A Wide, Wild World A Guide to the Mandai Reserve Area
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A Wide, Wild World: A Guide to the Mandai Reserve Area

If you consider yourself an enthusiast of anything related to wild animals, then you’ll be delighted to hear about the Mandai Reserve Area (also referred to as Mandai Wildlife Reserve) in Singapore. 

The Mandai Reserve Area is home to four parks: the Singapore Zoo, Bird Paradise, River Wonders, and Night Safari. Each park houses a great variety of animal species, so there’s a lot to discover here. 

Curious to know more? This article has everything you need to know about the Mandai Reserve Area—what to do in each park, how to get here, where to eat, and more!   

Things to Know



The Mandai Wildlife Reserve is managed by the Mandai Wildlife Group, a self-funded organization that’s part of the Southeast Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA). 

The Mandai Wildlife Group established the Mandai Wildlife Reserve for the sole purpose of educating people about wildlife conservation. The area is also meant to rehabilitate any rescued wildlife in Singapore, such as pythons, civets, and pangolins.

Currently, the wildlife reserve has four parks—namely, the Singapore Zoo, Bird Paradise, River Wonders, and Night Safari. But there’s a plan to open a fifth park, named Rainforest Wild, in the near future. 

How to Get Here

Address: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826

Car: Driving is the best way to get here; if you’re driving from the city, it should only take about 30 minutes. There are two car parks (one near Mandai Wildlife West and another near Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and Night Safari), and these are the parking rates:

  • First Hour: S$3
  • Every Additional Hour or Part Thereof: S$2 per hour
  • Vehicles without IU or Cash Card: S$10 per entry
  • Maximum Parking Charge: S$10 per entry
  • Every Half-Hour or Part Thereof (for Passenger Vans and Buses): S$10 per half-hour
  • Maximum Parking Charge (for Passenger Vans and Buses): S$30 per entry

Bus/MRT: If you prefer public transportation, you’ll need to ride the MRT and then the bus. Here are your transportation options and where to disembark:

MRT LineWhere to DisembarkConnecting Bus to Ride to the Reserve
North-South LineKhatib (NS14)Mandai Khatib Shuttle
Choa Chu Kang (NS4)927
Ang Mo Kio (NS16)138
Thomson-East Coast LineSpringleaf (TE4)

Taxis/Private Hire Cars: Whether you’re riding a taxi or any other private hire car via Grab, Gojek, or other similar apps, the designated pick-up/drop-off point is at Mandai East Car Park. 

Best Time to Go

Generally speaking, the Mandai Wildlife Reserve is open every day from 8:30 am to 6 pm. That said, each park on the reserve has its own schedule, so check the one(s) that you want to visit. 

If you’re wondering when the best time to go to the reserve area is, I’d say in the morning or late afternoon (unless you’re visiting the Night Safari). This is because the parks aren’t that crowded or oppressively hot during that time. 

For the Night Safari, I recommend coming as soon as this park opens. You’ll be one of the first ones to enter the park, so you can pick your seat on the tram ride and time your attendance at the shows with ease.   

What to See and Do

Singapore Zoo

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—8:30 am to 6 pm
Admission Fee

  • Non-Resident—S$48 (adult), S$33 (child ages 3–12 years old)
  • Resident—S$43.20 (adult), S$29.70 (child), S$20 (senior citizen ages 60 years old and above)

The Singapore Zoo is oftentimes referred to as the best zoo in the world—and for good reason. 

For starters, this zoo houses a large selection of animals; currently, there are 4,200 animals across 315 species from all over the world. 

16% of this number is considered to be a threatened species, so it’s great that the zoo shelters and cares for them.

The best part about the zoo is that the various areas, exhibits, and enclosures mimic the natural habitats of the animals. So, you’ll feel immersed when you’re roaming around, and at the same time, the animals feel like they’re at home. 

If you stop by the zoo, you can do any of the following activities.

Watch the animal shows

Show Time:

  • Splash Safari—every 10:30 am and 5 pm
  • Rainforest Fights Back—every 12 and 12:30 pm
  • Animal Friends—every 1:30 and 4 pm

There are three shows hosted in the zoo that you don’t want to miss out on: Splash Safari, Rainforest Fights Back, and Animal Friends. 

