The first thing you should avoid when photographing Singapore Zoo’s spectacular sights would be waterlogging your “waterproof” camera on your most recent scuba dive. The second thing you should avoid is forgetting to make space on your phone so that you could use it as a back-up camera during your time at the zoo. I know this because I managed to do both. Fortunately, these terrible mistakes did not stop me from enjoying the most impressive zoo I have ever seen.
In addition to Singapore Zoo, there are three other surrounding entertainment parks which you may choose to visit. Next time I go, I will definitely make time to see the only night safari in the world. This time, however, we chose to add the river safari to our zoo visit. This was a fantastic choice! After passing several enormous and pristine tanks full of terrifying and enormous river fish, and reading about the longest, deepest, holiest, and crookedest rivers in the world, we reached the incredible river safari. Because schools have already started in Singapore and it was a Thursday, there was no line and we got the boat all to ourselves. This meant we were able to squeal and point and laugh as loud as we wanted as our boat passed by jaguars, ibis, howler monkeys, tapirs, turtles, and many more. It truly felt like we were in the wild with these breathtaking creatures and it was an experience that I will not soon forget. Although the movement of the boat is not ideal for stunning photography, I believe it gives a better impression of what it may be like to photograph animals in the wild because you are constantly searching for movement to your left, right, and above.
Although the zoo was noticeably older and busier than the river safari exhibition, it was still on par for being incredibly beautiful and well-designed. Like the river safari, it felt as if we were truly in the wild with these animals because the thick green jungle and cleverly-designed exhibits (I say exhibits, not cages, because there were no fences in the zoo) allowed you to peer through the greenery to spot four or five different species of animals from any point that you stood. It was also important to remember to always look up because there was almost certainly some species of monkey or exotic bird overhead. My biggest advice for photographing Singapore Zoo would therefore be to keep your head on a swivel and to visit in groups so that you can point out all the animals to each other. Unlike the gigantic spotless tanks at the river safari, it would also be advisable to bring a cloth with you if you are hoping to photograph animals behind glass.
On every map there is a list of feeding times for various animals and animal shows. Although they are entertaining, I wouldn’t advise attending an animal show if you’re hard-pressed for time because it does not present a fantastic photo opportunity. Instead, do your best to be at as many feeding times as possible because they tend to put the food where you can get a great view of the animals. We managed to see the white tigers right after they ate, so they were playful in the water and posing majestically for any photographer. The food at the fragile exhibit was also strategically laid out so that lemurs calmly walked right by us, fruit bats were content with eating an arms-length away, and curious mouse deer followed us wherever we went. I would not miss the fragile exhibit no matter how many times I returned to Singapore Zoo. And I hope to return soon!