Walk or tram? That may well be the question that comes to mind when planning a visit to Singapore’s Night Safari. If you are short of time, the tram is a great way to get an overview of the animals but, should you head venture out on to Night Safari walking trails?
There are four Night Safari walking trails to explore, each leading to another, criss-crossing the forests of Mandai. The walking trails provide a chance to get a close-up look at the animal residents of the wildlife reserve at your own time.
One evening, we ventured out to the Night Safari walking trails, all ready and excited for an encounter with nocturnal creatures along the trails.
Fishing Cat Trail
From the Night Safari entrance, we headed to the Fishing Cat Trail, situated to the left of the tram station.
It took a bit of time for our eyes to get used to the low light but the payoff soon arrived when we came across the fishing cat. Lurking by the water, it was still and silent, ever ready to pounce on its prey.
Not too far from the fishing cat, a mousedeer wandered under the shadows of the trees and a pangolin lay curled up in its burrow.
Other animals along the Fishing Cat walking trail at Night Safari included civet cats, otters and flying foxes.
The Fishing Cat trail gave way to the Leopard Trail. Animals along this second trail included small mammals like the slow loris and tarsier. The clouded leopard was a bit elusive on the night of our visit.
For us, the highlight of the Leopard Trail was sighting the Asiatic Lion. There is a Lion Lookout platform that provides a good view of these endangered animals.
East Lodge Trail
The Night Safari walking trail leads on to the East Lodge tram station and then back towards the attraction’s main entrance. Along the way, we encountered the lumbering Sloth Bear (not related in any way to sloths), Babirusa, Spotted Hyenas and Malayan Tiger. Try as we might, we were unable to spot the Serval, an animal we were hoping to see, in its enclosure.
The last section on our jaunt through the Night Safari walking trails was the 200-metre-long Wallaby Trail. As the name suggests, this area is home to Australian animals.
There are two species of wallabies and we watched as a keeper “clicker-trained” them – a Pavlovian conditioning technique to get them used to being handled.
A highlight of the Wallaby Trail was the Naracoorte Cave, a structure modelled after the natural South Australian feature. Behind the waterfall curtain, there are creepy crawlies and other cave creatures on display.
Don’t forget to look up at the simulated glow-worms that hang from the cave’s roof.
Is It Worth Exploring the Night Safari Walking Trails?
The Night Safari walking trails provide a chance to have a look at some of the nocturnal animals, especially the smaller ones, at your own pace. It is a good complement to the Night Safari tram ride and something that visitors should not overlook when at the Night Safari.
In our case, we took the walking trail first and the returned to the entrance tram station to hop on to the tram ride. This was good for us in two ways. Firstly, this allowed us to hit the trails while we still had plenty of energy early in the evening and, secondly, by the time we returned, the queue at the tram station was much shorter and we didn’t have to wait too long to enjoy the tram ride.
Therefore, to most out of your (pretty expensive) ticket to the Night Safari, we do suggest allocating the time to explore the walking trails. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for it get a bit humid in the rainforest at night.