River Safari: A walk along the wild side

Mother’s Day was the day we set aside for our first visit to River Safari, a Singapore attraction flanked by the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari Singapore, both of which are must visits for locals and visitors.

Millions have visited since River Safari officially opened in 2014 and we were delighted that we could finally find time to check out this item on our bucket list.

On a scorching day, we were grateful that the exhibits were air-conditioned at certain stretches and well-sheltered at many other spots.

The first thing that we noticed was that the S$160 million park is not about riding a boat on a river and viewing exhibits along the way. The boat ride at the mid-point was a tour around the reservoir.

Rather, it is a river-themed zoo and aquarium, similar in part to the now defunct Underwater World. The exhibits were segmentised according to rivers of the world — Mississippi River, Congo River, River Nile, Ganges River, Mekong River, Mary River, and Yangtze River. I studied many of these during my geography lessons in years gone by.

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The 12-hectare River Safari features wildlife — fish and animals — found in or around these rivers. From the alligator gar to the giant salamander, and squirrel monkeys to milky crane, many species in the animal kingdom could be seen up close.

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Special mention must be given to the Giant Panda Forest where Kai Kai and Jia Jia are teh stars. Kai Kai is supposed to be the more outgoing one but it was the shy Jia Jia that won the hearts of visitors when we stopped by. She was having a hearty meal of bamboo (see video at the top) and made for an Instagrammable photo opportunity.

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Another exhibit worthy of mention is the Squirrel Monkey Forest, where the tiny monkeys roamed freely.

River Safari is definitely worth a visit if you’ve not done so. Everything can be seen in half a day so the rest of the day or night can be spent at the award-winning Singapore Zoo and Night Safari Singapore.

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