Craving a walk in the countryside? Here in Singapore, you can choose from family-friendly jungle hikes to boardwalks and sky-high paths!
It’s a well-known fact that space comes at a premium in Singapore. Luckily, the high-rise city skyline is offset with trees and green spaces everywhere you look. In fact, the island is home to one of the Top 10 Indoor Gardens of the World, the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. If you want to experience one of Singapore’s natural expanses, head to one of its four nature reserves. You’ll spot wildlife galore – most of which is native to the island!
Or, if you’re in the mood for an adventure, take a day trip to a nearby island and experience all the marine life that Singapore has to offer, too.
Nature reserves in Singapore
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Despite only covering 0.2% of Singapore, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to about 40% of the city’s undisturbed flora and fauna. We’re talking Seraya trees, the Singapore freshwater crab, Horsfield’s flying squirrel and even colugo and pangolin too.
There’s a main trail around the nature reserve that lets you access plenty of different natural areas. One road leads to the summit of Bukit Timah Hill – Singapore’s highest hill for avid hikers. Bukit Batok, which tags onto Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, is also open for leisurely strolls, with a leafy trail and a picturesque lake (you can take your pup too!).
Where: 177 Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
A bird watcher’s paradise, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. It’s renowned for its habitat of migratory birds, reptiles, crustaceans and wetland vegetation. Strap on your binoculars and spot everything from purple and grey herons to stork-billed kingfishers and yellow bitterns. Your best time to see a vast array of birds is between September and March each year, so it helps to plan ahead. Don’t forget there’s plenty more on the ground, too. The Malayan water monitor lizard, mud lobsters and even tree-climbing crabs can all be seen from the observation posts around the park.
Where: 301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925, p. 6794 1401. Open daily Mon-Sun 7:30am-7pm.
Labrador Nature Reserve
Labrador Nature Reserve is an all-in-one terrain characterised by its rocky shore, coastal forest, mangroves, mudflats, parkland and Adinandra belukar (a type of secondary rainforest). The reserve is broken up into three segments: the Alexandra Garden Trail, Berlayer Vreek mangrove trail and Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. Not only does it contain impressive wildlife diversity, Labrador Nature Reserve is also a historical site. It houses war relics, like the WWII fort and a series of secret tunnels built in the 1880s under British rule. And here a tip for cyclists and hikers. The park is connected via Southern Ridges, a 10km stretch of green open spaces that include Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park. Don’t forget to check out the playground at Dragon’s Tooth Gate, too!
Where: Labrador Villa Road, Singapore 119187. Open 24 hours daily.
Central Catchment Nature Reserve & MacRitchie Reservoir
The Central Catchment Nature Reserve is known as the largest nature reserve in Singapore. A whopping 2,880 hectares, it’s home to the much-loved MacRitchie Reservoir – the oldest reservoir in Singapore. MacRitchie Reservoir was declared a historic site by the National Parks Board in 2002. It’s surrounded by more than a square kilometre of forest that still flourishes in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve area. This natural forest is home to a 19th century rubber tree plantation, which can be admired from the reserve’s Treetop Walk. This 250-metre free-standing suspension bridge spans across the two highest points of MacRitchie, leading you through the treetops.
Here, adventure seekers can go on an exhilarating hike around the 11km MacRitchie Trails, spotting animals in their natural habitat. Look out for flying lemurs, owls, and long-tailed macaque monkeys! You can even see the beautiful reserve in a different light by canoeing or kayaking around the serene reservoir at sunset. Heaven!
Where: MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Singapore 298717
Love this list of nature reserves in Singapore? Check out these pretty Singapore parks, too!