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Ultimate Guide To Mandai Wildlife Reserve – Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, Night Safari & Bird Paradise 

Mandai Wildlife Reserve


Many of us have pleasant childhood memories from visiting the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and Night Safari. No surprise there, as these parks are filled with wildlife that come from all over the world. South America, Africa, Australia – you name it, they have it. 

Take this as your sign to relive your days as a young’un and plan a trip over with the fam this weekend. Should your memories of the parks be rusty, we’ve compiled all there is to know about the Mandai Wildlife Reserve in this guide. Read on to find out more: 

Table of Contents

Mandai Wildlife Reserve– Singapore Zoo – Best things to do at the Singapore Zoo1. Hop on a free buggy tour before deciding which enclosures to visit2. Watch 3 animal shows & pet the animals3. Walk around the Fragile Forest & snap selfies with the animals4. Splash around at Rainforest KidzworldOther experiences you can sign up for5. Breakfast in the Wild (from $35)6. Be a zookeeper for a day ($380)Food at Singapore Zoo– River Wonders – Best things to do at River Wonders1. See massive creatures at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium2. Get up-close with the animals at the Once Upon A River show3. Find Le Le, the first panda cub born in Singapore4. Visit the free-roaming animals at Amazonia EncountersOther experiences you can sign up for5. Take a boat ride at Amazon River Quest ($5)6. Go on the Panda-Mania Tour ($880/5 pax)Food at River Wonders– Night Safari – Best things to do at Night Safari1. Catch the Creatures of the Night performance2. Get lit at the LED lights show3. Ride the free tram to see all the animalsOther experiences you can sign up for4. Feed the Indian Rhinos ($10)Food at Night Safari– Bird Paradise – Tips for visiting the Mandai Wildlife ReservePlan a trip to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve


– Singapore Zoo – 


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo

The Singapore Zoo needs no introduction. It’s a go-to spot for family outings, cutesie couple dates, and even school excursions. With over 50 enclosures and hundreds of animals to check out, there’s plenty to cover here. 


Best things to do at the Singapore Zoo


1. Hop on a free buggy tour before deciding which enclosures to visit


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zooFeel free to ask the friendly tram conductors questions about the zoo. 

Once you’ve entered the zoo, you’ll see the iconic tiger-inspired trams driving around. For the uninitiated, these tram rides are free for all to hop aboard, and there are 4 stations across 4 corners of the zoo. The last tram operates around 5.30pm-6.15pm, and each tram comes at 3-5 minute intervals – so you don’t have to run if you missed one. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zooHop off at Tram Station 1 to glimpse the orangutans. 

The tram covers the entire zoo and you can choose to alight at any of the stations if any enclosures caught your eye. The 1st stop starts at the entrance near the Primate Kingdom, and the 2nd will bring you to the pavilion by the lake. The 3rd puts you at the Wild Africa enclosures and the last stop is nearby the Fragile Forest and children’s petting zoo.


2. Watch 3 animal shows & pet the animals


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo splash safari

Set your alarm for 10.30am or 5pm as the Splash Safari show happens then. Watch a lively performance by the zoo’s California sea lion that charms audiences with an array of tricks and stunts.

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo splash safariJoseph Schooling in sea lion form? 

Be warned – those sitting in the front row will witness firsthand the mighty splash of the sea lion. If you’d like to stay dry, avoid the blue benches. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo rainforest fights back

Another show to catch would be the Rainforest Fights Back at 12pm and 2.30pm. An array of performances await you, with “actors” that include ring-tailed lemurs, greater hog badgers, and macaws. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo rainforest fights back

An adorable otter will teach you the importance of recycling, and the ending will feature an aerial extravaganza of various birds taking flight. There aren’t any splash zones here, so you can chope the front row seats for the best view. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo animal friends

A show that’s closer to home is the Animal Friends presentation that happens every 1.30pm and 4pm. It features domesticated animals such as Golden Retrievers, Japanese Spitz, birds, mice, and cats. They carry out a string of show-stopping stunts guided by the zoo’s rangers. Of course, all animals are duly rewarded with yummy treats. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo animal friendsMost of the animals are rescued and adopted. 

