In the River, the mighty River, the Panda sleeps tonight


Last time we’ve been to the River Safari more than 2 years ago. Since then we have been several times to the excellent Singapore Zoo, but never again to the River Safari – which is weird, because it’s a great place.

So, despite the serious looking rain radar, we decided to pack the kids and ourselves into a cab at 8:45 am and head over there. The River Safari park is just next to the Singapore Zoo – but as it turns out, while the zoo opens at 8:30 am, the River Safari only lets visitors in at 10 am.


We spent some quality time at a faceless, but deserted food court, drinking juice and coffee until the gates were open. The first animals you see here are, hum, fish. Lots of fish.

Also bigger ones (but I like this photo, so you get these itsy-bitsy ones). Fun fact: in the same water where these little guys are happily jostling about, you have also this friendly fellow keeping watch…

“Whoa!”, you go. And you’re absolutely right.
Now, what is that? “A crocodile!” you go. And maybe you’re right. Maybe this is some sort of crocodile or alligator family beast. It is in fact called an Indian Gharial, and it originally lives in India’s river Ganges.

But look at the eye of that thing! It does this neat trick when the beast goes under water: some skin or so is flipping over it and at times air bubbles dance their way to the top of the surface.

Damn creeper, that one!

(I mean the photographer whose mirror image appears in the background – what did *you* think?)

A quick word on these photos:
If you’ve paid any attention those last few days on my blog, you might know that I have been experimenting with Lightroom Mobile and that I was rather pleased with the results. I was so much pleased, indeed, that I actually bought the Adobe Photography plan including Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC (and if you know how I have bickered and bitched about Adobe in the past, you might realized how much of a big deal this Lightroom and Creative Cloud integration must be, that I am willing to throw money at Adobe).

And yes: every photo that you see here has not been touched on my MacBook Pro. I downloaded them with the SD card reader onto my iPad, pre-screened the photos (orginal count: 130, remaining: 44), sent them to Lightroom Mobile and did the major edits I wanted to do. For this entry, I then picked the photos I wanted to use, saved them in the Photos app, and ran them through Photoshop Express on the iPad to sharpen them and saved copies back into Photos, so I can grab them with WordPress. The results are rather stunning, if you ask me.

After I have written this entry, I will do some more edits on the RAWs on my Mac, to be frank: I will sharpen the photos in LR for desktop, too, put keyword and also make sure the GPS information makes sense.

On a side note, I assume these 44 photos will take up ~1 GB on my Mac’s hard drive. And yet, they do not seem to count against that 2 gig Creative Cloud limit. Let’s see whether this is going to stay like that.

Where was I now?
Right! After that creepy crocodile we passed by a big aquarium with proper, big fish. And I got to say, I love the backdrop they make for family photos.

I also love Oskar’s new hat.

I have another photo, taken a fraction of a second after this one where you can see more of that big fish behind Lamia and the boys. But both Oskar’s and Thomas’ faces don’t look as sweet there. Lamia is perfect in both photos, of course…

Speaking of crocodiles and the likes: here’s a Chinese Alligator.

Then it was time to enter the Panda house. The Red Pandas were as beautiful but also much more active then last time when we were visiting.

Their big brothers, however…

Or dead.
I mean, the one Thomas and I were posing with was more active than the one in the enclosure…

We had fun, nonetheless.
Before entering the Panda house, photos of the visitors are being taken and when you leave the place, they are of course ready for purchase. I could not help buying this one here (and look and behold – the softcopy was available for download virtually immediately).

After this we co-incidentally ran into a kinda petting-zoo presentation where the kids could touch an iguana or some sort of lizard, look at a parrot real close and pet a strange hedgehog with red eyes.

We had to skip once more the actual River Safari where you go through parts of the park that are only accessible by boat (but you have to be a least 1.06 m tall, which is just 6 cm above Oskar’s current height), and went directly to the Squirrel Monkey Forrest. Last time this was spectacular and at first we could hardly see the hair of a monkey in the trees. But we were in luck: we arrived just for lunch and as a zookeeper came with a bucket of something, the previously calm trees were shaking from dozens of monkeys who were fighting for their fair share.

I got a few nice photos, but here’s my favourite:

Once we were done here, we skipped the cows and headed straight home, because we were close to lunch time for our own two little monkeys.

What a great visit, though.
I think we might recommend our next visitors to come here instead of the better known Singapore Zoo.

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