Home DestinationsAsia 12 Tips Before You Go To Night Safari In Singapore
Night Safari Singapore Cattle

12 Tips Before You Go To Night Safari In Singapore

by Family Globetrotters

To Ensure You Have A Great Nocturnal Experience With The Kids At The Night Safari In Singapore, Check Out These Handy Tips.

What is there to do in in the Night Safari, Singapore? Well, it is one of the most popular attractions for families, winning the Best Attraction category awarded by the Singapore Tourism Board on 12 occasions. Opened in 1994, Night Safari is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. Home to over 2,500 animals of over 130 species, it spans across 35 hectares of forests. With 38% of its species under threat of extinction, one of the Night Safari’s focus area is captive breeding. They also have a strong mission to promote biodiversity.

With over 1.1 million visitors to the attraction on an annual basis, Night Safari is bursting at the seams and they have been receiving mixed reviews. I am a big fan of Trip Advisor and I find that most of decisions I have ever made based on their reviews have been fairly accurate. With over 8,300 reviews entered to date, the statistics show 38% excellent, 31% very good, 18% average, 7% poor and 4% terrible. The common complains across the board are overcrowding, long wait times, over-priced food and not being able to see the animals.

So, armed with this knowledge, we decided to go anyway. We had never done a night safari before so we thought we would bite the bullet. Well, I can say that most of the reviews are unfortunately true. However, because we were well prepared, we had an absolute ball and Hannah wants nothing more than to go back again! To help make your Night Safari experience a good one, here are some handy tips:

#01 – HOW TO DEAL WITH THE CROWDS

Yes, the Night Safari is seriously crowded. There is absolutely no way around this and if you hate crowds, then avoid at all cost! Pre-purchasing your ticket will make no difference as it doesn’t give you priority access. It just means you don’t have to queue to buy a ticket and then queue again to line up for the trams.

Night Safari Singapore Crowds

The Hoards of Night Safari Goers. Yes, Very Overcrowded!

#02 – WHICH TRAM TIME IS THE BEST?

A the time of writing, the trams costs SG$45 for an adult and SG$35 for a child between the ages of 3 to 12 years. Discounts are available if combined with the other attractions within the zoo. The tram is a 40-minute expedition on a guided English tour with tickets to be purchased for the stipulated times of 7.15pm, 8.15pm, 9.15pm and 10.15pm.

We arrived at 6.15pm for a 7.15pm tram spot and it was already super busy. We got ourselves some ice cream and drinks and started lining up at 6.30pm and this queue is just to get into the tram queueing area. At 6.55pm they opened the gates, by which time when I turned around there was a sea of people behind us. We were led through into a more organised queueing area to wait for the trams. We managed to get on the 3rd tram.

The trams were very comfortable and they take 4 people to a row of which you can see the enclosures on both the left and right side throughout the excursion so it doesn’t really matter where you sit.

When booking for the tram, you can see how many seats are left within each time slot. I think the best time to visit the night safari would be later than the first time slot of 7.15pm. The later the tram, the less the people so if you have older children or kids who can really stay up late, that’s what I would recommend. The 7.15pm tram is by far the most crowded.

UPDATED MAY 2018: A Family Globetrotter follower recently informed me that they decided to heed my advice and opted for the 9.15pm tram with their 2 kids of 9 and 6 years old. They said there were no queues and they got straight in with the bonus of the weather being cooler later in the night. The kids were exhausted by the end of the night when they finished at 11.30pm but they preferred that than queueing!

Night Safari Singapore Tram

The Second Queue to get on the Trams. Much More Civilized.

#03 – HOW TO ALLEVIATE BOREDOM WHEN QUEUING

There is nothing worse than kids having to queue for long periods of time and coupled with the heat, it really is quite unbearable. Make sure you have something for them to occupy themselves with for at least an hour. If you are an electronics or device family, do make sure your batteries are well charged. I would also bring along that portable wifi device or let them hot spot your smartphone. I wouldn’t bother with books as it gets too dark to read.

For us, we decided to eat. I got some food from the various outlets on the ground and we had our dinner whilst waiting. We topped it off with ice cream, which was delicious and a great respite from the heat.

#04 – SHOULD I BRING MY CAMERA?

Seeing that it’s a night safari, I honestly wouldn’t bother with bringing your camera. One less thing to carry. You can take a few happy snaps with your phone and that should suffice. The entire excursion is in perpetual darkness until you reach the enclosures which has lights so you can see the animals. But as flash photography is not permitted, you’ll find you won’t be able to take many amazing pictures. So just sit back and enjoy the tour with your kids.

#05 – NIGHT SAFARI WALKING TRAILS

If you wanted to experience the enclosures with less crowds, you may prefer to go on the walking trails instead. There are 4 trails you can go on, namely the Fishing Cat Trail, the East Coast Lodge Trail, Leopard Trail and the new Wallaby Trail. The walks are well lit and easy to navigate and I did see parents with kids in prams. This way you don’t have to be herded like cattle and you can enjoy seeing the animals at your leisure.