We know, your fingers are itchin’ to pet these furbabies. There’ll be a meet-and-greet session with the stars after the show, and you can gently pet them too. 

These shows are free for all, and it’s recommended that you pre-book your tickets in case the zoo rangers ask for verification. The venues are all sheltered too, but note that the shows are subject to weather conditions. If you’re unsure of the show schedules, feel free to check with the staff.


3. Walk around the Fragile Forest & snap selfies with the animals


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo fragile forest

If you want to get up close and personal with some wildlife, the Fragile Forest is a pit stop you’ll enjoy. Stroll through the butterfly enclosure first, before entering a biodome that’s chock full of free-roaming animals. Welcoming you into their home are the crowned pigeons, mousedeers, eclectus parrots, and Malayan flying foxes. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo fragile forest

Take your time here to spot these animals as they can be a little shy around humans. While photography with these critters are allowed, remember not to feed or touch them.  


4. Splash around at Rainforest Kidzworld


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo rainforest kidzworld

The highlight for kids will definitely be Rainforest Kidzworld. The young – and young at heart – can run wild and wet at the Wet Play Area, where there are animal-themed water slides, mini fountains, and a giant water bucket that’ll dunk water every couple of minutes. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo rainforest kidzworld

To dry off, take a ride on the Wild Animal Carousel that’s beside the gift shop. It costs $4/pax and lil ones can saddle up on life-like seats with options that include giraffes, rhinos, and eagles. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo rainforest kidzworld buddy barnMeet Rudy, the curious bunny. 

Round up your time at Rainforest Kidzworld with a trip to Buddy Barn, which houses smaller animals such as rabbits, ferrets, and parrots. There’s an interaction area in the middle where rabbits hop around freely. Under the zoo ranger’s supervision, children can enter and mingle with the buns

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo houbii rope course

Walk out of the Rainforest Kidzworld and you’ll see the Houbii Rope Course – this high element course is next to the Ah Meng memorial. Tarzan wannabes can try out the full course at $25/pax, and kids below 1.1m can go for the mini rope course ($20/pax) instead.


Other experiences you can sign up for


5. Breakfast in the Wild (from $35)


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo breakfast in the wildImage credit: @little_kosaji.sg via Instagram

Start your weekend mornings with excitement at the Ah Meng Restaurant during the Breakfast in the Wild experience. Happening daily from 9am-10.30am, this riveting affair will let you interact with animals while indulging in tasty grub. 

There’ll be photo opportunities with anteaters, macaws, coatimundis, and orangutans. You’ll even get to pet the iguanas – they’re chill reptiles so you don’t have to worry about them snatching your pancakes. Book a slot at least 3 days in advance. Tickets cost $45/adult and $35/child.


6. Be a zookeeper for a day ($380)


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo zookeeper for a dayImage credit: Mandai Wildlife Reserve via Facebook

Those with aspiring vets or animal lovers at home can sign up for the Zookeeper for a Day activity, available every Saturday from 9am-1.45pm. Kids aged 6-12 years old will get to learn first-hand the BTS of caring for the animals, including the proper way to feed and clean them. You can book a session via the Singapore Zoo website


Food at Singapore Zoo


mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo

Your tummy is probably growling from all that sightseeing. Dining options are aplenty here, and there are 8 restaurants to suit any craving. Go for a quick bite at KFC or get a sandwich at Ah Meng Bistro to chomp on the go. 

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo There are restaurants located outside the entrance of the zoo so members of the public can access them as well.

mandai wildlife reserve - singapore zoo Seating places at the zoo, including an alfresco area near the entrance. 

