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Quietly nestled in between the Lion City’s foremost wildlife reserves, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari enclosure lies the country’s latest addition to an already illustrious list of attractions for nature lovers. Built at a cost of $160 million, River Safari is home to the globe’s most expansive freshwater aquarium as well as the largest panda showcase in Southeast Asia. Boasting one of the world’s most extensive collections of freshwater fauna, River Safari houses more than 6000 creatures which include 40 endangered species of wildlife. As the famed home of Singapore’s famed resident Pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai a tour of the River Safari is a must-have experience for all holidaymakers visiting the Lion City. Based on the world’s iconic rivers the state-of-the-art wildlife sanctuary occupies a vast expanse with the Upper Seletar Reservoir serving as the backdrop.
Having opened its doors to the public in early 2014 the 12 hectare space is also the home of the Amazon Flooded Forest and the Squirrel Monkey Forest although its chief attraction is the famed Giant Panda Forest where Singapore’s only resident Giant Pandas reside. As ten year loans from China the magnificent creatures named Jia Jia and Kai Kai occupy a specially built climate-controlled area of River Safari while a special variety of bamboo is also grown by the zoo’s own 86,000 square foot cultivation region to feed the furry inhabitants.
The Mississippi River at River Safari explores the world of beavers and endangered Mississippi paddlefish and alligators while the Congo is home to the world’s biggest freshwater puffer fish. Tiger fish and finned birchirs occupy the River Nile while the Ganges is littered with goonch catfish, crocodilian Indian gharial and soft-shell turtles. The Murray River in contrast boasts inhabitants the likes of barramundi, crab fish and the nearly 2m long Murray Cod.
The Mekong River is home to giant freshwater stingrays and Mekong catfish while giant salamanders occupy the Yangtze River. In Wild Amazonia visitors can hop on board the Amazon River Quest where spider monkeys, Brazilian Tapirs and jaguars await while the Amazon Flooded Forest ecological showcase is equally engaging.
Refreshments are available at the River Safari Tea House and the Mama Panda Kitchen while memorabilia and souvenirs can be purchased at the River Safari Shop or House of Kai Kai & Jia Jia.
Travellers in search of trendy hotels in Singapore should look no further than the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Singapore group. Providing guests with the best in contemporary amenities the stylish Singapore hotels under this flagship hospitality conglomerate offer unforgettable vacations in the Lion City.
Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.Google+