The last time when I visited this place was when I was a kid. My mum brought me here. Though it was supposed to be a kind of bonding session, her mind was pretty much somewhere else. The trip turned out boring and it was all about looking at trees and branches. This time, I decided to visit this place, where I really love (cause you get to see animals without getting into the sun) with a friend. When I told my mum about going to the Night Safari, her first reaction was:
“WHAT TIME YOU GOING?”
I said 7.30?
“OH, I THOUGHT YOU GOING AT 10. SO DARK THERE. WHAT IF YOU FALL DOWN OR THE DEERS CHASE YOU HOW??”
Like seriously mum? Deers? HAHA. FYI, Im still stuck in SINGAPORE.
Yes, Im totally an over-protected single child at the age of 21 kind of girl.
Oh and theres a surprise at the end of the post so read on..
And now moving on..
As compared to the last time I went to the Night Safari, I must say that the trip has gotten more pleasant and a little more enjoyable. There’s now a total of 4 trails and two shows to watch and explore.
I arrived at 7.45pm.
Destination One: Thumbuakar Performance
Just located right outside of the entrance, is the Thumbuakar show. Its sort of a fire -blasting show where the performers do some stunts with their fire torches. Other than dancing to the music and adding some comic effects now and then, they do get audiences to participate as well. I personally find the performance alright only, while the other tourists were very supportive and entertained by them. My camera wasn’t able to take very good shots as its really hard to get the ISO and the shutter speed correct to capture this kind of fast-paced performance. (I am not very skilled and talking about cameras… I’ll share more later.) Since we arrived at 7.45 and the show was at 8pm, we thought that we’d still catch it. I’ll recommend you guys to catch this before entering the safari if you’re interested to. Makes no sense walking back again to catch it later.
And before I go on, here’s some reminders for you guys before even going for the visit.
Rule Number 1: Mosquito repellant = Your Needed Friend. (And spam it)
Rule Number 2: Bring an EXTREMELY good camera, don’t depend on your phone or else you’ll end up like me, wanting to take pictures but FAIL! (FYI: In order to protect the animals blabla, flash photography is NOT allowed. Also, the lighting in the park is freaking dark and without flash, you will be able to capture what? like the animal’s shadows or end up with just pure black images. Example below. So, pardon me for using some images from google.)
Rule Number 3: You will need the map. (The funny thing was, I wasn’t able to find any upon arriving. As such, I had to approach a ranger for one. The park is really FREAKING dark. JTS: There’s a moment during a trail where I could see shadows of something jumping around on the ground but couldn’t see what it was. I resorted to using a torch to navigate the route and when I finally saw the STUPID TOAD/FROG/AMPHIBIAN/ SLIMEY OBJECT in front of me, I screamed and startled the rest of the tourists. WAHAHA. ) So, expect yourself to get lost sometime when walking in the trails k?
Destination 2: Creature of the Night Show
Yes, just like every other zoos, there’s a show where animals are trained to perform for the visitors. You’ll get to the amphitheater after a short walk from the entrance. Thus, I’d prefer that you guys catch this immediately after the Thumbuakar show. Meaning, instead of heading for the tram, head the other direction for the show first.
Well well, I don’t know if you guys would believe me but its quite an awesome show. Other than showing how these nocturnal animals survive in the night, they tried to incorporate a little suspense every once in awhile and allowed ALOT of audience participation. Also, the animals were trained to walk down the aisle while the bigger ones were carried by their trainers. You’ll be in for a lot of fun as you’d never know when an animal might just pop up somewhere, maybe right next beside you!
I think its a raccoon. Poor image quality, I know 😦
Look at her shocked face!
Destination 3: Fishing Cat Trail
After the show end, its more than likely that everyone would rush to take the tram. Perhaps its just me but I’d prefer to have like the whole row of seats to myself on the tram since it’d be more comfortable and you’d be able to see the animals clearer at the both sides. As such, you may want to proceed to the Fishing Cat Trail first, just like what I did.
Hmm, I shan’t go too much in-depth about the trails as its pretty much like every other trails. A lot of walking in the forest and dark areas. Yes very dark.. (Am I glad that I wasn’t there when they had halloween at Night Safari. I imagine it to have been damn freaky given the dark forest areas. ) One thing you might want to note would be how its pretty hard to take pictures of the animals. So, if you’re there to take pics with your normal phone camera.. just give it up. At the beginning of the trail, I was very enthusiastic about taking pictures and was trying out all the settings. Towards the end? Forget it!
