When I decided on Singapore as the location for my visa run, I was instantly bombarded by emails from several of my readers simultaneously ordering me to visit Singapore Zoo.
With that kind of peer pressure piling on me, I weakly agreed.
You see, I don’t even really like zoos. Most animals completely terrify me and the ones that don’t are kind of boring. Like snails. And fish. Then there’s the whole depressing aspect of seeing unhappy animals in cages and behind glass panels. It doesn’t seem like much of a fun day out to me.
However, Singapore Zoo is one of the very few “open-concept” zoos in the world. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures separated from the visitors by moats. These moats are sneakily hidden by plants or rocks so you really feel like nothing is separating you from the animals.
I did my research and came to the conclusion that if I was ever going to like a zoo, Singapore Zoo would probably be the one.
As soon as I entered the zoo, I took on a completely new persona. I became Indiana Jones. I found myself sauntering down narrow pathways and clambering over rocks while casually whipping vines and branches from my face. I only wish I’d had a bandana to wrap around my face to complete the look.
Everything felt so realistic and even the bathrooms stuck to the rainforest theme and made you feel like you were outside peeing in the bushes.
Following the advice of a friend, I arrived at the zoo at around 3pm and although it was just starting to cool down, being Singapore, it was still incredibly humid so make sure you take a bottle of water (or ten) with you so that you don’t dehydrate.
The other benefit of arriving mid-afternoon is that by this point most of the children have run out of energy and left the park – it was much quieter and I didn’t have to deal with screaming kids running around my legs excitedly as they so often seem to do.
Altogether I spent three hours wandering around the park. Here are some of my favourite photos of the animals I saw.
And my absolute favourites – the white tigers. I adore these photos of them.
As I was just about to leave I decided to visit one more exhibit.
The naked mole rats.
Even taking this photo made me squirm and shudder in fear. I was even more horrified when I learnt that mole rats live in colonies ruled by a Queen, who is the only mole rat that is allowed to mate. Her urine contains chemicals that keep all of the other females in the colony sterile!
After all that excitement, my stamina started to wane and so I exited the zoo and headed to a bench outside to have a little nap before going on to visit the Night Safari next door.
Admittedly, I haven’t been to many zoos around the world, but without a doubt Singapore Zoo was the best one I’ve been to so far and is definitely the only one I’d consider visiting again in the future. I genuinely felt like the animals were happy and well looked after and the lack of barriers and cages made it a fun and unique way to observe animals that you may not necessarily see in the wild during your lifetime.
Have you ever been to Singapore Zoo? What’s the best zoo you’ve ever visited?
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ticket for Singapore Zoo in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.