Visiting Mandai Singapore? This wildlife reserve is a haven for animal lovers. Here’s everything you need to know before you go.
When we first visited Singapore, one of the top destinations on our list was the Mandai Wildlife Reserve.
If you’re not clued up on what Mandai Singapore is, it’s a wildlife centre and zoo where you can see – and meet – plenty of native Singaporean animal species. But, not only that – embark on fun journeys through the jungle, and get up close and personal with special creatures.1
We only visited two of the parks (River Wonders and Night Safari) on our last trip and we’re already planning our next visit.
Ready to explore? Here’s why you need to take a trip to Mandai Singapore, as well as a bumper guide to visiting the reserve.
A Guide to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve
With its ethical approach to animal conservation, we think Singapore Zoo is one of the best in the world.
The zones have been meticulously designed to replicate the natural habitats of the animal kingdom. And you can see everything from graceful elephants roaming the lush landscape to cheeky orangutans swinging through the treetops.
The zoo hosts plenty of activities, including wildlife shows, animal encounters, and even feeding sessions that allow you to get up close and personal with some of your favourite creatures.
Best Things to See and Do at Singapore Zoo
Animal Feeding: From giraffes to zebras, and even giant tortoises, the zookeepers at Singapore Zoo will talk you through feeding time and let you have a go for yourself. Fancy feeding your favourite creatures? Book a feeding session online.
Breakfast in the Wild: One of the most incredible experiences at Singapore Zoo is the Breakfast in the Wild add-on, which allows you to chow down on delicious fare whilst being surrounded by the sounds of the rainforest.
Better yet, the menu is planet-friendly and the keepers will share tales of the fascinating creatures in the zoo as you enjoy your breakfast.
We adored River Wonders. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Singapore (and not just because of the capybaras, we promise). Nestled within the tranquil heart of Singapore’s Mandai precinct, this park promises an enchanting escape – all set around a meandering river.
Step onto the elevated boardwalks and marvel as vibrant birds flutter and proboscis monkeys leap from tree to tree. The immersive exhibits allow you to observe a myriad of aquatic creatures, from adorable manatees to elusive freshwater turtles.
Best Things to See and Do at River Wonders
Once Upon a River: This show was an adorable presentation by the knowledgeable zookeepers about the creatures that reside at Mandai. Expect to see – and learn plenty about – capybaras, huge lizards, birds, and plenty more.
Amazon River Quest: We were so sad that the Amazon River Quest was closed when we visited Mandai Singapore. Head out on a magical journey along the river and keep your eyes peeled for elusive Amazonian wildlife that hide amongst the lush vegetation.
Pandas: The pandas were a highlight of our visit, so we had to include them here. The two babies were super cheeky and put on a great show for everyone, tumbling and playing.
One of the parks we didn’t visit was Bird Paradise. To be totally honest, we don’t think it looked great before. However, it has recently undergone a total renovation and has a sparkly new name and look.
Step into this enchanting sanctuary, and you’ll be transported into a world of vibrant colours, melodious chirping, and awe-inspiring flights. You’ll spot an abundance of feathered creatures, from the majestic peacocks displaying their very fancy plumage to the flamingos wading in tranquil ponds.
The carefully designed habitats provide a haven for these birds, allowing them to thrive in an environment that closely resembles their natural homes.
Best Things to See and Do at Bird Paradise
Penguin Cove Restaurant: The newly-opened Penguin Cove Restaurant is one of the major highlights of the entire park (and the main reason we are so keen to go back). Dine on a toothsome international buffet while you enjoy wall to wall views of the penguins chilling.
The most unique thing to do in Singapore’s Mandai Wildlife Reserve is the Night Safari.
This park showcases the fascinating nocturnal animals that often remain hidden from our view during the day. We loved that the park’s lighting mimics the moonlit ambiance, allowing you to witness the animals’ natural behaviours under the night sky.
Walking trails offer a more immersive experience, where you can explore at your own pace and encounter creatures like adorable wallabies and mischievous fruit bats up close. And, for an even more thrilling experience, embark on a guided night hike to discover the secrets of the rainforest and its nocturnal inhabitants.
