After a busy few days in Singapore I thought the kids would be tiring however, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact the kids were just building momentum and it seemed they had more energy than ever for our next adventure: Singapore Zoo.
To be absolutely truthful, I wasn’t personally very keen to go to the zoo. I felt that we had been to Taronga Zoo a few times and I thought a zoo is a zoo is a zoo. I thought that there might be more exciting things for us to do that might be more specific to Singapore, but I was out-voted, so Singapore Zoo it was.
The zoo is a little bit out of Singapore CBD but is easy and cheap enough to get to via taxi. The first thing that strikes you about Singapore Zoo is that it doesn’t feel like a zoo at all- it feels like you are wandering around tropical rainforest and you just happen to stumble upon animals in their natural habitat at regular intervals along your way- well that might be a slight exaggeration – there are still Sea Lion shows and Bird Shows, and trams that circle around the Zoo full of tourists but really, it is a very different experience to any other zoo I have visited.
I did a little research online before heading off for the Zoo. There is a suggested itinerary on the Zoo’s website that we decided we would use as a rough guide for our visit and this little bit of research certainly made for a much easier experience.
Once we purchased our tickets we were able to head straight to the elephant bathing & feeding on the other size of the zoo. We were the only people there and as a result were able to get up-close and personal with the elephants without the normal jostling and queues you often find at experiences such as this. It was so special being so close to the elephants and the kids were gobsmacked. It was great for them to be able to take their time to enjoy the experience without having to make way for other kids to take their turn.
Still buzzing from the feeding we also got up close to the Orang Utans. I love Orang Utans and they always remind me of our honeymoon in Borneo where we visited them in the wild. It was lovely to watch them have the freedom to swing and hang out across a large play area and again, really special to get so close to them. Singaporeans seem to have managing crowds all sorted. As with our Universal Studios experience, the growing crowds clambering for a photo with the Orang Utans were directed into a queue and staff were allocated to take your camera/iphone and take a photo of you with the Orang Utans for you- very efficient!
I highly recommend arriving at the zoo early- we visited on a Wednesday and the crowds didn’t really start to arrive until lunch-time so it felt like we had the park to ourselves for much of the morning. The Sea Lion Show and the animal encounters were great without big crowds and we decided to grab an early lunch before it got busy. The food selection was good with Indian, Asian, and Western options and the prices were surprisingly affordable. I opted for a delicious Laksa and the kids… well they had nuggets! Oh well.
The regular tram service was a god-send when the girls began to tire after lunch. It meant that we could still see many of the animals from the comfort of the tram and have a rest from walking around in the heat. Most of the animals are not behind big fences or glass, but are instead on the other side of a moat which means you feel a lot more connected and close to them- even if you are driving past on the open tram.
Of all the animals we saw, and all the close encounters we had, the one that completely blew the mind of my 4 year old was when at the end of the Bird Show a white peacock strutted on stage. It then opened it’s gorgeous tail features and she just lost it! Her jaw dropped and she begged for me to take a photo of it. She announced that it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and she still talks about it. In fact, since arriving home she has taken that photo to pre-school to show everybody! It is moments like that that I will treasure from this holiday.
We had been told about a great Waterplay and Kids Activity area at the zoo but unfortunately it was closed the day we went. However, even without this section of the park, we spent a good five hours at Singapore Zoo and the kids (and us adults!) were thoroughly engaged all day. I don’t know how many times I commented on how gorgeous the grounds were and what a special place Singapore Zoo was- it took me by surprise!