Singapore Zoo, which is also currently called Mandai Zoo and previously referred to as 'Singapore Zoological Gardens', is a 69-70 acre zoo located within the densely forested catchment area of Singapore.
It was built and opened back in 1973 and has been host to visitors, both local and foreign, for over 40 years! The first collection of the zoo at that time comprised of about 280 animals from around 70 species, kept in 50 enclosures.
During its early years, the zoo housed mostly Asian species but started outsourcing other species as years passed by and new developments were made.
Today, Singapore Zoo is home for more than 2,800 animals from over 300 species from around the world, out of which about 20% of the species are endangered. This zoo attracts almost 1.7 million visitors annually from every corner of the world.
Source: Wildlife Reserves Singapore - Singapore Zoo
Ever since its inception, the Singapore Zoo has been operating as an 'open' zoo on the same 69 acres dedicated originally to it. The 'openness' of the zoo means that most of the animals that inhabit the zoo are not kept in cages and have enough space to move about freely.
These open enclosures have been skillfully designed to replicate the environment of the animals' natural habitats and help them feel 'at home.' The open exhibits are guarded with glass, moats, and hidden barriers between the visitors and zoo animals.
This famous, award-winning Zoo in Singapore has been participating in several conservation and preservation programs ever since it came into existence.
Managed carefully under the Singapore Wildlife reserves, the zoo has had breakthroughs and successes in 'captive breeding' programs.
Read also What to do in Singapore with kids
Tips for Visiting Singapore Zoo:
Our helpful and handy tips for your visit to the Singapore Zoo will help you gear up for the trip. Follow our comprehensive tips to ensure that your tour is safe and packed with fun and excitement!
Considering the size of the zoo, prepare to spend almost half of your day at this tropical rainforest.
Due to the high demand as this is one of the most visited places in Singapore, we advise you to book your tickets 4-5 days in advance to make sure that you find yourself a spot on your desired day.
Carry a map with you and keep your family close to avoid getting lost. Don't forget to carry mosquito repellent!
Souce: visitsingapore.com - Singapore Tourism Board
To help your children cool down, take them to the water park nearby. Don't forget to bring their swimsuits along!
We strongly encouraged you to carry an umbrella as you never know when it might rain! (Singapore is known to have very unpredictable weather)
Prepare to beat the heat! Carry hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, tumblers or water bottles and wear airy, light clothes, and comfortable shoes. Consuming water/fluids is essential as you will need to dehydrate yourself throughout the sunny trip.
If you're traveling to Singapore Zoo on a budget, bring in food and eatables from outside as the snacks available inside will most likely be overpriced because this zoo is a famous tourist attraction.
Maintain a safe distance from the zoo animals at all times.
DO NOT feed any animals unless instructed otherwise! Your food may tamper with the animals' specially designed and curated diets.
DO NOT throw food at ANY of the animals! They might take that as a threat and react dangerously or inappropriately.
What to Expect From The Singapore Zoo
The structure of the entire Singapore Zoo and the animal enclosure landscapes will allow you to have an up-close and more of a personal experience safely with all the wildlife creatures there.
The absence of caged captivity has a positive impact on the animals which results in them behaving more naturally and being more 'open' and expressive; they will view you as mere visitors in THEIR home and exhibit a welcoming behavior.
There are 11 theme-based zones incorporated within the Singapore Zoo, each featuring its own unique and distinct relationship and interaction among the various animal and plant types with their environments. These
11 zones are:
(Frozen Tundra) (Wild Africa)
(Australian Outback) (Fragile Forest)
(Treetops Trails) ('Great Rift Valley' of Ethiopia)
(Gibbon Island) (Reptile Garden)
(Primate Kingdom) (Critters Longhouse)
(Orchid Garden & Tropical Crops)
Souce: visitsingapore.com - Singapore Tourism Board
Enjoy the Wild-Side
We recommend you to walk through all of the 11 zones mentioned above to marvel at the 'open' wildlife creatures and stroll amidst some of the most precious species.
Here are a few major and famous 'animal' attractions at the Singapore Zoo:
The Singapore Zoo is host to the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world! Watching them move freely and naturally around their forested home is a delight; no fences or nets will restrict your view.
These 'black-footed penguins' originate from the South African waters, but you can view them at the Singapore Zoo! Penguins are generally considered to be very adorable and wholesome creatures. Observing them walking about on their big feet with that somewhat awkward stride most certainly is fun.
These extremely endangered and gorgeous tigers are two of the VERY few white tigers left in the world. Photographing and watching these magnificent and powerful creatures in their 'natural' habitat is impressive!
The Singapore Zoo Shows
The shows conducted at the Singapore Zoo provide all visitors with an immersive and informative experience. Two of the most famous ones are:
The 'Rainforest Fights Back' show is an entertaining and informative show-perfect for young children-which educates viewers about the fatal consequences of deforestation.
The 'Splash Safari Show' features mischievous and interactive Californian sea lions displaying a graceful and energetic show for all viewers.
The other two shows are 'Elephants at Work & Play' and 'Animal Friends' which aimed at concluding a gleeful and enlightening performance.
Ah Meng Restaurant
Named after the late female orangutan once housed in the Singapore Zoo, this restaurant is a must-visit for all those visiting. This is the one and the ONLY restaurant in the world that allows diners to dine in and have breakfast with real orangutans as part of its 'Jungle Breakfast' with wildlife program.
We suggest making bookings before the scheduled day to secure your spot at this animal-friendly restaurant or arriving very early!
How To Get There:
Public Buses: 138, 927
MRT Train: Alight at Khatib MRT station (NS14) North-South Line, walk toward the Exit A Pick Up Point to board the Mandai Khatib Shuttle
(You can check with the train station customer service if you need help on locating the shuttle bus pick up point)
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, 729826
Operating hours: 8.30 am to 6.00 pm (Last entry at 5.30 pm)
You can pre-purchase the ticket online securely and conveniently through www.klook.com/en-SG/activity/141-singapore-zoo-singapore/