We got our tickets online – and I highly recommend doing so if you can because you actually get quite a substantial discount if you do (plus, no queue!) – and made our way straight to the entrance. The River Safari is located on the right of the Singapore Zoo entrance so it’s pretty straightforward once you’re in that area.
Amazon River Quest
At the same time, we booked the 11AM slot for the Amazon River Quest, so we brisk-walked our way there first. (You have to pass through the Amazon Flooded Forest and walk for another 15 minutes or so) It was very much like lining up to go for a theme park ride and thank goodness we were early, or we would’ve probably been swamped with other visitors later in the day.
The River Quest is very much like a tram ride through open enclosures, only that you were on water. And because of the narrow “river” you were going through, you got to see the animals up close (almost touching distance but please don’t touch the animals). My only regret through that ride was how I spotted a Toucan but did not get the chance to take a picture of it. Oh well.
P/S – Brace yourself for the start of the ride. =P
Rivers of the World
The River Safari is heavily themed, going from one iconic river of the world to the next. Starting with the Mississippi River, it flows into the Congo, the River Nile, Ganges River, Murray River, Mekong River, and the Yangtze River, where the Pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia reside.
Each river is carefully themed, with colourful insights and concise write-ups on either side of the enclosure. Featuring the animals living predominantly in or along the rivers, one of the rivers that captured our attention for a while was the Mekong River – mostly because of the clear waters and the variety of huge fish and rays.
Perhaps it also had to do with its proximity and how close such nature was to our city.
Amazon Flooded Forest
This is, without a doubt, my favourite enclosure to the entire park. Apart from the fact that it is fully air-conditioned (this, we did not know until we actually visited), the artist’s impressions of the Amazon Flooded Forest before the River Safari officially opened was one of the main draws of the place for me.
The central focus of this place was definitely the tank and seating area, which is located on a lower level. The area is dimmed, replicating the shade of the forest, while you faced the giant take, where you could see the roots of the forest. You could see manatees feeding, rays gliding, and for the both of us, a lazy catfish who refused to leave a single stump in the middle of the tank.
Needless to say, I enjoyed my day thoroughly at the River Safari. Most of the place was well-sheltered, with bright themes and an easy-to-follow route which will not leave you wondering if you had missed anything out. I did hope that I could have gone on the Amazon River Quest a few more times though (but extra cost).
Regardless, the River Safari is a nice place to spend the day at. To find out more or to book tickets, click here.