Splash Safari features a lively California sea lion performing tricks and stunts, while Rainforest Fights Back lets ring-tailed lemurs, greater hog badgers, and macaws show off their acting chops. 

The third show to catch is Animal Friends, which shows domesticated animals like birds, cats, and dogs performing stunts. Of course, they receive treats every time they finish a trick!

It’s hard to pick a favorite out of all three shows, but I might have to go with Splash Safari. Seeing the sea lion jump and swim around is just so cute that it melts my heart every time! 

Feed the animals

Price: S$8

Yes, you read that right—you can feed the animals in the Singapore Zoo, and it’s such a fun, memorable experience!

The best part is that you can choose which animals to feed yourself! So far, I’ve tried feeding giraffes, goats, and white rhinoceros, but I’m sure you can also try giant tortoises, elephants, and zebras. 

Just take note that feeding animals isn’t free. You have to buy a feeding session with your preferred animal.  

Have breakfast in the wild

Location: Ah Meng Restaurant (Terrace)
Time: Monday to Sunday—9 to 10:30 am
Price: S$45 (adult), S$35 (child)

Breakfast in the Wild is probably my favorite experience in the Singapore Zoo. As you can gather from the name, you can eat breakfast while the wild animals are roaming around outside!

The meals here are eco-friendly too. The kitchen only uses sustainably sourced ingredients, and beef isn’t used in any of the dishes. 

Also, don’t forget about the countless photo opportunities here! Take selfies with the macaws and orangutans to show off to your loved ones back home. 

Go on a private tour


  • Zookeeper for a Day (Kid’s Edition)—S$380 per person, S$304 per person (Friends of Wildlife member)
  • Zookeeper for a Day (Junior Edition)—S$499 per person, S$399.20 per person (Friends of Wildlife member)
  • Zoo Adventure Tour—S$440 per 1.5 hours (weekdays), S$550 per 1.5 hours (weekends and public holidays), S$396 per 1.5 hours (WildPass holders, weekdays), S$352 per 1.5 hours (Friends of Wildlife member, weekdays), S$440 per 1.5 hours (Friends of Wildlife member, weekends)

If you really want to explore every corner of the zoo, then you might want to go on any of the private tours that the zoo offers. 

A private tour is essentially like getting a backstage pass; you get to ride around in a buggy while a guide informs you all about the animals you see. 

Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to be a zookeeper for the day. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how the staff takes care of the animals! 

Bird Paradise

Address: 20 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729825 
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9 am to 6 pm
Admission Fee:

  • Non-Resident—S$48 (adult), S$33 (child)
  • Resident—S$43.20 (adult), S$29.70 (child), S$20 (senior citizens)

Bird Paradise is a recent addition to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve. It was only opened to the public on May 8, 2023, and yet it’s already a popular destination. 

Just like the other parks, Bird Paradise has various areas dedicated to certain environments. For example, the Mysterious Papua mimics the coastal forests of Papua New Guinea and houses different species native there. 

Even though this park is new, it’s already offering unique experiences to its visitors. Here are some of the best things to do in Bird Paradise.

Enjoy the bird performances at Sky Amphitheater

Show Time:

  • Predators on Wings—every 10:30 am and 2:30 pm
  • Wings of the World—every 12:30 and 5 pm

Do you want to see birds show off their skills and talents? Then, head to the Sky Amphitheater and catch the shows being held there.

The first show you’ll see is Predators on Wings, which stars the fierce and formidable birds of prey—aka the birds at the top of their food chain! Some of the birds you’ll see here include the white-bellied sea eagle, Harris’s hawk, and turkey vulture. 

If you dare, you might want to volunteer and try your luck at falconry. I’ve never tried it, but I can imagine it must be nerve-wracking and exhilarating to be close to a falcon.

The second show held at the amphitheater is Wings of the World, which showcases smart and talented birds. Macaws and hornbills show off their speed and agility, and an Amazon parrot sings in three languages!  

Feed the birds

Price: S$8

If you want to get up close and personal with the birds, then you might want to book a feeding session with your preferred avians. With this activity, you get to visit the birds in their natural habitat and hold out your hand to feed them with their favorite treats. 

So far, the feeding options available at Bird Paradise are starlings, pelicans, lories and lorikeets, and cassowaries. 

