The River is Calling: Review of the Singapore River Safari!

The River Safari is one of the newer attractions in Singapore, and for those who enjoyed the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari or the SEA Aquarium (reviewed here), I would highly recommend this as an fun day out with the family.

Despite the name, the park is explored mostly on foot, and visitors meander through six themed areas: the Mississippi, the Congo, the Nile, the Ganges, the Mekong and the Yangtze. 

For me, the highlight of the park was the red panda and giant panda enclosure, which featured two red pandas (pictured above) and two giant pandas, named Jia Jia and Kai Kai, in a climate-controlled bio-dome. 

The cool enclosure is a welcome respite from the heat and humidity outside, and the environment created for the pandas living here is probably the best I have ever seen. Unlike pandas I have seen in over zoos, Jia Jia and Kai Kai looked clean, healthy and active. They are such adorably cute creatures, and it was amazing to see them interacting (even if it was in a zoo).  

The River Safari also features two rides (which are not included in the admission price): the River Safari Cruise and the Amazon River Quest. 

The River Safari Cruise is a 10 minute boat ride and is designed to make you feel as if you are embarking on a real-life safari. The animals you can see include elephants, rhinos and giraffes (which are across the river and actually form part of the Night Safari). 

The Amazon River Quest is a slightly more adventurous boat ride (there is a splash, especially if you are sitting in the front row of the boat) and allows visitors to view various animals (many of them only separated from the boat by a canal - no cages!) which call the Amazon home, including flamingos, capybaras, various monkeys, tapirs and (enclosed in glass) a jaguar. 

There were a number of animals which I had never heard of or seen before, including an alligator snapping turtle and the aptly named Mississippi paddle fish.

Another highlight was the huge aquarium full of manatee (similar to the dugong), which reminded me (in scale) of the manta ray oceanarium at the SEA Aquarium. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the River Safari. The displays were informative and interesting, and the enclosures were very large and the animals looked well cared-for. 

  1. Purchase your tickets online. Priced at the door at SG$28.00 (Adult), if you have a Singapore-issued Amex, DBS, POSB, UOB or OCBC credit card, you receive a 15% discount on the admission price. All other credit cards will receive a 10% discount. 
  2. Boat rides are not included in the admission price and will cost SG$5.00 (Adult) per ride. I would recommend purchasing these in advance (and at the same time of purchasing your entrance fee).
  3. Try to visit during non-peak times (weekdays, days that are not public holidays). When we went (on a random Tuesday), there were very few tourists, no queues to enter into the Panda Forest, and no queues at the boat rides. It was awesome. 

xx Amanda


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