 34% are threatened. Some of our favourites were the White Tigers, Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, and Orangutans.
It’s located at 80 Mandai Lake Road. There are several options to get to the zoo, but we usually travel by taxi. You can also get there by MRT to Khatib and then transfer to the Mandai Khatib Shuttle Bus.
Another option (we did this last time) is to purchase tickets for the Hop On Hop Off Bus. This ticket includes a shuttle to and from the zoo included in the price.
Please note that part of the zoo may be closed due to safe distancing measures. As at November 2020, Rainforest Kidzworld was closed.
Singapore Zoo Review
Singapore Zoo is one of the best zoos we have visited. Despite being in a city, it feels like you are in the middle of the jungle, with the lush rainforest surrounding you. This habitat is great for the animals, too, as they get to be closer to their natural environment, rather than being in concrete cages.
Most of the enclosures are open and allow the animals more freedom while still providing visitors safety.
If you have young children, are seniors, or someone with limited mobility, Singapore Zoo offers a rental service. Hire a stroller, wagon, wheelchair or an electric scooter. They are loaned on a first-come basis but can be booked online. Lockers can also be rented, and the zoo offers a Left Luggage service, starting at S$10 for the first 3 hours and S$2 for every additional hour or part thereof.
The park is set out in zones, which makes it easier to explore. In Australasia, find kangaroos, wallabies, tree kangaroos, and a cassowary (being from Australia, this was our least favourite). Due to my love of elephants, I enjoyed the Elephants of Asia. The one-hectare exhibit on the banks of the Seletar Reservoir provides the five female elephants with plenty of space to play. I like that the zoo provides “toys” to stimulate them, both physically and mentally. The Fragile Forest mimics a tropical rainforest habitat where you will see frogs, birds, insects, reptiles, and my favourite two-toed sloth.
The Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia is where you will find the cute Meerkats (look for the one keeping guard). In Primate Kingdom, the primates have their own little islands consisting of bamboo, palms, trees, and grasses. We found the Reptile Garden fascinating with Aldabra Giant Tortoise, King Cobra, and the Komodo Dragon.
Reptopia is also home to reptiles and amphibians; in fact, there are over 60 different species. Tortoise Shell-ter, as the name suggests, is where the tortoises hang out. However, it’s not just tortoises that can be found here; you may see chameleons and geckos too. The highlight of Singapore Zoo for us were the Orangutans and Wild Africa. It’s fantastic to see the Orangutans from the boardwalk swing above you from their trees. Next time we visit, I’d like to take the breakfast with the Orangutans tour, like this one. I like the idea of a delicious buffet breakfast while watching the antics of these hilarious animals.
We heard the lion before we saw him, sitting majestically on the rock looking over his kingdom. The lioness was sitting by the large glass window and looking right at us.
I recommend the giraffe feeding, especially if you have young children. Our girls were amazed by their long tongues and how they leaned over the fence to get their carrots. It only cost S$5 for each food portion but is on a first-come basis.
Treetops Trail replicates a rainforest, and animals can be seen in the tree canopies, on the ground, and in the water.
We ended our time at Singapore Zoo at the Rainforest Kidzworld. Our children enjoyed the freedom to run around and cool off in the water playground. Here is also the best place for your picnic, or purchase food at one of the outlets.
Singapore Zoo Tips
1. Book Tickets Online
Ticket prices are S$35 for adults and S$23 for children aged 3-12 for entrance to just the zoo. Tickets for the other attractions are sold separately, or you can purchase Multi Park passes.
If you want hotel pick up included, Get Your Guide have tickets that include the one-way transfer here.
The zoo was running at reduced capacity in November 2020, so tickets must be purchased ahead.
2. Get There As Soon As It Opens
The zoo is open from 8.30 am to 6 pm every day of the year. If you get there as soon as it opens, there will be fewer crowds. It starts to get busier late morning.
We usually spend at least half a day there.
3. Try To Avoid School Holidays & Weekends
As you can imagine, these are the peak times and best avoided if you can help it.
4. Pack A Picnic To Save Money
You can eat your own food in the picnic areas, so why not bring your snacks/ lunch and save some money.
Alternatively, buy food from the food vendors.
5. Bring Your Water Bottle
There are water dispensers around the zoo, so save money and the environment by bringing your water bottle and refilling. This is another way Singapore Zoo is working towards a sustainable future.
6. Save Your Legs and Take The Tram
For S$5, an adult and S$3 for children 3-12, you get unlimited rides on the tram. They run all day, and tickets can be bought from the ticket office or tram stops.
7. Get A Map
Make sure you grab a map on your way in as well as a show timetable to plan your route or download one here.
8. Arrive Early To Animal Shows
The shows are included in the price of your ticket. Currently, they have Splash Safari (sea lion), Animal Friends (domestic animals), Elephant Presentation, and Rainforest Fights Back.
The cute sea lion is the main star of the Splash Safari Show. Just don’t sit right at the front if you want to stay dry!
Elephants are one of my favourite animals, so we always see this show. I’m happy to say that they have changed their performance since we first visited. They are trying to minimise the interaction between the elephants and their handlers, so they mimic more of the traits they have in the wild rather than “perform.” You can read more about the shows’ contact and training here.
The seats fill up fast, so we try and get there at least 10 minutes before the start of the show.
Each show lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, which allows you to see all of them. They have two performances of each one per day (morning and afternoon).
9. Stay After The Shows Have Finished
Instead of fighting your way through the crowds to leave the show, consider staying behind. Often, you can talk to the zookeepers and have your photo taken with the animals.
10. Feed the animals
The Elephants, Giraffes, Goats, and White Rhinos can be fed at certain times for a nominal fee. Get there at least 15 minutes early as food is limited.
11. Don’t Forget Bathers
The Water Playground is a great place for the kids to cool off and let off some steam. There are slides, sprayers, and a jumbo water bucket that tips over!
12. What To Pack
Apart from what is mentioned above, make sure you have sunscreen, a hat, and wet weather protection. I’d recommend wearing comfortable shoes as well.
Being in a rain forest environment, it’s a good idea to wear insect repellent.
If you forget something, look in the gift shop as they were selling ponchos when we were there.
Don’t forget your camera. Singapore Zoo is a great place to practice your photography skills. Just ensure the flash is turned off. If you’re a keen photographer, take a look at this tour run by photographers for photographers.
Other Singapore Attractions
Find out what other amazing things there are to do in Singapore.
Where To Stay in Singapore
The Marina Bay Sands is on my bucket list. I will get there one day! For those that are lucky enough, why not splurge on at least one night at this fabulous modern hotel.
Take a look at how incredible the rooms are and the views from the rooftop infinity pool here.
If you prefer a historic and iconic hotel, look at The Raffles. This is another Singapore hotel that I would love to stay at.
We stay at The Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre when in Singapore.
If you want to stay in Orchard Road, you can read our list of the best places to stay in Orchard Road and our review of Holiday Inn City Centre.
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