Go on a Bird Discovery Tour

Time: Monday to Sunday—10:30 am to 12 pm, 3:30 to 5 pm

  • Public—S$400 per 1.5 hours (weekdays), S$500 per 1.5 hours (weekends, public holidays)
  • WildPass Holders—S$360 per 1.5 hours (weekdays)
  • Friends of Wildlife Members—S$320 per 1.5 hours (weekdays), S$400 per 1.5 hours (weekends, public holidays)

The Bird Discovery Tour is the best thing to do if you’re coming with a group of fellow bird lovers. With this tour, you’ll get your very own wildlife guide who will provide you insight into the park’s avian residents. 

You’ll also have a close-up interaction with the birds, so you can bond with them for a short while. The tour welcomes up to eight members per group, so you can bring your loved ones and friends along!

River Wonders

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 7 pm
Admission Fee:

  • Non-Resident—S$42 (adult), S$30 (child)
  • Resident—S$37.80 (adult), S$27 (child), S$20 (senior citizen)

Formerly known as River Safari, River Wonders is a 12-hectare river-themed zoo and aquarium—the first of its kind in Asia! 

This park features several freshwater exhibits, all of them themed around specific species. The Giant Panda Forest is probably the most popular area because of its adorable pandas, but Wild Amazonia is a favorite among visitors as well.

For an unforgettable experience, you can do any of the following activities. 

Get on the Amazon River Quest

Price: S$5

Take a boat ride to explore this river-themed park! River Wonders offers the Amazon River Quest, which simulates a journey along the Amazon River.

Aside from the thrilling twists and turns, this boat ride provides you with the opportunity to spot animals in the wild. Be on the lookout for the Brazilian tapirs, jaguars, and giant anteaters roaming about!

You can only purchase a ticket to the Amazon River Quest online, so head to the website as soon as possible. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that only people who are at least 1.06 meters tall are allowed on this ride.

Check out Once Upon a River

Location: Boat Plaza
Time: Every 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm

Once Upon a River is the animal show in River Wonders. Just like the other presentations, this one showcases different animals doing all kinds of neat tricks while the guides give us a mini-discussion about each animal. 

The animals onstage are so cute, and if you were to ask me my favorite, I’d probably pick the capybara (just look how adorable it is when it’s eating!).

Join the Panda-Mania Tour

Price: From S$880

If you’re a big fan of pandas, the Panda-Mania Tour should be on your itinerary. This tour takes you around the Giant Panda Forest with a personal wildlife guide, and if you’re artistic, you can also make your own panda sculptures using air-dry clay. 

There’s a lot to do within the day tour, so you’ll need to refuel at the VIP Room where you’ll be served a delectable four-course meal. This tour can accommodate up to 20 people, making it the perfect activity for groups!

Be a part of the River Discovery Tour


  • Public—S$400 (weekdays), S$500 (weekends, public holidays)
  • WildPass Holders—S$360 (weekdays)
  • Friends of Wildlife Members—S$320 (weekdays), S$400 (weekends, public holidays)

Another tour that you might be interested in joining in River Wonders is the River Discovery Tour. This tour brings you all around the park with a guide. 

Additionally, you’ll receive priority access to the Once Upon a River show, so you don’t have to manually book your spot. Bring your family and friends too since this tour accepts up to eight people. 

Night Safari

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—7:15 pm to 12 am
Admission Fee

  • Non-Resident—S$55 (adult), S$38 (child)
  • Resident—S$49.50 (adult), S$34.20 (child), S$20 (senior citizen)

The Night Safari is the nocturnal park in the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, and it’s also the first of its kind in the whole world. Having been open since 1994, this park is one of the most popular parks in the reserve; it attracts about 1.3 million visitors every year.

The Night Safari occupies about 35 hectares, and as its name indicates, it’s only open at night. The environment inside is also set to replicate a humid tropical forest to keep the animals comfortable. 

As of now, the safari is home to more than 900 animals across 100 species, and 41% of the species are threatened. A tram ride is already included in your ticket, so you’ll be able to pass by the various zones on this safari. 

Aside from the tram ride, here are some of the best things to do on the Night Safari.

