River Safari is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks. Nestled between Singapore’s two award-winning wildlife parks, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari, River Safari offers an unforgettable adventure inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers.
[Image Credits to Tourist In My Own Land]
This $160-million attraction features state-of-the-art exhibit design, Southeast Asia’s largest panda exhibit and as well as the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. Housing one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, the park features over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species.
With the pristine Upper Seletar Reservoir as a backdrop, River Safari is also home to the Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and the enchanting Amazon Flooded Forest.
Our Review of the Attraction
To be honest, we feel that River Safari is rather overrated. Apart from the Giant Panda Forest Exhibit which features Singapore’s resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the rest of the exhibits are very much like what you will see at Resorts World Sentosa’s SEA Aquarium, less the pandas, monkeys, beavers, and reptiles.
We guess the only reason why people would probably want to visit River Safari is because of the Giant Panda Forest Exhibit where visitors can get to see Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Other than that, the rest of the exhibits are a bore because they lack interactivity.
Jia Jia enjoying some bamboo shoots.
While Kai Kai takes a morning nap!
The very shy and emo Red Panda at the Giant Panda Forest
Squirrel Monkey at the Squirrel Monkey Forest
As more than 75% of the exhibits are housed within a see-through glass enclosure, taking pictures of the exhibits is extremely challenging given the poor lighting and multiple reflections.
Sights like this is a very common theme throughout River Safari . If you’re a fan of river-related fishes and animals, then you will probably enjoy the River Safari experience.
There are two dining locations available at River Safari; Mama Panda Kitchen at the Giant Panda Forest and River Safari Tea House at the River Safari Entrance Plaza. In terms of food & beverage pricing, it is rather expensive even though it might be an experience to feast on panda-themed bites like Panda Pau and Bamboo Rice.
[Image Credits to River Safari Singapore]
Souvenirs at the House of Kai Kai & Jia Jia and the River Safari Shop are costly. If it is going to be your first and last visit to River Safari Singapore, you might just want to consider getting some souvenirs such as tee-shirts, mugs, or caps for memorial sake.
Costing SGD$5 per adult and SGD$3 per child [3 to 12 years old], the Amazon River Quest is really a waste of money and time. There are not much animals/exhibits to look at and the duration of the ride is extremely short. Slow moving, the boat ride is suitable for the faint-hearted and if you want to stay completely dry, just take the seats in the 2nd and 3rd row of the boat.
Overall, we will rate River Safari 3 out of 5 as we honestly feel that the attraction is not value for money. For the price of SGD$25 per adult and SGD$16 per child [3-12 years old], we rather you pay a few more dollars to visit the Singapore Zoo. As mentioned, the only highlight of River Safari is the Giant Panda Forest and if you visit River Safari without checking out the Pandas, then your trip is a very wasted one.
Well, if you are planning a trip to River Safari, we recommend that you avoid going during the weekends as it is jam-packed with people and you will find it extremely frustrating to get good snapshots of the exhibits.