10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

Have you encountered these animals before?

While Singapore might be commonly referred to as a concrete jungle with its towering skyscrapers and dense population, there is no lack of many hidden gems within its urban greenery. 

Just like how the best things in life come free, you can experience nature and wildlife in many natural spots in Singapore. Rather than visit the Zoo yet again which will cost you money, here’s where you can catch a glimpse of lesser-seen animals including the pangolin, Lesser False Vampire and many more in their natural habitats.

Just don’t forget to slap on sufficient sunscreen and keep mosquito repellent on hand. 

10 Best Places to Spot Wildlife in Singapore

Here are some natural spots you can consider for a more unusual family adventure.

1. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

The entire reserve contains over a massive 500 species of wildlife, including the lesser mousedeer which is in fact neither a mouse nor a deer. Also native to Singapore, this hoofed mammal is featured in Malay folklore and often portrayed as a witty animal. It stands at just about 45cm tall and weighs only 2kg.

10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

Wildlife in Singapore: lesser mousedeer | Image source: Facebook/NParks

While traversing the grounds, you might come across long-tailed or crab-eating macaques, a species of monkey native in Southeast Asia. If you’re lucky, you could also chance upon the shy and scaly-looking pangolin.

Tip: Never feed the monkeys. If a monkey approaches you, move away slowly without turning your back on it and avoid making eye contact. Also, show it that you are not holding anything on your hands.

Find more details here.

2. Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Iconic to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, among few other nature parks in Singapore is the Malayan colugo (flying lemur). These shy, nocturnal creatures mainly reside on trees and move around with a gliding motion. 

Fun fact: they are neither lemurs nor do they fly. 

10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

Malayan colugo that’s part of wildlife in Singapore | Image source: Facebook/NParks

Occupying over 2,000 hectares of forest cover, the nature reserve is also home to the critically endangered Raffles Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis) and the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica). Find more details here.

3. Changi Point Coastal Walk

This scenic boardwalk that’s open to the public 24 hours has six distinct sections: Creek Walk, Beach Walk, Sailing Point Walk, Cliff Walk, Kelong Walk and Sunset Walk. 

Wildlife in Singapore

Two Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) birds facing each other with open beaks. | Image source: iStock

Along the way at Cliff Walk, catch sight of wildlife such as the Common Sun Skink or golden skink, a reptile that’s usually mistaken for a short snake. Spot winged creatures at Kelong Walk such as the Pacific Swallow and Little Tern—a tiny, and delicate-looking seabird. 

Finally, be rewarded by the views at The Sunset Walk—a splendid egg yolk sunset awaits at the western end of Changi Point. Find more details here.

4. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Wander through the wetlands with an extensive mangrove forest of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, home to over 140 species of birds, including migratory ones (from September to March). Resident birds include herons, kingfishers, bitterns, sunbirds, tailorbirds and fruit pigeons.

Here, you can also encounter animals like otters and the Estuarine Crocodile. For a more enriching viewing experience, observe the creatures quietly and you might get to see more of their natural behaviours. 

Safety tip: Do keep a lookout for warning signs of the crocodiles—though less common—which could be lurking about. Also, be sure to put on comfortable shoes because trudging through some muddy swamps can be expected. 

Find more details here.

5. Chestnut Nature Park

More bird-watching activities can be done here at Chestnut Nature Park. Here’s where globally threatened species such as the Straw-headed Bulbul resides. This species is the largest of the Southeast Asian Bulbuls, and is more commonly found in Pulau Ubin and Bukit Batok. 

10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

The Straw-headed Bulbul | Image source: iStock

And if your family is one to fancy more physical activities, here’s the go-to park for separate mountain biking and hiking trails.

Find more details here.

6. Labrador Nature Reserve 

An oasis of tranquillity and natural wonders, home to the Labrador Nature Reserve is a very elusive animal called the pangolin. It is also known as one of the world’s most trafficked mammals.

However, due to their nocturnal nature, they are not as easy to spot in the wild. You *might* have a better chance in the evenings or night. 

Wildlife in Singapore

Pangolins are known to be docile and mostly nocturnal creatures. | Image source: iStock

En route, you might encounter a variety of bird species, including those of the Oriental Magpie-robin and Black-naped Oriole. And if taking leisurely strolls along nature trails is your cup of tea, don’t be surprised to spot resident squirrels scurrying up trees. Find more details here.

7. Coney Island Park

The island’s wilderness is ever present here, with no electricity, piped water nor food vendors in sight. Just be sure to leave the premise by 7pm (time where the park closes anyway) as the area can get rather dark.

A sanctuary for many wildlife creatures here, keep your eyes peeled for animals such as the spotted wood owl, which is known to be the largest owl in Singapore. This handsome creature can also be found in areas such as Pasir Ris Park and Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

Wildlife in Singapore

The spotted wood owl that’s native to Singapore | Image source: Facebook/NParks

Other animals include long-tailed macaques, red junglefowl and the rusty-breasted cuckoo. There’s also been a sighting of a lone Brahman bull wandering on the island. 

Note: Visitors are advised to wear long pants as they might encounter sandflies. The terrain is rugged at parts and may be unsuitable for younger children. 

Find more details here.

8. Hindhede Nature Park

Located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Hindhede Nature Park provides a scenic and serene environment for nature-lovers. Its easy trails and well-defined footpaths makes it ideal for families with young children and the elderly. 

Wildlife in Singapore

Image source: iStock

As you venture further on the trails, be sure to spot the park’s many inhabitants including the Banded Woodpecker, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Plaintain Squirrel. The main highlight? Settle down at the picturesque Hindhede Quarry which is located at the end of the park. Find more details here.

9. Pulau Ubin

Away from the hustle and bustle, it will be a treat to experience Pulau Ubin’s abundant wildlife where many of these species are considered rare, and some are not found on mainland Singapore.

10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

In Singapore, the Lesser False Vampire is only present on Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. | Image source: National Parks Board

You might even encounter the greater Mousedeer, bats like the Ashy Roundleaf Bat and Lesser False Vampire as well as birds like the Straw-headed Bulbul, Mangrove Pitta, Barred Eagle Owl and Brown Wood-owl. Find more details here.

10. Punggol Waterway Park

Wildlife in Singapore

White-throated Kingfisher | Photo: iStock

Located at the northeastern part of Singapore, this super chill park offers four unique themes for nature lovers of all ages. Also a haven for bird enthusiasts, look forward to seeing many feathered-friends including the Black-naped Oriole, Long-tailed Shrike, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, White-throated Kingfisher and more! 

Warning: In the case of a chance encounter with a wild boar, do not provoke it.

Find more details here.

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10 Nature Places to Spot Magnificent Wildlife in Singapore

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Written by

Jia Ling

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