Book the Safari Adventure Tour

Time: Monday to Sunday—7 to 9 pm

  • Public—S$560 (weekdays), S$700 (Fridays and Saturdays, public holidays)
  • WildPass Members—S$504 (weekdays)
  • Friends of Wildlife Members—S$448 (weekdays), S$560 (Fridays and Saturdays, public holidays)

While it’s great that the Night Safari ticket already includes a tram ride, you might not like it if you want something more private. If you prefer to tour the safari with just your loved ones, then the Safari Adventure Tour might pique your interest. 

This activity package provides you with your own buggy and personal guide, so you’ll get all the insider scoop on the park’s animals. Additionally, you’ll be given mocktails, so feel free to sit back and relax on the ride. 

Once you’re done touring, head to your reserved seat at the Creatures of the Night show!

Catch a Creatures of the Night show

Location: Night Safari Amphitheater
Time: every 7:30 and 9 pm; 10 pm (only on Fridays, Saturdays, and public holidays)

Creatures of the Night is the highly anticipated show in the safari. During this presentation, you’ll see wildlife creatures come out of their homes and entertain you by pulling tricks and stunts. You’ll also learn a lot about the animals.

This presentation is pretty popular, so expect that the amphitheater gets packed as soon as the doors open. I recommend booking your seat in advance and arriving at the venue early.

Watch the TwiLIGHT Performance

Location: Night Safari Entrance Courtyard
Time: Every 8:15 and 9:45 pm

Another show you can catch at the Night Safari is the TwiLIGHT Performance. This isn’t a presentation that showcases animals and their talents; instead, it features dancers performing a captivating number.

They use LED lights, so the entire dance looks so mesmerizing and colorful. It’s pretty short—only about five minutes—but it’s definitely one worth checking out.

Have an evening in the wild 

Time: Monday to Sunday—6:30 to 9:30 pm
Price: From S$280 per person (before GST)

Evening in the Wild is truly a dining experience like no other. Held at the largest tipi tent in Singapore, this Night Safari activity transports you to the wilderness for a short while. 

With Evening in the Wild, you’ll get to enjoy a four-course set meal, and each dish is paired with a beverage that complements its flavors. Also, you’ll get unlimited soft drinks or juices, so you’ll be refreshed all night long. 

Additionally, this dining experience puts you close to several exotic animals on the safari. So, when you’re done eating your meals, you’re free to come and say hi to them and have the guide tell you more about them if you want.

Mandai Wildlife West

Address: 20 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729825
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—8 am to 9 pm

Mandai Wildlife West isn’t a paid park like the other ones mentioned in this article; it’s a free public space that serves as a respite from your adventure. It’s located near Bird Paradise and the upcoming Rainforest Wild. 

Children, in particular, would be delighted to be here because there are many playground features: the Forest Stream Trail, Pangolin Hideout, and Pangolin Adventure. 

In addition to all that, Mandai Wildlife West is an Instagram-worthy spot; the waterfall cavern is sure to take your breath away. So, bring out your camera phone and take all the selfies you want!

Multi-Park Tickets 

You can buy separate tickets for the parks within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, but what if you want to access more than one park—or even all the parks? Luckily, you can do so by buying a multi-park pass. 

Currently, you have two multi-park options:

  • Two-Park Admission. You can visit any two wildlife parks, and you have seven days of flexibility. When you purchase this option, you’ll be able to save up to 9%.
    • Price: S$96 (adult), S$66 (child)
  • ParkHopper Plus. This option lets you visit all the parks, saving up up to 40%. There’s also flexibility of seven days, so you can choose when to come whenever you want (so long as it’s within that period).
    • Price: S$118 (adult), S$90 (child)


Aside from the multi-park passes, another way to save money when visiting any of the Mandai attractions is by becoming a member. Here are the membership options available:

MembershipPrice (Annually)Perks
Friends of Wildlife• S$195 (adult)

• S$155 (child/caretaker)

• S$385 (2 adults + 1 child)

• S$395 (2 adults + 2 children)

• S$405 (2 adults + 3 children)

• S$415 (2 adults + 4 children)

• S$425 (2 adults + 5 children)

• Annual admission to any of the wildlife parks; blackout dates might apply

• Parking pass at the multi-story car parks within the reserve’s premises

• 20% off Breakfast in the Wild, retail, F&B outlets, rides, rental items, wildlife tours, and Houbii Spot

Friends of Wildlife Plus• S$245 (adult)

• S$205 (senior citizen/child)

