River Wonders

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Coordinates: 1°24′14″N 103°47′39″E / 1.403782°N 103.79414°E / 1.403782; 103.79414

River Wonders
River Wonders logo 2021.svg
Entrance of River Safari, Singapore.jpg
Entrance of River Wonders
Date opened29 November 2012; 8 years ago (2012-11-29)
(Giant Panda Forest)
3 April 2013; 8 years ago (2013-04-03) (Soft opening)
28 February 2014; 7 years ago (2014-02-28) (Official opening)
LocationMandai, Singapore
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Land area12 ha (30 acres)[1]
No. of animals5000[2][3]
No. of species300[3]
Annual visitors966,890 (FY 2019/20)[4]
Public transit accessBus transport 138, 926, 927

River Wonders, formerly known as River Safari, is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Singapore. It is built over 12 hectares (30 acres) and nestled between its two counterparts, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari, Singapore.[2] It is the first of its kind in Asia and features freshwater exhibits and a river boat ride as its main highlights. The safari was built at a cost of S$160m, with an expected visitor rate of 820,000 people yearly.[5]

The Giant Panda Forest was opened to the public on 29 November 2012,[6] with a soft opening on 3 April 2013, attracting close to 1,500 visitors.[7] This attraction is the fourth zoo in Singapore, along with the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, and Night Safari, all of which are managed by Mandai Wildlife Reserve. The park was officially opened on 28 February 2014, and it was announced that more than 1.1 million have visited the River Safari since its soft opening in April 2013.[8]

On 13 October 2021, River Safari was renamed to River Wonders.[9]


Giant panda Kai Kai, one of the main attractions at the River Safari comes an epic Yangtze River
Red panda on Yangtze River
Yangtze alligator on Yangtze River

Conceptualization of such as River Wonders began in early 2007, and its construction was officially announced to the public on 11 February 2009 with an estimated completion date of late 2011.[10] The project began with an estimated budget of S$140 million as well as an annual visitor rate of 750,000,[10] however since the original announcement in 2009 the budget has since increased by S$20 million in 2010, due to rising construction costs, to S$160 million and the annual visitor rate has also increased to 820,000.[11]

The park is built within the current 89-hectare (220-acre) compound already shared by the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari[10] and occupies 12 hectares (30 acres), making it the smallest of the three parks.[5]


The park boasts a tropical rainforest setting[11] along with as river theme with various animal attractions, theme park rides and other major exhibits.

Giant pandas[edit]

One of the main attractions is a pair of male and female giant pandas – Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉)[12] – which are housed in a specially constructed climate-controlled enclosure which change throughout the four seasons emulating their original environment.[13] The zoo grows its own 8,000-square-metre (86,000 sq ft) plantation of special bamboo specially for the feeding of the giant pandas. These pandas are a sign of the twentieth anniversary of friendly Sino-Singapore relations. The park also received a conservation donation from CapitaLand.[14] The names of the two pandas were selected from entries of a public naming competition organised in 2010.[15] The pandas, which arrived in September 2012, are on a ten-year loan from China.[16]

On 14 August 2021, a panda cub was born to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, later revealed to be a male on 10 September.[17] This was the first after seven breeding rounds since 2015, which did not yield any cubs. The panda cub was conceived via artificial insemination.[18]

During the first few days after the cub was born, Jia Jia was given fluids as well as a glucose diet to get through the trying period with her mothering skills improving by the day.[19][20]

Subsequently on 26 August 2021, Mandai Wildlife Reserve announced that the cub will return to China once it turns two, the age when it matures. The cub also has black markings being more apparent by the day. Discussions are also ongoing with Chinese authorities to extend Kai Kai and Jia Jia's stay beyond 2022, the initial period when the pandas are supposed to return back. This is to allow for more breeding programmes to be conducted after the cub separates from the parents.[21][22]

On 22 September 2021, the cub opened his eyes to the world for the first time when he was 40 days old with the panda cub weighing 1.87kg, an increase of 370g from the previous week. Two weeks later, the panda weighed 2.638kg as at 1 October.[23][24]

Theme park rides[edit]