#06 – CREATURES OF THE NIGHT SHOW

No Night Safari excursion would be complete without the 20-minute Creatures of the Night Show. Performed in the big outdoor amphitheatre amidst the rainforest, this show is weather permitting and is performed at 7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm and 10.30pm. Hannah thoroughly enjoyed the show as the otter, civet, hyena and binturong thrilled her. She found the show humorous, entertaining, and interactive.

At the completion of the guided tram tour, we got off and lined up for the 8.30pm show, which was of course also very crowded as it has all the people from the first tram. I now wished that I had gotten the 07.30pm show first as I didn’t see many people walk towards the show as they were too busy scrambling for the 7.15pm tram. And then catch the 8.15pm tram. I am wondering if that would have been a better strategy instead of following the masses. I guess I’ll just have to go back and do it again one day! LOL!

I will also make mention of the Thumbuakar Performance which we only caught the tail end. This is the fire show at the entrance courtyard which is performed at 07.00pm, 8.00pm, 9.00pm and 10.00pm.

YOU MIGHT LIKE:   10 Things To Do With Kids in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Night Safari Singapore Creatures By Night Show

The Creatures of the Night Show.

#07 – NIGHT SAFARI CUSTOMER SERVICE

I have seen few reviews about terrible customer service and that they are unable to control the overcrowding issue. I found that to be on the contrary when I was there. The staff were all very well organised, constantly directing people where to go and where to queue and when I did ask for help they were very friendly. In fact, I thought it was quite a well-oiled machine.

When we were queuing for the tram (we were next in line), there was a family of 5, 2 lines behind us with a screaming toddler. The poor thing had obviously had enough with the heat making the situation even more unbearable. I could see the distress on the parent’s faces as it was a predicament of whether to abandon the queue for the sake of the toddler with the risk of disappointing the 2 older kids.

Night Safari customer service noticed (and heard!) the family of which they then opened up the bollards and invited them to come up front to sit in an open area for further queuing. The relief and surprise on the parent’s faces was priceless and the toddler eventually calmed down. And the people queuing around them also got a little reprieve as they would have had a screaming toddler for at least another 30 minutes. I thought this was very well done Night Safari!

Night Safari Singapore is the best family attraction. BUT it is overcrowded and overrun by tourists. Here are some tips to help you cope so the kids have the best experience ever! #familytravel Click To Tweet

#08 – OTHER NIGHT SAFARI EXPERIENCES

This nocturnal wildlife park also offers 4 very unique experiences which you might like to check out for something very special to do with your family. You can spend an evening in the wild with dinner, tours and a cosy night in a tent, more like a rainforest glamping experience! You can watch the Lion and Malayan tiger feeding times and watch them devour their dinners. There is also 5 course dinner option on a moving tram or you can get a private guide to take you around the wildlife park without the hassle of queuing for the guided trams. The next time I go I reckon I’d love to give one of these experiences a go!

#09 – HOW TO DEAL WITH THE HEAT

The heat in Singapore is stifling and it was extremely hot when we were queuing up. I suggest that you prepare for this by obviously dressing in something cool, have cold beverages readily available (especially if you’re not willing to pay the exorbitant prices at the Night Safari itself) and most importantly, invest in a hand held fan. Luckily my mother had some in her bag because that really made a difference. Because not only is it hot, the air doesn’t move so it gets stale.

By the time we got on the tram however, it was so nice and cool with a constant breeze from being in an open tram. This made the tour all the more enjoyable. The open amphitheatre at 8.30pm also provided for cooler weather. Which is also another advantage of catching later trams and shows. If you did have to queue you would at least be doing it when it’s not so hot.

YOU MIGHT LIKE:   12 Tips To Help Prepare For Your Trekking Adventure in Sapa
Night Safari Singapore Girl Heat

Trying Our Best to Combat the Stifling Heat.

#10 – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT RAINS?

Be prepared for the rain as the guided trams will continue to operate. You can also still go on the walking trails so pack yourself a poncho, which is so much easier to carry around than an umbrella or you can purchase them from the gift shops at the wildlife park itself.

#11 – GET SOME INSECT REPELLANT

This is a must. Especially in such a tropical climate, in a rainforest surrounded by animals. The shops at the Night Safari had a lot on sale so don’t fret if you did forget to bring some. I carried my roll on and patches and re-applied on numerous occasions on the night as Hannah is prone to bites. And we came away unscathed. Thank goodness!

#12 – TAKE THE TAXI HOME

Take a taxi home and forget about public transport. After combatting the crowds and heat, the last thing you want to do when the kids are tired is queue for a bus. The taxi line was bliss and we got one straight away and went home in air-conditioning comfort.

