Singapore’s Top 5 Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences
By: Mike Jerrard
The only island city-country in the world, Singapore has figured out how to make a large sprawling city seem somewhat wild and natural. Whoever is behind the urban planning of this city deserves the utmost recognition. They have created something truly special with foliage and color seemingly growing out of the high rises as though they were lush hillsides creating an urban jungle like no other. There is so much green space in and around Singapore that it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to just a Top 5 list of great outdoor experiences but the following are highly rated attractions that will leave you breathless.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park & Nature Trail
It’s hard to believe such a wild jungle exists within this large city. Easily accessible via Singapore’s incredible MRT or a taxi if you prefer, MacRitchie will give your legs a workout with its many hiking trail. You are sure to see its resident long tailed macaques who are quite aware of their cuteness and will use that to their advantage when stealing whatever goods from you that they can make use of.
In addition to its well groomed network of trails, you will find the HSBS treetop walk as well as a beautiful area to canoe or kayak. Your eyes will enjoy the beautiful sights of exotic flora and fauna including monitor lizards, colugos, Sunda pangolin, pythons, pitcher plants, rubber trees, and much more. It a lush jungle you could lose yourself in but thanks to well sign posting you won’t make that literal.
Attracting millions of visitors annually and for good reason, the Singapore zoo has created an environment which showcases its animals in natural setting to make it seems as though they were wild. You will be treated to the world’s largest captive collection of orangutans. It also prides itself in housing a large number of threatened species.
Its dedication to wildlife conservation drew the admiration of the late great Steve Irwin you made the zoo a sister zoo to the famous Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. They are the only zoo to successfully breed polar bears in the tropics which may be important as we continually lose the arctic to global warming.
Its Night Safari is like no other allowing visitors to see incredible wildlife and what they get up to at night. The animals seem to come alive as darkness falls as will your senses as you take the tram and walk on foot through this incredible experience. Book the VIP treatment for a more private personalized experience.
If this wasn’t enough or you want to get your feet wet even more than dive into the River Safari which houses the world’s largest freshwater aquarium as well as scenic river cruises.
Singapore Zoo should be congratulated on their conservation efforts having bred many endangered species such as tiger, tapirs, and Asian lions.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
A world class eco-tourism destination in Singapore’s northwest is a bird watcher’s dream. Rich in shorebirds, the reserve is also home to eagles, the occasional saltwater crocodile, and the massive and impressively beautiful Atlas moth. Also present are the comical mudskippers, amphibious fish that walk on land. You can find yourself immersed in nature just a 10-15 minute drive from Kranji MRT station.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Plant and flower enthusiasts will truly find themselves in heaven in this UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Housing over 10,000 species of plants and the world renowned National Orchid Garden containing thousands of species and hybrids, this masterpiece of a garden has received countless awards including Asia’s top park attraction.
Visitors will find visiting the gardens extremely easy as its opening hours are 5am to midnight! At nearly 2 miles in length, it would be easy to lose yourself in this Garden of Eden from open to close. With a beautiful tropical rainforest and events throughout the year, there is something the whole family can enjoy. A visit is a must when in Singapore, which is confirmed by the 5 million annual visitors that come to experience this 150 year old garden.
Pangolin photo by: Ruslan rugoals
Bukit Timah National Park
In the center of Singapore lies one of its greatest treasures loved by many of its locals as well as tourists. The Bukit Timah NP is the perfect place for the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, or abseiling, this is the place for you.
The park has just completed a two year long restoration project which has improved safety for its visitors and the park is now fully open to the public.
Wildlife lovers will find numerous subjects to photograph, some 500+ to be exact. Pangolins, macaques, and countless bird life like drongos and bulbuls. Those into the more creepy crawly critters can hunt for pythons and many alien looking insects.