Considered to be the best rainforest zoo in the world, the Singapore Zoo opened its doors in 1973, and houses over 300 different species of animals, 16% of which are listed as a threatened species. In 1994, the Singapore Zoo launched the Night Safari, the very first safari park in the world dedicated to nocturnal animals, giving visitors the chance to see over 2500 animals in their natural nocturnal habitat. The best way to begin your Night Safari adventure is by hopping on for a guided tram ride, which takes visitors across seven different geographical zones.
The Tram Safari begins at the Himalayan Foothills, where visitors will be able to see Himalayan tahrs, otherwise known as wild mountain goats, balancing their way across rocky outcrops, as well as markhors, which are the largest goats in the world and have an almost mythical appearance about them. From here, the tram enters the Indian Subcontinent, with its striped hyenas and Gir lions, the latter of which the Night Safari has been successfully breeding, adding to the meager 300 Gir lions that are left in the wild today. Equatorial Africa is next on the route, where visitors will see everything from Cape giraffes to Nile hippos, before entering the Indo-Malayan Region, home to red river hogs. Next up is the Asian Riverine Forest, where the main highlight are the Asian elephants, as well as the free-roaming Malayan tapirs. The Axis deer, Indian wolf, and greater Asian rhinoceros can then be seen in the Nepalese River Valley, before the tram makes its way to the final geographic zone, the Burmese Hillside, which is home to animals such as the Asiatic black bear and the Malayan tiger.
In addition to the guided tram ride, the Night Safari offers four different walking trails where visitors can experience a much closer view of some of the nocturnal animals. At the Fishing Cat Trail, visitors can watch this stealthy hunter stalk its prey, as well as see barking deer, flying foxes and pangolins. The Leopard Trail boasts the largest collection of wildlife indigenous to South East Asia, home to Sri Lankan leopards, clouded leopards, Gir lions and the golden cat. The East Lodge Trail is where visitors can look into the eyes of the endangered Gir lion, while also listening to the cackling laughter of the spotted hyenas in the distance. The Wallaby Trail is a recent addition to the Night Safari, and was inspired by the wildlife of the Australian Outback. Other than the Fishing Cat Trail, the other three walking trails are all inter-connected, making it easy to enjoy one longer, animal-filled trek.
While most people visit the Night Safari for the sole purpose of seeing the animals, the evening shows that are held are also definitely worth experiencing. The most popular show is the Thumbuakar Performance, where a team of pyro warriors perform cultural dances, flame throwing demonstrations, and show off their fire-eating skills. The Creatures of the Night show is also quite popular, and brings together a few of the nocturnal creatures that have unique skills, on a gorgeous rainforest stage.
The Singapore Zoo and its Night Safari have won numerous awards over the years, with the Night Safari alone welcoming over 1 million visitors each year. For those who want a custom and personalized tour of the Night Safari, the Safari Adventurer Tour is available, and features a dedicated guide that will offer a private and VIP tour of the park.