Singapore Zoo ADMISSION FEEFrom $48 (Local adult) | From $33 (Local child) ADDRESS80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826 Opening Hours:Thursday 08:30-18:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Tuesday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Wednesday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Thursday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Friday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Saturday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM
Sunday 08:30 AM-06:00 PM

GOOGLE REVIEWS4.6 (37635)CONTACT INFORMATION+65 6269 3411 More InformationRECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $45.60 image$46.95imageCheapest$45.60image$46.76


– River Wonders – 


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders

Formerly known as River Safari, this park is where you can learn all about the creatures of all the major rivers of the world. There are over 260 land and aquatic species spread across River Wonders, and you can follow the recommended route of exploring the trail in a clockwise direction as you’ll reach the eateries quicker. 


Best things to do at River Wonders


1. See massive creatures at the world’s largest freshwater aquarium


mandai wildlife reserve - river wondersThe entire enclosure is sheltered with air-conditioning. 

You might’ve seen this money shot on your friend’s Instagram – it’s actually located at the Amazon Flooded Forest. This massive tank is home to a tonne of marine animals, such as the arapaimas, red-tailed catfish, and discus fish. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders amazon flooded forestIs that a … mermaid? Sorry to burst your bubble, it’s actually a manatee floating around the tank. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders

There’s also a smaller pool in the enclosure where you can peer in and catch sight of smaller aquatic animals such as the stingrays, gracefully gliding around at the bottom. You’ll have to resist the temptation to reach in and touch them, as interaction with the animals is not allowed. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wondersOur writer “water-bending” with the otter. 

Another highlight here is the tank that houses the giant river otters. You’ll be able to see them swimming through the water or frolicking around their enclosure outdoors.


2. Get up-close with the animals at the Once Upon A River show


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders once upon a river

Shows are a huge part of these parks, and you can catch the Once Upon A River show here. Show timings are 11.30am, 2.30pm, and 4.30pm daily, and the presentation will run for 25 minutes. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders once upon a river

Enjoy engaging performances that feature pelicans, ball pythons, hornbills, iguanas, and everyone’s favourite – the capybaras. Park rangers will carry the animals around the entire audience seating area so everyone can observe the animals up close. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders once upon a riverThe animals will come out again after the show ends, and everyone can head to the stage area to say hi! 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders once upon a riverBrave volunteers called up on stage to perform with the cheeky hornbill.


3. Find Le Le, the first panda cub born in Singapore


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders giant panda forest

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Singapore is home to 3 giant pandas – Kai Kai, Jia Jia, and baby Le Le. These cuddly giants can be found at the Giant Panda Forest, an air-conditioned enclosure that’s been built to mimic their natural habitat.

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders giant panda forestOh, to live the life of a panda.

Le Le is the first panda cub to be born in Singapore, but he won’t be staying for long. Preparations are underway for him to return back to China in late 2023. For now, you can still catch the youngster munching on bamboo from 10am-2pm daily at the enclosure he shares with Jia Jia, his mom. Mama panda then takes over the enclosure from 2pm-6pm.

From 6th-31st October 2023, visitors will be able to celebrate Le Le’s last few weeks in Singapore. Look back on his most adorable moments and milestones at the photo exhibition, snap pics with a panda mascot, and even pen down farewell wishes to Le Le at the panda enclosure. Tickets are 40% off when you get a 1-adult and 1-child combo during this period.


4. Visit the free-roaming animals at Amazonia Encounters


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders amazonia encounters

Head over to Amazonia Encounters to spend time with free-roaming animals. You’ll see land animals such as the yellow-footed tortoise and the Azara’s agouti – don’t mistake the latter for a baby capybara, even though they look very similar. 


Other experiences you can sign up for


5. Take a boat ride at Amazon River Quest ($5)


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders amazon river quest

Think Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure at USS, but a calmer version and you’ll get the Amazon River Quest boat ride ($5/pax). For those worried about getting wet, avoid the front row and you’ll be a-okay

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders amazon river quest

You’ll come across an array of land and sea creatures, including the black howler monkey, bearded saki, emperor tamarin, and the capybaras. If you didn’t manage to glimpse all of ‘em, take the ride again – re-rides are free and unlimited. 


