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SINGAPORE ZOO > NIGHT SAFARI
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LOCATION:
Adjacent to Singapore Zoo's bus stop.

DESCRIPTION:
I thought the reception area of Night Safari is extremely well done. Ethnic music, thematic gift shops and restaurants, fire lamps and a 4x4 model synonymous of African safari wilderness set the mood and first impression on visitors. Honestly, it reminded me of the tribal council of the popular TV hit, Survivor.

I started my stroll along the Fishing Cat Trail. Animal display on offering here are mouse deer, Hilmalayan tahr, binturong, fishing cat, otters, leopard cat, barking deer, Indian gharial, marsh birds and flying fox (not to be mistaken with the gut-wrenching sport!). Note that not all of these animals can be easily spotted unless you wait patiently. For example, the fishing cat was actually busy, well, fishing along the stream. Hence it did take some time to spot one. I also managed to see the unique binturong which was sleeping on a tree branch. An Indian gharial belongs to the family of crocodile, so if you can't spot any significant differences, you are probably not alone on that one.

Then I headed to the Leopard Trail which has a selection of cat species like golden cat, leopard, clouded leopard and Malayan civet. Other displays in the trail loop include owl, porcupine, tarsier, long tail porcupine, hog badger and "mangrove walk" where you can see bats in the enclosure. There is also another enclosure that displays the unique giant flying squirrels which could fly like a bird from one tree branch to another. It was difficult to see them in action (they were mostly sedentary) but if you ever managed to see one in action, you will be awestruck like I did.

Exiting the Leopard Trail brought me to the East Lodge where one could take a much needed break from walking. Here, you can find bathrooms and a restaurant.

After the East Lodge, I came to a bigger display area called East Loop where more nocturnal animals can be viewed. There are giraffes, scimitar-horned Oryx, zebras, sloth bear, bat-eared foxes, servals, spotted hyenas (which seemed to be belligerent and ready to jump at me!), red lechwe, cape buffalos, hippos, bongo (a peculiar zebra-like creature with buffalo horns), babirusa (a cross-breed between a pig and a deer) and bearded pigs.

The East Loop trail ends and the Forest Giants trail started for me. It actually offers no animal display. A selection of large wood trees are grown here where you gaze about, although at night, the view was rather limited and could not be thoroughly enjoyed. Nonetheless, the feature attraction in this trail is a suspension bridge which ironically named The Bridge of Suspense. While there was no real suspense in offering, you could still play with your imagination as if there are dinosaurs waiting down below the bridge to feast on unwary passers.

The bridge crossing marked the end of my walking tour. The trail would lead you back to the front entrance and reception area of Night Safari.

MY VERDICT:
Too great expectation, a wee bit disappointing. Also not a great place for photography unless you own a super DSLR camera. But don't let that stop you because I still have to say that Night Safari is a must visit when in Singapore!

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