The Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore.
The concept of a nocturnal park in Singapore was mooted in the 1980s by the former executive chairman of the Singapore Zoo, Dr Ong Swee Law. Constructed at a cost of S$63 million, the Night Safari was officially opened on 26 May 1994 and occupies 40 hectares (0.4 km²) of secondary rainforest adjacent to the Singapore Zoo and Upper Seletar Reservoir.
The Night Safari currently houses a total of 1,040 animals of 120 species, of which 29% are threatened species. The zoo is managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and about 1.1 million visitors visit the safari per year. The Night Safari received its 11 millionth visitor on 29 May 2007.
Unlike traditional nocturnal houses, which reverse the day-night cycle of animals so they will be active by day, the Night Safari is an entire open-air zoo set in a humid tropical forest that is only open at night. It is divided into eight geographical zones, which can be explored either on foot via three walking trails, or by tram.
The animals of the Night Safari, ranging from Indian rhinoceros to tarsiers, are made visible by lighting that resembles moonlight. Although it is brighter than full moonlight by a few orders of magnitude, it is dim enough not to disturb nocturnal and crepuscular animals' behaviour. London based lighting designer Simon Corder created the lighting for Night Safari.
Exhibits in the safari come from South America and other parts of Asia. The naturalistic enclosures simulate the animals' native habitat. Animals are separated from visitors with natural barriers, rather than caged, similar to the Singapore Zoo's open concept. Instead of vertical prison-like cages, cattle grids were laid all over the park to prevent hoofed animals from moving one habitat to another. These are grille-like metal sheets with gaps wide enough for animals' legs to go through. Moats were designed to look like streams and rivers to enable fishing cats and servals to be put on show in open areas, and hot wires were designed to look like twigs to keep animals away from the boundaries of their enclosures.
Cultural performances are a regular feature at the safari, and include tribal dances, blowpipe demonstrations and fire eating displays. Creatures of the Night Show is a performance presented by the animals in the Night Safari.
There are a number of food and beverage outlets in the Night Safari which include Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, Bongo Burgers, and Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop. Visitors can also experience dining on the move with the Cocktail Safari Express and Gourmet Safari Express.
- Singapore Tourism Awards
- Top 10 Best Family Experience (2006)
- Best Leisure Attraction Experience (2003, 2004, 2006)
- Leisure Attraction of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000)
- Best Trail Marshall of the Year, Mohammed Munzir Aziz. (2008)
- Best Trail Marshall of the Year, Mohammad Ridhwan Shahril. (2009)
- Best Ground crew of the Year, Vijayeswaran Visvalingam. (2009)
- X Troopers Award of the Year (2010)
- In September 1996, a tiger named Giggo escaped when the double doors in its yard were left open, and was put down.
- In April 2005, a Chinese tourist was scratched by a cat during the Creatures of the Night Show.
- In 2004, the Night Safari saw the birth of a giant flying squirrel, Asia's first.
- In 2006, the Night Safari marked Southeast Asia's first in-captivity birth of a giant anteater.
- In February 2008, Night Safari welcomes its park's 26th male tapir and the two-month old baby is already out on exhibit.
Public bus services
3 bus services (services 138, 926, 927) stop outside busstop B01 of Mandai Lake Road, a bus stop the Night Safari shares with the Singapore Zoo. An additional service service 171, stops outside Mandai Road. People who want to take this service to the zoo, must alight at Mandai Road and walk down to Mandai Lake Road. Do take note of the last bus for each bus service.
|Bus Stop Code: 048131 (S'pore Zoological Gdns)|
|SBS Transit Trunk Services|
|138||Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange||Last bus departs Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange at 2345 hrs daily.|
|SMRT Buses Trunk Services|
|926||Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange||Operates on Sundays and Public Holidays only.Last bus departs Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange at 0600 hrs|
|927||Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange||Last bus departs Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange at 2330 hrs|
- Singapore Zoo
- Jurong BirdPark
- River Safari
- Lin Xinyi, "Night Safari: From trailblazer to tourism icon", The Straits Times, 31 May 2007