6. Go on the Panda-Mania Tour ($880/5 pax)


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders panda-mania tourA private guided tour through the Giant Panda Forest is also included.Image credit: River Wonders

Fans of the pandas can opt for the Panda-Mania tour ($880/5 pax), which includes a 4-course meal in a private room with views of the giant pandas. Your creativity will come into play during the DIY activities such as the clay session, where you’ll be crafting mini pandas out of air-dry clay.


Food at River Wonders


mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders mama panda kitchen

Refuel at the Mama Panda Kitchen near the Giant Panda Forest. The place is open from 10.30am-6.30pm everyday, and you can indulge in Chinese cuisine such as wok rice, fried noodles, and even paus shaped like pandas. 

mandai wildlife reserve - river wonders starbucks

Those who need a caffeine fix can drop by Starbucks – it’s located outside River Wonders so the public can enter too. Its giant glass windows allow you to gaze out to nature as you sip your cup of joe. 

Pro tip: There are no trams at River Wonders so be prepared to do lots of walking here. Those with limited mobility can consider renting electric scooters ($20/pax). 

River Wonders ADMISSION FEEStandard: $40/adult | $28/child | $20/senior citizen ADDRESS80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826 Opening Hours:Thursday 10:00-19:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM-07:00 PM

GOOGLE REVIEWS4.4 (8567)CONTACT INFORMATION+65 6269 3411 More InformationRECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $38.00 image$39.90imageCheapest$38.00


– Night Safari – 


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari

Night Safari is where the animal kingdom comes alive after dark. Human night owls will feel right at home amidst the nocturnal creatures that include the white African lion, Javan slow loris, and well, owls


Best things to do at Night Safari


1. Catch the Creatures of the Night performance


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari creatures of the night showCatch sight of the owls and turkey vultures flying across the amphitheatre.

The Creatures of the Night show is highly-rated by tourists and locals alike, so it’s a must-visit when you’re here. The performance happens at 7.30pm and 9pm at the revamped Night Safari Amphitheatre, and features animals including the fennec fox, raccoon dog, and bearded pigs. 

Pro tip: Arrive at the venue at least 10 minutes before the show starts as the doors close punctually. Once closed, no entry into the amphitheatre is allowed. 


2. Get lit at the LED lights show


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari twilight performance

Replacing the flame-throwing presentation is the LED lights show TwiLIGHT Performance. Talented troupers will dance in perfect synchrony to the catchy tunes, and you can catch this at the Entrance Courtyard every 8.15pm and 9.45pm daily. Since it’s near the entrance of Night Safari, non-ticket holders might be able to catch a glimpse of the show from the gantry too.


3. Ride the free tram to see all the animals


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari

Since the place only opens at night, young kids might be too tired to cover the whole park on foot. After all, the Night Safari is the largest park out of the 3. Board the free tram and rest your legs – the ride will cover the entire park so you won’t miss out on any gems.

mandai wildlife reserve - night safariSome of the animals you’ll come across – the tram will slow down so you can snap photos. 

The entire journey will take 40 minutes, and there are no stops in between. You’ll pass by all 4 of the park’s trails – the Leopard Trail, Fishing Cat Trail, East Lodge Trail, and Wallaby Trail – and also the free-roaming animal sections. 

mandai wildlife reserve - night safariDetailed maps are displayed around the park. 

mandai wildlife reserve - night safariThere are a couple of animals you can only view via the walking trail, like the owls and Tasmanian Devils. 

Of course, those who want to take the walking trail can do so too. Just take note that some areas get pretty dark, so remember to watch your step and be aware of your surroundings. There are park rangers posted around different fork roads so you can ask them for directions if needed. 

Pro tip: Download the Night Safari map on your phone because it gets very dark at night, making it difficult to see the hardcopy map.


Other experiences you can sign up for


4. Feed the Indian Rhinos ($10)


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari feed indian rhinosNo fingers were chomped off during the feeding. 