In the Fishing Cat trail, be on the look out for these animals: Barking Deer, Fishing Cat, Mousedeer, Himalayan Tahir, March Birds, Flying Fox, Civet, Pangolin, Binturong, Slow Loris, Indian Gharial and the Asian Otter.. The lighting here is bad. Either that or the animals tend to shun the soft spotlight used to help visitors spot the animals. Due to this, you’d probably spend ALOT of time trying to find them but to no avail. I was lucky today though as most of the animals “came out” to meet us. I was especially excited to see the Indian Gharials coming out of the surface of the water and being submerged again. Eerie eyes they have..
Destination 4: Leopard Trail
At the exit of the Fishing Cat Trail is the start of the Leopard Trail. Advance into this trail to see these animals: Eagle Owl, Clouded Leopard, Golden Cat, Leopard, Porcupine, Civet, Fruit Bat, Hog Badger, Tarsier, Spotted Mousedeer, Hog Badger and the Giant Flying Squirrel. I was quite disappointed over here though. Although I was able to spot most of the animals, but the leopards were all fast asleep. So it was like a big furry thing there in the glass which I couldn’t see its face :(. My heart OS: OMG, Im in the leopard trail but I cant see the leopard face! Sad max!)
Anyway, there are two exhibitions to note here, one belonging to the Fruit Bats and the other, the Giant Flying Squirrel. Entering these exhibitions will allow you a more intimate experience with these animals. You’ll find the bats flying around freely in these enclosures. Though so, its not that frightening since they’d pretty much either be still sleeping or enjoying their dinner. You’d most probably be able to walk through without them flying straight at you face. Note: MOST PROBABLY.
Destination 5: East Lodge Trail
If you’re someone who lacks of exercise and strength like me, you’d be pretty tired by the time you reach this trail. Take a break at Zebra’s cafe and get some rest and refreshments over here before you advance on.
Over here at the East Lodge trail, you’ll be able to see the Bat-eared Fox, Serval, Spotted Hyena, Bongo, Red River Hog, Babirusa, Anoa and the Sloth Bear.
Destination 6: The Wallaby Trail
The newest trail in the safari is the Wallaby Trail. Its a lot shorter as compared to the other trails. Though so, theres a Naracoorte Cave here which is made to mirror a real Cave where certain nocturnal animals stay at. There’s a mini waterfall too and its where you’ll find those dark and mysterious animals and insects like the scorpions, centipedes, snakes and spiders. EEW. I know. Other than the scary ones, the cute Wallabies can be found in their designated open enclosure where they are just a mini fence away. They’d be very close to you and they just look so cute. Love them. Wallabies. Wallabies. Wallabies. 🙂
Destination 7: The Tram
After finishing the Wallaby trail, you’ll end up at the entrance of the park where you started. Its not over yet! Do not forget the tram ride as there are some parts of the safari in which are not explorable without being on the tram. Although you might see some repeated animals, but the angle or the place where their exhibits are tend to be more tram-friendly than walk-friendly. Thus, you’d probably get a clearer view of the animals. In certain parts of the forest, the animals are allowed to roam free. So be prepared to be very close to the gentler animals like the Bufallos, the Tapir and the Deers. They may be within touchable proximity. Really! But of course, you’r not supposed or allowed to!
I’d say that the tram ride was pretty exciting as you’d be able to spot larger animals like the elephants, giraffes , zebras, lions and tigers. Oh, not forgetting the rhinoceros and the hippos too! Though so, the tram won’t stop for you to slowly take your time to do some photography so…. just forget about pictures!
Overall, the visit was tiring but happy at the same time. I started my journey at 7.45pm and ended at 11.30pm. Its nice to be close to the wild and to go around exploring again. Wakes the childlikeness inside you, the kind of keenness for excitement and adventure. So, if you’re getting too bored in life in Singapore, maybe you’d like to visit some place that you haven’t been to for a long time again! It may be a new wonderful experience right? Who knows?
Photo courtesy: Night Safari, Google and Tumblr.