Night Safari, Singapore

The Night Safari, Singapore is the world's first nocturnal zoo located in Mandai, Singapore. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, it forms part of the Mandai Wildlife Reserve along with the River Wonders, Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

Night Safari, Singapore
Night Safari logo 2021.svg
Entrance of Night Safari, Singapore, 2012.jpg
Entrance of the Night Safari
Date opened26 May 1994; 28 years ago (1994-05-26)
LocationMandai, Singapore
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Coordinates1°24′08″N 103°47′16″E / 1.402260°N 103.787886°E / 1.402260; 103.787886Coordinates: 1°24′08″N 103°47′16″E / 1.402260°N 103.787886°E / 1.402260; 103.787886
Land area35 ha (86 acres)[1]
No. of animals900[1]
No. of species100[1]
Annual visitors1,321,718 (FY 2019/20)[2]
Major exhibits59
Public transit accessBus transport 138, 926, 927
WebsiteNight Safari

The concept of a nocturnal park in Singapore was suggested in the 1980s by the former executive chairman of the Singapore Zoo, Dr Ong Swee Law. Constructed at a cost of S$63 million, the Night Safari was officially opened on 26 May 1994 and occupies 35 hectares (86 acres) of secondary rainforest adjacent to the Singapore Zoo and Upper Seletar Reservoir.

The Night Safari currently houses over 900 animals representing over 100 species, of which 41% are threatened species.[1] The Night Safari is managed by Mandai Wildlife Reserve, and about 1.3 million visitors visit the safari per year.[3][2] The Night Safari received its 11 millionth visitor on 29 May 2007.


A tiger sleeping in the Night Safari.

Unlike traditional nocturnal houses, which reverse the day-night cycle of animals so they will be active by day, the Night Safari is an entire open-air zoo set in a humid tropical forest that is only open at night. It is divided into six geographical zones, which can be explored either on foot via four walking trails, or by tram.

The animals of the Night Safari, ranging from axis deer and African buffalo to Indian rhinoceros and pangolins to lions and Asian elephants, are made visible by lighting that resembles moonlight. Although it is brighter than full moonlight by a few orders of magnitude, it is dim enough not to disturb nocturnal and crepuscular animals' behaviour. London based lighting designer Simon Corder created the lighting for Night Safari.

The naturalistic enclosures simulate the animals' native habitat. Animals are separated from visitors with natural barriers, rather than caged, similar to the Singapore Zoo's open concept. Instead of vertical prison-like cages, cattle grids were laid all over the park to prevent hoofed animals from moving one habitat to another. These are grille-like metal sheets with gaps wide enough for animals' legs to go through. Moats were designed to look like streams and rivers to enable animals to be put on show in open areas, and hot wires were designed to look like twigs to keep animals away from the boundaries of their enclosures.

Food and beverage outlets in the Night Safari include Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant, Bongo Burgers, and Casa Italia. Visitors can dine in the "Evening in the Wild" at Night Safari's only Tepee Tent. Also experience dining on the move with the Cocktail Safari Express and Gourmet Safari Express.


Tram RideEdit

The tram takes visitors across the whole park, allowing visitors to view most of the park's larger animals.

Fishing Cat TrailEdit

The Fishing Cat Trail features a variety of nocturnal animals mostly from Asia and South America.[4] In June 2022, a new enclosure housing Brazilian porcupines and gray-handed night monkeys was added.[5]

Leopard TrailEdit

The Leopard Trail houses a variety of nocturnal animals from the rainforests of Asia like clouded leopards, a flying fox walkthrough aviary, and habitats for some native animals. The Asiatic lions are also visible from a boardwalk on the edge of the trail.[6] In June 2022, a civet walkthrough habitat with Asian palm civets and small-toothed palm civets was added.[7]

East Lodge TrailEdit

Wallaby TrailEdit

Opening in 2012, this trail features a wallaby walkthrough habitat and smaller enclosures for other nocturnal Australian animals. The trail also has a large man-made cave called the Naracoorte Cave, a reconstruction of the Naracoorte Caves National Park, which has several indigenous paintings and holds invertebrates and reptiles.[8]


The "Creatures of the Night Show" is a performance presented by the animals in the Night Safari. A binturong shows off its ability to hang upside down with its prehensile tail, a spotted hyena displays its powerful jaws and otters spread awareness to recycle reusable items.[9]

Cultural performances are a regular feature at the safari, and include tribal dances, blowpipe demonstrations and fire eating displays.



Fire show at Singapore night safari
  • ASEAN Tourism Association – Aseanta Awards For Excellence (1995)[3]
    • Best New Attraction in ASEAN
  • Singapore Tourism Awards[10]
    • Top 10 Best Family Experience (2006)
    • Best Leisure Attraction Experience (2003, 2004, 2006)
    • Leisure Attraction of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000)
    • Best Trail Marshall of the Year, Mohammed Munzir Aziz. (2008)
    • Best Trail Marshall of the Year, Mohammad Ridhwan Shahril. (2009)
    • Best Ground crew of the Year, Vijayeswaran Visvalingam. (2009)
    • Best Animal Caretaker of the Year, Hadi Akmal (2015)


Night Safari is not served directly by any MRT line, with the nearest station being Springleaf MRT station which opened on 28 August 2021.

There are three bus services operated by SBS Transit and SMRT and Tower Transit which calls at the zoo or passing by. Bus service 138 and 927 from Ang Mo Kio and Choa Chu Kang respectively calls a bus stop at the zoo. Bus service 171 plies the road along Mandai Road and not into the zoo.


A shuttle service, known as the Mandai Khatib Shuttle, plies daily between Khatib MRT station and the Zoo. A one-way trip cost $1 for everyone above the age of three.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "About Night Safari".
  2. ^ a b "WRS Yearbook 2018/2019" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
  3. ^ a b "About Night Safari".
  4. ^ "Fishing Cat Trail - Night Safari".
  5. ^ "New walk-in civet exhibit and new species debut at Night Safari".
  6. ^ "Leopard Trail - Night Safari".
  7. ^ "New walk-in civet exhibit and new species debut at Night Safari".
  8. ^ "Wallaby Trail - Night Safari".
  9. ^ "Creatures of the Night Show - Night Safari".
  10. ^ Welcome to Singapore Tourism Awards 2008
  11. ^ Chew, Hui Min (9 March 2017). "New daily express bus from Khatib to Mandai wildlife parks". The Straits Times. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  • Lin Xinyi, "Night Safari: From trailblazer to tourism icon", The Straits Times, 31 May 2007

External linksEdit