River Safari is a river-themed zoo in Singapore. It is built on 12 hectares area and located between the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. At the beginning, River Safari was planned to be built at a cost of $140 million and targeted to attract about 750,000 visitors annually. However, since it was built in 2009, the budget has been increased by $40 million and the target of visitors increased to 820,000. The River Safari is scheduled to be opened in between the end of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 and will be the fourth zoo in Singapore under the management of Wildlife Reserves Singapore along with the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and Jurong Bird Park. River Safari is designed for the visitor to experience a close encounter with the wild and introduce them with the unique and the interesting life of animal that cannot be found everyday especially for people living in town.
The uniqueness of River Safari is that the zoo consists of 10 different ecosystems from all around the world, which include The Mississippi, Congo River, The Nile, The Ganges, Murray River, The Mekong, Yangtze River, Amazon River, Amazon Flooded Forest, and Frozen Tundra. With 5,000 animals and 500 species including endangered species such as Giant Pandas, Mekong freshwater stingrays, and Anacondas, River Safari becomes one of places the animal lovers should visit.
In The Mississippi, the visitors can enjoy the environment of the richest river ecosystem in the natural world, including the endangered species such as the Alligator Snapping Turtle and Alligator Gar. At the Congo River, as the eighth longest river on the planet, the visitors can enjoy the tropical forest along the Congo Basin and river full of alligator and crocodiles. At The Nile, the River of Kings, the visitors can meet the African Arowana and African Tigerfish, an amazing fish that is able to grow to the height of two meters long. The Ganges of River Safari is inspired by the Ganges River of India. In this place, visitors can see the Striped Narrow-Headed Softshell Turtle and Indian Gharial. At the Murray River, the remake of the longest river in Australia, visitors can enjoy the view from both above and below the surface of the river. The river is divided into three parts started with the fresh water at the top, mangrove swamp and forest, and finally the palm trees. The featured residents of the Murray River are the Rainbow Fish and the Australian Lungfish. At The Mekong, the visitors can spot the Mekong Giant Catfish and Giant Stingray while enjoying vegetation of The Mekong, the replica of the Southeast Asian river. The Mekong also features the Long-tailed Macaque, the commonly found animals throughout Southeast Asia.
From The Mekong, we go to Yangtze River, China’s third longest river in the world. Yangtze River also becomes the home of the rare Giant Pandas. In this part of River Safari, the visitors can meet the male and female pandas along with the six different bamboo species for the pandas’ consumption, and Salamander, a scary looking yet delicate endangered aquatic animal. In the Amazon part of River Safari, you can find the Amazon River, Amazon Flooded Forest, and Amazon River Quest. In this part, you can enjoy the underwater forest and meet a lot of wild animals including Giant River Otter, Anaconda, Arapaima, Manatee, Jaguar, and Scarlet Ibis. Another interesting area is the Frozen Tundra which exhibits the Polar Bears Sheba and Inuka. This area is climate-controlled simulating the Arctic to create a natural environment of the polar bears. Aside from the polar bear, this ecosystem also features the glaciers, ice rocks, and ice caves as a way to remain the visitors about the threatened earth’s biomes.
Moreover, River Safari not only offers the visitors chances to enjoy the animal attraction and theme park rides. With only $28 to $30 per head, you can visit ten different river ecosystems and landscapes in the world, learn about the animals’ habitat, interact with the animals, and watch the animals play and entertain you. The River Safari, open from 10.00 am to 08.00 pm, is one of recommended places to be visited in Singapore and a family vacation destination.