Night Safari Singapore Taxi rank

Bliss! No Queues For Taxis!

All in all, I had a great night and Hannah LOVED it. She says that she would like to do it all again and was willing to go through all the queuing! Do remember that this is perhaps the most popular family attraction in Singapore and with that knowledge there is an expectation that it’s going to be crazy busy. I thought it was worth it but I did go in well prepared and these night safari tips will be helpful. My night safari review would be to definitely go! Just take it with a grain of salt and have yourself a good time as there really are so many things to do in the night safari!

BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES

10 Tips on How to Combat Heat Whilst on Vacation

12 Tips To Help Prepare For Your Trekking Adventure in Sapa

15 Travel Tips for Clean Freaks Heading to Southeast Asia

 

 

12 Tips Before You Go to Night Safari in Singapore

Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.

15 comments

Avatar
Christine Stone August 9, 2018 - 7:59 am

Hi There! Great post! So is your entrance time your tram time? Do you recommend getting there in time to see the 7:30 creatures of the night show and then taking the tram? That would mean you would need a 7:15 entry ticket right?
Do you have any advice about the trails to walk ie your favorites?
Thank you,
Chris

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters August 9, 2018 - 4:52 pm

Hey Chris! Yes you can do the creature of the night show first and then take the tram if you don’t want such a late night. The ticket time is entry time into the zoo. Once u are in you can choose which ever show or tram time that suits you.

I didn’t do any of the walking trails because the tram covers the whole park and also, it was stifling hot and I just couldn’t bring myself to the do the walk in that heat, despite it being at night. I doubt anyone would be better than another. Sorry I can’t be more helpful on this aspect.

Reply
Hong Kong and Singapore – Grace and Jason's Adventure! May 7, 2018 - 6:43 am

[…] reading mixed reviews and complaints about crowds, I thought it was amazing!! I read lots of tips on how to avoid the crowds and lines and they worked like a charm. I’m so glad we […]

Reply
Avatar
Ian P April 26, 2018 - 1:47 am

Yes, night saffari is defo the hottest tour in Singapore right now. I’ve sent a bunch of people here and will share your tips with them.

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters April 26, 2018 - 11:59 pm

Oh that would be great Ian! Its definitely worth the visit and will be much more comfortable for all if they are prepared for the heat and crowds.

Reply
Avatar
Brianna April 26, 2018 - 12:05 am

I’ve read about the night safari at the Singapore Zoo before, and really want to go! Though now I see how crowded it gets, maybe I’ll skip it 😛

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters April 26, 2018 - 11:58 pm

Funny you mention it! A follower of mine went yesterday and she took my advice and went on the later tram at 9pm. Walked straight through and no queues! So, go!

Reply
Avatar
Followingtherivera April 26, 2018 - 12:00 am

A big yes to insect repellent! I did this a few years ago, and honestly wasn’t that impressed. However, with kids, it’s a real treat, especially sitting on that train. True about leaving the camera, it’s not worth bringing.

Reply
Avatar
Iuliana Marchian April 25, 2018 - 4:25 pm

The tips are so great. I haven’t thought that you can do a safari at night. The tip with walking trails is very good because, yes, it’s true, during the day maybe they are very crowded. I think I would choose the Fishing Cat Trail, I don’t know which is the difference between them, but this one seems more appealing to me.

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters April 25, 2018 - 5:08 pm

The trails are all great and you do end up seeing what you would see on the tram. But yes it owuld save you from have to queue for a long time. It is an awesome concept and a great way to see the nocturnal animals.

Reply
Avatar
loudy April 25, 2018 - 2:10 am

I’ve never been to Singapore, but I never thought that it had a safari. Such an interesting post. I’ll make sure to note this before I go there. thanks a lot for sharing

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters April 25, 2018 - 5:04 pm

You welcome! Yes it was the only night safari in the world for sometime. It was a really fun thing to do without or even without kids. If ever in Singapore, do make sure that you add it to the itinerary.

Reply
Avatar
Kartik Parik February 24, 2018 - 9:24 pm

Seriously Singapore Night Safari is Extremely overcrowded, and as it is a forest, you must carry your mosquito repellent with you!!!
Nice Article, It would be very helpful for first-timers!!!

Reply
Avatar
Family Globetrotters March 2, 2018 - 11:05 am

Isn’t it just?? I mean I knew it would be but seriously, it was crazy! Luckily I have a patient daughter although the heat was stifling. Yup, I used the repellent like it was going out of fashion. I wrote this article to help people prepare for a pleasant experience.

Reply
12 Tips To Help Prepare For Your Trekking Adventure in Sapa February 13, 2018 - 11:48 am

[…] 12 Tips Before You Go To Night Safari In Singapore […]

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.