Put briefly, Singapore Zoo is absolutely amazing. They have a huge range of animals that are fantastically well looked after - the majority of the large animals are kept in open enclosures with moats keeping them in rather than cages. Not only is this better for the animals, but it makes for a much better experience for visitors; you can get really close to the animals (sometimes it seems a little too close e.g. you could lean over and pet the rhinos if you were brave enough) and have an unrestricted view. We were really lucky with the weather, because it was pouring with rain all morning, which clearly put a lot of people off, but it then cleared up and turned into a really nice day, so the animals were all out soaking up the sun. You'll be pleased to read that I'm not going to go into details of every animal we saw, but instead I'm just posting a small selection of the huge number of photos from the day.
Some of the animals were literally lining up to be photographed:
Monique got the chance to feed some carrots to a giraffe.
One of the highlights was the free-range orangutans who are free to swing through the trees right over the paths. It appears that they could escape at will, but have chosen to stay in the zoo.
The big cats appeared much more content to sit out in full view than at any other zoo I've been to.
...and a photo-dump of some of our other favourite photos.
After the main zoo closed we also went on the Night Safari. This part of the zoo has three elements. First there is a tram that takes visitors around a completely separate part of the zoo that houses some larger nocturnal animals, and animals that are often more lively after dark (including more elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes etc as well as bears, wolves, hyenas, deer etc). There are a number of walking trails which take you around open areas where we could see plenty of smaller nocturnal creatures (and hear plenty more), and some enclosures with other animals (including leopards, and other big cats and monkeys). Finally there is a show that lets you get really close to some semi-tame animals. It was really great – we got to see loads more animals than we would have seen if we had just gone during the day, and it was also nice to see the animals clearly being more comfortable than if they were encouraged to change their sleeping patterns so that visitors can see them awake during the day.
Singapore zoo is by far the best zoo I have ever been to. We were both a little skeptical at first, neither of us being huge fans of zoos, but it completely won us around within minutes of arrival. It is an expensive day out (especially on a traveller budget) but is worth every cent, and was a really memorable day.