Despite the fact it is a huge city, Singapore is actually a pretty wild place with lots of green spaces to explore. I love searching around for different types of animals, and a few of my students do too. If you’re also interested in this type of thing, check out this list of my favourite places to see wildlife.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
This one’s a bit hard to get to because it’s all the way in the northwest corner of Singapore. If you have the time, however, it’s well worth it. First of all, it’s the best place in Singapore to see crocodiles. I generally see them at low tide, so check the tide tables before you go out. This is also a great place to see Malayan water monitors. The ones here seem to be much larger than they are elsewhere, and you can often see them right on the path or right next to it. I’ve also seen a king cobra here before, so be careful!
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Unlike Sungei Buloh, this one’s more central. Some of the paths up the hill can be difficult, but if you stick to the main road, you should have no problem making it up to the summit. Along the way, you might be able to spot Singapore’s other type of monitor lizard, the clouded monitor. These ones are smaller than the Malayan water monitors, and they have a different colouring. Listen for noises up above as well as you may see a monkey or a squirrel jumping through the trees.
Pulao Ubin is actually an island located to the north of Singapore’s main island, so you will need to take a boat from Changi Jetty. Don’t worry, though. It’s only two dollars to cross. Once you arrive on the island, you can rent a bike for fairly cheap (not as cheap as it used to be) and explore a lot of the island in an afternoon. As you ride, you can expect to see wild boar, which are quite common, and if you are lucky, you may see the python that preys on them as well. Pulao Ubin is also home to the Chek Jawa Wetlands, where you can climb up to a platform above tree level and catch a glimpse of the bird life. One time, I was lucky enough to see five or six hornbills in one tree.
So, if you’re new to Singapore, or if you’ve been here for some time and are now tired of the concrete jungle, you should definitely check these places out. Just don’t forget to bring your bug spray.