Sunday, 8 September 2013

Trip to River Safari, Singapore

Red Panda
I was thrilled when the news reported about two years ago that Singapore was building River Safari- a river-themed wild life park that showcases river dwelling animals. The stars of the new park are the two Giant Pandas-Kai Kai and Jia Jia,loaned to Singapore from China for a period of 10 years. Other exotic creatures include the Red Pandas, Chinese Giant Salamanders, Sturgeons, Mekong Giant Catfish, Mississippi Paddlefish, Alligator Gars, Manatees and many others. The new park is an addition to the main Zoo (The Singapore Zoo) and The Night Safari which is great news for animals' enthusiasts like us. It is sometimes deem a wonder to think that such a small country like Singapore can house three Zoos at one time.

Elated children hugging "Kai Kai"
Rivers of the World signage
Alligator Gars

Courtesy of the free park entrance tickets from my Company, I brought my family to the River Safari. The route in the park is very orderly as it led us through Mississippi River-Congo River-River Nil--Ganges River-Mekong River-Murray River and Yangtze River where the Giant Pandas are housed in an air-conditioned enclosure. A long bridge across a river brought us to Wild Amazonia which includes the Amazon River Quest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and the Amazon Flooded Forest. The Amazon River Quest at Wild Amazonia was not ready at my time of visit. It is supposedly to bring visitors in a boat ride experience to the river-dwelling animals at their natural habitats and behavior. I was very much anticipating this ride and can't wait for it to be ready by end of the year.

Paddlefish
Mekong River with Giant Catfish Display
Lesser Adjutant Stork

Unlike many others, the highlight of my visit was not the Pandas. I have seen them many times at the Hong Kong Ocean Park. They are adorable but lazy and not very active. It was no surprise that you often saw the same Panda lazing at the same spot in the same position on different visits. What is not to be missed at the River Safari is surely the Amazon Flooded Forest. Here is where you can see the malicious man-eating Red-bellied Piranhas , dangerous high voltage Electric Eel and the industrial Giant Otters. It also housed the largest fresh water aquarium tank in the world. Manatees (aka Dugong or Sea Cows), Arapaimas (largest fresh water fish) and other exotic species are the residents of the big tank. We could never get tired of admiring the water creatures dancing and gliding gracefully in the enormous tank. Unless you dive into the Amazon River(and brave the hungry Piranhas), there is simply no chance in our life time that we can witness the underwater scene that beheld us at the Amazon Flooded Forest. 

Chinese Giant Salamander
Squirrel Monkey
Arapaima at Amazon Flooded Forest

My family, young and elderly alike, has enjoyed our day at Singapore new attraction. We will be back when the Wild Amazonia's boat ride is ready. If you are interested, this is River Safari official website. 

Related Posts: The Singapore Zoo
Red-bellied Piranha
Lazing Panda-Kai Kai
Enjoying their visit. My daughter (1st from right) with cousins Amanda and Dave
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