The Best Ecotourism Experiences in Singapore

MacRitchie Reservoir Park is located around Singapore’s largest reservoir
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is located around Singapore’s largest reservoir | © Filipe.Lopes / Shutterstock

For a hugely urban and technologically forward country, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Singapore still has an abundance of ecological enclaves for people to experience nature in different forms. A lot of these are unique and offer a fascinating chance to have an experience that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and provide some benefit in our ecological landscape.

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Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve

Touting a vast landscape of mangrove reserve, this is one of the few unadulterated reserves you will see in Singapore. Noted for being a site of immense importance for biodiversity, especially for migratory birds, this site is a treasure trove for those seeking to get closer to nature and by tracking the trails, you can easily spend the entire day exploring.

Singapore Night Safari

A zoo that focuses specifically on nocturnal animals, this place is immensely popular for good reason. There’a a whole series of activities to be had here, from dining inside a tipi set amid the wildlife to an actual safari where you get up close and personal with a whole bunch of night critters, including some threatened species.

River Safari

Another one you won’t find elsewhere in Asia, get on a boat ride through the world’s rivers and see some fascinating animals like the red panda, the Amazonian jaguar or the dugong. Bring your family along here, especially if you have kids, as they can have the chance to spot animals camouflaging and see up close in their natural habitat what they come across on TV. This is a stunning adventure that can be had in the day and offers a joyous and educational experience while pitted comfortably in your deck.

Tampines Eco Green

If tranquility is what you desire, this spot is the place to be. No vehicles – not even bicycles – are allowed and there are no street lamps. The place is tailored especially for those with a love of slow-living and the bucolic environment. The park is rather diminutive compared to a lot of others but it maximises its area with stunning shrubbery that houses a whole host of species and a diverse ecosystem.

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin at dawn

An unspoilt natural haven, this island located in the north-west of Singapore is home to some of the last kampongs or traditional villages that use to be a common sight in Singapore. Besides its rustic look, it is also a fascinating place to go on hikes or bike rides to explore its beauty. Chek Jawa is also located here, the wetlands known for being the last few spaces with a natural rocky shore and tours are organised for those keen on exploring the area’s rich biodiversity.

Central Catchment nature Reserve

As the largest nature reserve in Singapore, this is one of the most beautiful spots of lush and expansive greenery you will come across. There is a whole series of animals you will only see here on top of other exotic ad critically endangered ones. The entire forestland encloses four of Singapore’s reservoirs and what you will see here is a beautiful semblance of how resources are maintained yet preserved with as little carbon footprint or human interference as possible.

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

The streets at Lorong Buangkok

The absolute last kampong on the mainland, these were usual sights everywhere if you were to live here during the 60s and earlier. As development and the population started growing, these were toppled for the now ubiquitous HDB apartments. Currently, this place remains as it is, without outside interference and serves a fascinating emblem of how a simple life in tune with the natural landscape works in a concrete jungle such as Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay

One of the more iconic locations in Singapore and built right square in the city centre is this massive terrarium of stunning horticulture. The goal was to further enhance Singapore’s ‘Garden City’ image to one where the city is literally inside a garden and it shows in how flora and fauna so artfully interact with the surrounding urban landscape. Housing a large variety of species from all across the globe, this place will leave you stunned and impressed with its scale and scope.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The only location in Singapore and the only tropical gardens to be honoured with an UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, this massive garden is a really popular place to visit due to the unique flora and fauna to see here. It is open till midnight so you can easily check this out conveniently. It is worth noting that this is where the nickname ‘Garden City’ came from and the expertise here helped other projects to literally blossom fruitfully.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

One of the last stretches of primary rainforests left in Singapore, this is a popular destination for people to go trekking or running. Despite its tiny size, it contains quite a bit of flora and fauna but the particular concept behind this place is what sets it apart, in the sense that people can naturally be a part of nature as they go for their leisurely stroll. It’s not just a rainforest isolated and left on its own for those who would maybe explore.

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