Sleeping at the Night Safari


Henrik und Liev seemed to be pretty fit after the long flight from Germany, so Claudia and I decided to take them to the Night Safari, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Singapore.

But of course we ran late. With the pool, the dinner, booking the tickets and calling a cab, we were on our way only around 8 pm. Naturally, Liev fell asleep in the cab after 5 minutes and Henrik could only be kept awake by bribing him with two Chupa Chups lollipops.

Once there, we got in line for the tram ride. There are basically two ways offered to do a night safari: one is to go on the walking trails, so you go at your preferred pace, but you have to go on foot, of course. The other is to board a 40 minute tram ride which  drives you past the main attractions. That’s what we wanted to do. Liev was still more asleep than awake and Henrik was also not in shape to do much walking.

The problem: when we lined up at 8:30 pm, the queue was insanely long.

Claudia: I hope it’s worth the wait…

We were suffering through this long queue, even considering dropping out a few times. But after one hour, we finally were sitting in that bloody tram. The photo they took of us beforehand is not necessarily reflecting our mood (particularly because I had seen several trams passing through with free seats on them – and when you are queuing with two toddlers for an hour, this is really pissing you off).

Here a selfie of us after boarding…

… and the professional shot a minute later. Liev sleeping is reflecting the situation very well :)

Now what about the ride? Was it worth the hour long wait?
Hum. I might be too cynical, but after having been on the Night Safari, it is probably the last place I would recommend anyone to visit when in Singapore! Imagine this: you are sitting in that tram, passing by different animals and a soothing female voice is overselling the excitement of what you see.

Narrator: Next, we are going to see one of the most respected and feared animals in Asia…

Huh – what might that be?!

Narrator: … the Indonesian mountain goat!

Erg, what?!

Narrator: Its horns can become up to 7 centimeters long!

Oh yeah? That’s great.

I dramatize a little, of course, but 80% of the beasts you see are goats, cattle, buffalos and antelopes, half of which are hanging, chewing on some treats and most of the others sleeping or half-sleeping. Honestly, the gecko we saw crawling up the wall when we had an ice cream after the ride was more exciting than that.

Yes, we saw the lions (with a rather active male) and the tiger (also active) and the giraffes and elephants (decently active, too). But even though it partly feels they are quite close, the lighting – while enabling good sight – was weird and of course when something interesting is happening the tram is already pushing forward. Or it goes too slow and you get that extra minute on watching a tapir sleep.

Okay, I admit that the walking trails might be better, but I don’t have much motivation to try them out after this experience. And: the kids seemed to have liked it. Liev woke up pretty early into the tram ride and seemed to be excited what he saw (sometimes hiding behind Claudia when there was a more scary animal).

I think both of them had more fun eating the ice cream, however, and climbing the crocodile sculpture at the entrance:

After this one was tamed, we were ready to grab a cab back home and call it a night.

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