Best Things to See and Do at the Night Safari
Night Safari Tram: The Night Safari Tram is a thrilling experience that sees you board a safari vehicle and enter into the jungle in the pitch black darkness.
Step aboard the open-air tram, and let it guide you through seven geographical regions, each revealing a captivating array of creatures from the elusive Asian elephants to the Malayan tigers. Being driven around the park as you hear the sounds of chirping, and roaring all around you is quite the experience.
Unique Experiences in Mandai Singapore
Breakfast in the Wild – Singapore Zoo
Begin your day with a warm welcome and be escorted to a specially curated breakfast setting amidst the tranquil surroundings of the zoo. Enjoy the company of charismatic animals as they roam freely in their habitats nearby.
Savour a sumptuous spread of gourmet dishes prepared by skilled chefs, blending international flavours with local delicacies.
During your meal, the knowledgeable zookeepers will share captivating insights about the wildlife and their conservation efforts. Learn about the unique behaviours, habitats, and conservation challenges faced by the animals.
After breakfast, take your time to explore the zoo at your leisure, as the experience includes exclusive access before the park opens to the public.
Glamping in the Wild – Singapore Zoo
Looking for a once in a lifetime experience? This epic sleepover at Singapore Zoo fits the bill. Spend a night in a beautifully furnished tent, complete with cosy beds and modern amenities.
As dusk settles, a symphony of nocturnal sounds fills the air – the close proximity to the zoo ensures that you’ll be serenaded by the gentle calls of animals, adding a touch of wilderness to your glamping adventure.
As the night unfolds, head out on an exclusive guided night safari, led by expert guides who will unveil the secrets of the nocturnal world. Traverse the zoo in a private buggy, observing the fascinating behaviours of animals under the moonlit sky.
After the exhilarating safari, indulge in dinner under the stars. What more could you possibly want?
Amazon River Quest – River Wonders
Board a riverboat and set off on a simulated journey through diverse and breathtaking landscapes inspired by the Amazon River. As you glide along the water, surrounded by lush greenery and intricate rock formations, you’ll encounter an array of wildlife that call this extraordinary ecosystem home.
The journey doesn’t end with just visual delights; the experience is enhanced with realistic sound effects, temperature changes, and even mist that recreates the Amazonian atmosphere, immersing you in the sights, sounds, and sensations of this iconic river.
Glamping with the Manatees – River Wonders
Possibly the coolest thing about Singapore Mandai is the chance to glamp with manatees. Yes, really. As evening falls, prepare to be mesmerized by the fairytale-like tents that await you.
Hidden away next to the manatees in the Amazon Flooded Forest. These cosy accommodations provide the perfect backdrop for a restful night’s sleep. Drift off to sleep surrounded by the gentle presence of these magnificent creatures.
Mandai Singapore: What to Know Before You Go
How to get to the Mandai Reserve
The easiest way to get to Mandai Singapore is to take the North South Line (AKA red line) to Khatib and then hop on the Mandai Shuttle. Though, you can also take the line to Choa Chu Kang or Ang Mo Kio and get bus 927 or 138.
As well as this, you could get a Grab (taxi) – but it would be very expensive (and the MRT system is brilliant).
How to get Tickets
You can purchase tickets for individual parks online before you go. Though the Mandai Reserve also offers a multi-park Mandai Pass (which is what we opted for on our visit). These passes are great because you can select 2 or 3 of the parks and even choose food and activity add ons.
If you think you’re going to get enough use out of it, it’s worth getting an annual membership. This gives you plenty of perks and free entry into each of the parks year round. If you’re not sure, for example, you would need to visit four times throughout the year for the basic pass to be worth it.
Which Mandai Wildlife Reserve park is best?
So, if you only have time to visit one, which park should you visit? It depends on your interests, however we highly recommend River Wonders and the Night Safari (this is definitely the most unique park).
How many parks can you visit in one day?
While you could technically visit all four parks in one day, we think that choosing 2 or 3 is the best. When we go back, we’ll do River Wonders in the morning before hitting up the Bird Paradise (and the Penguin Cove Restaurant, of course) in the afternoon.