• S$465 (2 adults + 1 child)

• S$475 (2 adults + 2 children)

• S$485 (2 adults + 3 children)

• S$495 (2 adults + 4 children)

• S$505 (2 adults + 5 children)

• Annual admission to any of the wildlife parks; no blackout dates

• Complimentary Amazon River Quest boat rides

• Parking pass at the multi-story car parks within the reserve’s premises

• Complimentary birthday gift on your birthday month

• 20% off Breakfast in the Wild, retail, F&B outlets, rides, rentals, Houbii Spot, and any of the wildlife experiences

WildPassFree (only for Singapore residents)• 30% off admission tickets to any of the wildlife parks

• 10% off all Mandai Wildlife Run race categories

• 10% off at selected retail and F&B outlets, wildlife experiences, photos, Houbii Rope Course

• S$40 off Evening in the Wild

• S$100 off Panda-Mania Tour and birthday bundles

• Up to S$500 off wedding packages

Where to Eat

Singapore Zoo

Inuka CafeOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—8 am to 6 pm

Pricing: $

Serving beloved dishes of Singaporean cuisine, such as kaya toast and local desserts (e.g. chendol)
Chomel BistroOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10:30 am to 6 pm

Pricing: $

Another spot that serves local favorites, such as nasi lemak, fried bee hoon, and laksa
Ah Meng RestaurantOperating Hours: Monday to Friday—10:30 am to 4 pm; Saturday and Sunday, public holidays—10 am to 4:30 pm

Pricing: $$

Casual dining restaurant offering local and western delights, including chicken rice, biryani, and more
The Wild MartOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 6 pm

Pricing: $

Specializing in animal-themed baos filled with different flavors

Bird Paradise

Crimson RestaurantOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 5:30 pm

Pricing: $$$

Overlooking the Hong Leong Foundation Crimson Wetlands, this restaurant features a specially curated menu by Eric Teo, a local celebrity chef
Egg Splash Cafe and ShopOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Pricing: $

Featuring a menu filled with egg-based dishes
Penguin Cove RestaurantOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 5:30 pm

Pricing: $$

A buffet spread that features local and international flavors
Food CentralOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Pricing: $

An affordable dining spot offering local favorites like Hainanese chicken rice as well as western delights

River Wonders

StarbucksOperating Hours: Sunday to Thursday—9:30 am to 6:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, public holidays—9:30 am to 7 pm

Pricing: $$

A well-known coffee shop serving premium teas, fine pastries, and other delicious treats
Mama Panda KitchenOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10:30 am to 6:30 pmSpecializing in Chinese cuisine; highlights include panda pau, wok rice, and more

Night Safari

Ulu Ulu Safari RestaurantOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—6 to 11 pm

Pricing: $$$

A unique dining experience that’s inspired by the kampungs (villages) in the past
Häagen-DazsOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—6 to 11 pm

Pricing: $

A popular ice cream shop selling a wide range of flavors, including Belgian chocolate, macadamia nut, and strawberry

Mandai Wildlife West

Collin’sOperating Hours: Monday to Friday—10 am to 10 pm; Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays—9 am to 10 pm

Pricing: $$

An award-winning restaurant serving premium dishes from Western cuisines
Han’s UnionOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9 am to 8 pm

Pricing: $$

Offering a wide variety of comfort foods, such as pasta dishes and pastries
Old Chang Kee Coffee HouseOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—9 am to 8 pm

Pricing: $

Selling delectable snacks that are perfect on the go; the bestselling dish is the iconic curry puff
Pavilion Banana LeafOperating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 8 pm

Pricing: $$

A casual dining restaurant that specializes in South and North Indian cuisines

Download the Mandai App

If you’re planning to visit the Mandai Wildlife Reserve anytime soon, I recommend downloading the Mandai App. This app has many features that will undoubtedly make your trip smooth and fun. 

Some of these features include

  • Interactive Digital Maps and Get Directions. This way, you’ll never get lost while navigating the many parks within the reserve.
  • Reminder. If you’ve booked a show or presentation, you’ll receive a notification so that you won’t miss it. 
  • Itinerary. This is a travel guide that lets you stay on track where you want to go and what activity you want to try.
  • Discovery. If you’re looking for suggestions on things to do, this feature will recommend itineraries to you.

The Mandai app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play