It’s not everyday you come face-to-face with an Indian rhino. Solidify this friendship at the East Lodge Trail, where feeding sessions ($10/pax) are available from 7.30pm – you can even give the rhino a friendly pet on the head. Since the tram doesn’t make any stops, you’ll need to walk over here and it’ll take ~15 minutes from the park entrance. 


Food at Night Safari


mandai wildlife reserve - night safari

You can find the F&B stalls near the tram station, where dishes include local delights like satay, char kuay teow, chicken tandoori, and chicken rice. For a sweet treat, go for a bowl of chendol or an ice cream cone. 

Pro tip: Night Safari opens at 6.30pm, and queues to enter get very long at this time. If you wish to siam these queues, come after 6.50pm after the initial crowd has died down.

Night Safari ADMISSION FEEAdults: $55/paxChildren: $38 ADDRESS654 Opening Hours:Thursday 18:30-00:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Tuesday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Wednesday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Thursday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Friday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Saturday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM
Sunday 06:30 PM-12:00 AM

CONTACT INFORMATION+65 6269 3411 More InformationRECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $49.50 imageCheapest$49.50


– Bird Paradise – 


mandai wildlife reserve - bird paradiseImage credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

We can’t forget about Bird Paradise either. Previously known as Jurong Bird Park, this park reoopened in the second quarter of 2023. Visitors can expect over 400 species of bird and 8 walk-through enclosures at the revamped place. 

These feathered friends will travel from all over the world to join us in Singapore, with origins that include Africa’s rainforests, South America’s wetlands, and Australia’s dry eucalypt forests. You no longer have to camp at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve hoping for a glimpse of these rare birds.

Bird Paradise ADMISSION FEE$48/adult | $33/child | $20/senior citizen ADDRESS20 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729825 Opening Hours:Thursday 09:00-18:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Friday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM
Sunday 09:00 AM-06:00 PM

GOOGLE REVIEWS4.6 (15)RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $45.60 imageCheapest$45.60


Tips for visiting the Mandai Wildlife Reserve


mandai wildlife reserve Image credit: Joycelyn Yeow

Lockers are available for rent. Rates for a small locker go from $5 for the first 3 hours, and $1/hour for subsequent hours. Bring your own umbrella to shade from the sun as most walking paths are unsheltered, or a poncho for when it rains. The gift shops do sell these, but they come at a higher price. However, you won’t need these for River Wonders as it’s mostly sheltered.Pack some snacks especially if you get peckish easily as you are allowed to bring outside food in. There are free water cooler stations near the toilets so you can bring your own water bottle and refill it there. Those with toddlers can rent strollers and wagons at $15 and $18 respectively. 


Getting there


Parking is available for those who are driving over. If you intend to take a taxi from Mandai Wildlife Reserve, keep in mind that there’s a $3 surcharge from 4pm-11.59pm everyday.

mandai wildlife reserve Alight at the S’pore Zoo bus stop.Image credit: Joycelyn Yeow

Bus-wise, you can take bus 138 from AMK bus interchange or bus 927 from Choa Chu Kang MRT – both journeys take ~45 minutes. Alternatively, you can also take the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus from Exit A at Khatib MRT Station. The ride will take 15 minutes with buses coming at 10 minutes internals. It only costs $1/pax, and children under 3 years old don’t have to pay.

The Mandai Heartlands Express is also available during school holiday weekends and public holidays. Pick-up and drop-off points include Heartbeat@Bedok, Sengkang MRT at Exit C, and Our Tampines Hub at South Plaza. Fares go at $3/adult and $1/children ages 3-12. 


Plan a trip to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve


Feeling the nostalgia from reading this article? Same. Ditch your usual weekend plans and head down to one of these parks – or better yet, all 3. You’ll be guaranteed a zooper fun time with the animals. 

More local things to check out:

New children’s activities in 2023Best indoor playgroundsThings to do in Marsiling-Woodlands


Photography by Afiqah Amir.Cover image adapted from: Mandai Wildlife GroupOriginally published on 19th March 2023. Last updated by Raewyn Koh on 29th September 2023.

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