Imagine cruising down the meandering Amazon River and coming face-to-face with animals that live on the banks and forests.
You can now experience a little slice of that adventure right here in Singapore at the River Safari.
The Amazon River Quest boat ride at the river-themed wildlife park finally opened to the public on Saturday.
The 10-minute boat ride is the last feature of the park to be launched, and marks the completion of the latest attraction by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
AN AMAZON RIVER EXPEDITION
The boat journeys through a 483m-long man-made river, and is designed to simulate an open-top boat voyage down the Amazon River.
“The boat ride is the icing on the cake and it really completes the River Safari,” Singapore Tourism Board’s chief executive Mr. Lionel Yeo told reporters after the opening of the ride.
Visitors will be able to view close to 30 animal species while on the ride, including the red-backed bearded saki monkey, collared peccary, and red howler monkey, which are three new species displayed for the first time here.
A giant anteater spotted peering into a manmade ant nest. Photo: Zaki Jufri
GET CLOSER TO ANIMALS
One of the highlights of the ride is going into a dark cave where visitors can get up close with jaguars, South America’s largest wild cat.
“What I like about the ride is that you can see real animals unlike other theme parks where visitors just see pop-up and static figures,” said Ms. Claire Chiang, chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
“The excitement is not just about the seeing the animals but also the journey of spotting the animals in their natural state. You cannot find the same kind of experience elsewhere,” she added.
Visitors looking at Caribbean flamingoes during the ride. Flamingoes stand on one leg to regulate their body temperature. Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
With the ride opened, Ms. Chiang is confident that visitors will gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of animals, plants and rivers and be inspired to protect freshwater habitats.
Covering a space of 12 hectares and developed at a cost of S$160 million, the River Safari is situated between the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari.
Touted as Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park, its landscaping concept features well-known rivers from around the world, such as Yangtze, Congo, Ganges, Mekong Mississippi and Nile.
The Amazon River Quest is part of the park’s Wild Amazonia zone, which showcases the rich biodiversity in the Amazon basin.
The two other habitats in this zone are the Squirrel Monkey Forest, a walk-through exhibit home to over 40 free-ranging squirrel monkeys, and the Amazon Flooded Forest which simulates the annual flooding of the Amazon rainforest with manatees and arapaimas swimming amongst giant trees.
Visitors can still enjoy the park at a discounted rate of $25 (adults), $16 (children 3-12 years) and $12.50 (senior citizens over 60).
Amazon River Quest | Venue: River Safari | Address: 80 Mandai Lake Rd. | Website: www.riversafari.com.sg