The park features a boat ride called the Amazon River Quest. It features over 30 wildlife species from the Amazon River, such as Brazilian tapirs, capybaras, guanacos, brown-headed spider monkeys, brown capuchins, black howler monkeys, red howler monkeys, collared peccaries, jaguars, maned wolves, giant anteaters, two-toed sloths, Caribbean flamingos, common rheas, scarlet ibis, and green iguanas.[25] It was opened to visitors on 7 December 2013.[26]

A 15-minute Reservoir Cruise on the Upper Seletar Reservoir, will travel along the outskirts of Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari compound, which border on the reservoir, giving visitors a chance to spot animals including giraffes and Asian elephants. Tickets are priced at S$5 for adults and S$3 for children aged three to 12, on top of River Safari admission. Each cruise can take up to 40 passengers and runs at 15-minute intervals from 10.30am to 6.00pm daily. The boats are wheelchair-friendly. The ride opened on 1 August 2014.[27]


Public transportation[edit]

River Wonders is served directly by MRT line with the nearest station being the Springleaf MRT station.

There are three bus services operated by SBS Transit and SMRT Buses which calls at the bus stop near to the Zoo.[28]


A shuttle service, known as the Mandai Khatib Shuttle, plies daily between Khatib MRT station and the Zoo. A one-way trip cost $1 for everyone above the age of three.[29] A separate service, known as the Mandai Express, operates on weekends and holidays to and from three locations in Bedok, Sengkang, and Tampines. A one-way trip cost between $1 and $3 for everyone above the age of three.[30]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE BUILDS RIVER SAFARI" (PDF) (Press release). Wildlife Reserves Singapore. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Park Experience". Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club (20 March 2013). "About River Safari" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  4. ^ "WRS Yearbook 2018/2019" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
  5. ^ a b Grace Chua (21 May 2010). "Pandas, polars at new Safari". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Kai Kai and Jia Jia to make public debut on Nov 29". The Straits Times. 29 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  7. ^ "River Safari opens to public during soft launch". Channel NewsAsia. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013.
  8. ^ "More than 1.1 million visited River Safari since opening last April". Channel NewsAsia. 28 February 2014.
  9. ^ "River Safari, Jurong Bird Park renamed in Mandai Wildlife Group rebranding". TODAYonline. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Grace Chua (11 February 2009). "River Safari in 2011". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  11. ^ a b Mustafa Shafawi, Hetty Musfira (21 May 2010). "Attractions of Asia's first river-themed park River Safari unveiled". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  12. ^ Relax – S'pore's giant pandas named Kai Kai and Jia Jia
  13. ^ Wildlife Reserves Singapore Staff. "River Safari – Official Page". Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  14. ^ "WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE TO RECEIVE TWO GIANT PANDAS FROM CHINA" (PDF) (Press release). Wildlife Reserves Singapore. 11 November 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  15. ^ Channel NewsAsia
  16. ^ Channel NewsAsia
  17. ^ "It's a boy: Gender of Singapore's first giant panda cub confirmed, public invited to submit names". CNA. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  18. ^ Ng, Keng Gene (15 August 2021). "Singapore gets first panda cub, born to Kai Kai and Jia Jia at River Safari". The Straits Times. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  19. ^ Co, Cindy (19 August 2021). "'We were worried': Kai Kai and Jia Jia's keeper on panda cub birth". CNA. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  20. ^ Soh, Gena (20 August 2021). "Giant panda Jia Jia on a glucose diet to boost her energy after giving birth". The Straits Times. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  21. ^ Co, Cindy (26 August 2021). "Baby panda to return to China after it becomes independent; gender to be revealed soon". CNA. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  22. ^ Soh, Gena (26 August 2021). "WRS in talks with Chinese authorities to extend stay of giant pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai". The Straits Times. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  23. ^ Chia, Osmond (24 September 2021). "An eye-opening moment: Kai Kai and Jia Jia's panda cub opens eyes for the first time". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  24. ^ Ang, Shermaine (1 October 2021). "He's growing fast! Singapore-born baby panda tips the scales at almost 3kg". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Amazon River Quest". Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  26. ^ "River Safari launches boat ride, marking completion of wildlife park". Channel NewsAsia. 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Launching This Friday: New River Safari Cruise". Channel NewsAsia. 30 July 2014. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Getting here". wrs.com.sg.
  29. ^ Chew, Hui Min (9 March 2017). "New daily express bus from Khatib to Mandai wildlife parks". The Straits Times. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Mandai Express". form.jotform.com.