Lonely Planet Writer

Nature tourism at the top of Singapore's agenda with two new wildlife parks to add to its appeal

In Singapore, ground has been broken on a new eco-tourism hub that will build on the city’s already considerable appeal for nature tourism. The development is located in Mendai, home to the popular Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, and River Safari, and will add to these attractions with two brand new wildlife parks: a new bird park that will replace the existing park in Jurong, and a rainforest park.

Jurong Park, Singapore.
Jurong Park, Singapore. Image by Getty Images

The whole project will take several years to complete, with the bird park being the first new attraction to open, in 2020. The park will feature all kinds of exotic and endangered birds from around the world living in large walk-through aviaries that will represent their native habitat – from the savannahs of South America to the Australian bush, to the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Colourful birds-of-paradise, parrots, hornbillls and even common songbirds will all be housed at the park, which will also operate conservation, research and breeding operations.

Orangutans at Singapore Zoo.
Orangutans at Singapore Zoo. Image by Getty Images

The rainforest park will recreate a Southeast Asian jungle and will showcase its range of biodiversity with trails at different levels of the forest, from an underground cavern to aerial walkways where visitors will be able to stroll alongside swinging orangutans.

The hub will also include ‘eco’ accommodation options, an indoor nature-themed attraction, event space, and trekking and adventure activities. Access will be via a new and completely subterranean transport complex.

The project passed an Environment Impact Assessment in October 2016, and hopes to be fully operational by 2023.