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“Swamp excitement”

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
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Private Tour: World War II Introduction on Singapore
Ranked #62 of 837 things to do in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This 200-acre reserve, situated north of the island, is home to over 150 species of rare and exotic birds.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed May 16, 2014

An interesting visit but out on the walking paths it felt quite isolated as I walked with my two daughters. The sudden appearance of a large monitor lizard on the path really added an extra excitement. It quickly disappeared into the water. It was quite tiring in the heat even on the short walk and when we were there we didn't see a great variety of birds. The journey back to Singapore centre was a local minibus which came along the road on time.Since the disappearance of many Mangrove swamps in the world I felt privileged to have been able to visit one.

Thank Veronica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 - 184 of 382 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2014

The wetland reserve is out in Singapore's "rural" area (well as rural as it gets in Singapore), however it is an interesting place to visit if you're interested in wildlife, particularly birds. The place is a magnet for birders, as the wetlands is a popular stopover for migratory birds heading south to escape the cold in the north from Aug/September, and then heading back up in March/April.

A new "attraction" however are the 10-12 estuarine or saltwater crocodiles that have made the reserve their home. Visitors now look forward to spotting the crocodiles (although hopefully no nasty encounters with these predators).

The wetland reserve is undergoing redevelopment currently to make it into a major tourist attraction (with an entrance fee to match). It costs nothing to visit now, so visit it before its transformation. Do look out for the crocs too.

You can read my blog post on my recent visit:

1  Thank MBev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

If you ever wonder where the animals are, then you should visit this place. Went there with a professor and a research student last year. We were able to spot more than 10 wildlife inhabitants in less than an hour,amazing! Seriously, for nature lovers out there, this is a place you wouldn't want to miss.

1  Thank QQ Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Nice scenery, exciting experience for wild life photographers. Must bring some extra water or any drinks for more extra strength for walking

2  Thank LyndonTheMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) is the largest area of protected mangrove forests in Singapore, and one of the few open to the public, so that makes it one of the best places to go to learn and understand about mangrove ecosystems. Before you visit SBWR, I recommend bringing along mosquito repellent, a pair of binoculars (if any), as well as wearing comfortable walking shoes as the trails there are rocky, uneven and home to red ants that bite. I also recommend checking the tide levels when choosing a “good” day to visit; I’ll elaborate more on this later (link: http://app2.nea.gov.sg/weather-climate/forecasts/tide-information).

To get to SBWR, you can take bus service 925 from the bus stop directly in front of the money-changer, which is located at Exit C of Kranji MRT Station. The bus service stops directly outside SBWR only on weekends and public holidays; on weekdays the same service stops at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B and you’ll have to walk in, which takes about 20-25 minutes. Hence, I recommend taking the Kranji Countryside Express instead which stops directly at SBWR even on weekdays. A standard ticket costs S$3, while a concession ticket (for senior citizens 60 and above as well as children 12 and below) costs S$1; and the tickets are valid for a roundtrip on the same day. The shuttle service adheres quite closely to the timetable (link: http://www.kranjicountryside.com/kranji_express_schedule.html), so it’s advisable to be at the boarding point at least 3-5 minutes beforehand. The boarding point is actually the same bus stop found at Exit C of Kranji MRT Station. Just hang around the area where there is an information sign on the Kranji Countryside Express. I must emphasise that there is no actual queue for the shuttle service; if you happen to see an extremely long queue of people, it is most likely for the bus that goes to the Causeway instead.

I’ve visited SBWR during the past few months for a school project, and each time I visited, admission was free on all days, so I don’t think the S$1 admission fee applies anymore. A lot of reviewers have pointed out that toilets are only accessible at the visitor centre, and that there aren’t any within the nature reserve itself, but that is not entirely true; if you look at the map, there is a toilet, albeit a make-shift one, within the grounds, just that it may be inaccessible depending on where you are.

My project was on mudskippers, so for this review I’ll just focus on the mudskippers in SBWR. The places where you can most likely see these unique animals are at the Mangrove Boardwalk, the Mangrove Arboretum and the mudflats at Observation Hides 2D and 2E. The best time to see them would be during a low tide (spring low tides are even better), which is why I recommended checking the tide table. The giant mudskippers (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) can be easily found in all 3 areas, and are easily spotted with the naked eye. They are commonly found in pools of water, so keep an eye out for those! A second species, the blue-spotted mudskipper (Boleophthalmus boddarti) is a lot smaller and difficult to spot, so having a pair of binoculars is useful as you’ll be able to see the brilliant blue spots on their bodies a lot better. These blue-spotted mudskippers are less common, and so far the best spot I found was at MA1 in the Mangrove Arboretum.

During high tides, the giant mudskippers will cling onto the roots of mangroves while the blue-spotted ones stay buried underground and out of sight. Hence, when the mudflats are inundated, look to roots and barks of mangrove trees, and if you look hard enough, you might find giant mudskippers clinging to the roots, or even tree-climbing crabs scaling up tree barks (yes, mangrove crabs do climb trees!). Certain animal behaviours here in mangrove ecosystems are strongly influenced by the tides, so knowing the tide times can almost determine whether or not you can see a particular animal.

The monitor lizards here are free to roam the nature reserve, and you will often find them lying in the middle of the rocky trails soaking up the heat, so always be mindful of what lies ahead! They usually dash off the trail when visitors get too close but there are some that don’t; in such instances, try to walk round them and keep maximum safety distance as far as possible. There have been crocodile sightings, but those are quite rare.

Overall, I think that SBWR is the kind of place which warrants more than one visit. Each time you visit, you’re bound to encounter different experiences, which is exciting because you’ll never know what to expect. I do apologise for the long review, but I hope that whatever information I shared will help make your visit to SBWR a more fruitful one! =)

11  Thank 91MJJC19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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