Sprawled over 87 hectares of wetland and located in the north west of Singapore, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife and lush flora and fauna. Visitors can have a glimpse of migratory birds as they make their winter journey to the warmer climates of Australia – with some coming from as far away as Siberia in their long journey south.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
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I visited Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with my family recently, and it was a trip well worth our time and effort. Even though the place is hard to find and get to, the serenity and sights offered by Sungei Buloh is a great break from our usual high-rise concrete buildings back in the city.
I like how the layout of the place is very neat and well-organised, with signboards adequately placed everywhere, so we didn't have to spend a lot of effort to find our way around the place. Go early enough in the morning, and you will be able to see lots of different bird species upclose with their colourful feathers. The nature scenery offered by the towers and lookout points is stunning, with greenery as far as the human eye can see.
Do remember to bring insect repellent and lots of water, there are a lot of insects and the weather can be scorching hot.
Free (weekdays). Fantastic. Far away. Friendly. Feathered friends
Maybe not everyone wants to wander round wetlands and hide in hides. Why not? Forget the crocodiles that are actually monitor lizards! Forget the mud but not the mudskippers. If you are there at the right time of the year, it is amazing: Herons, kingfishers, sunbirds, you name it! But when is the best time?
I still can’t find out. All I know is that there are several kilometers of paths through the mangroves. There is a nice little café at the entrance gate where you can rest after your walking overlooking a lotus filled pool.
And beyond the monitor lizards and crabs, you can look across the straits to Malaysia.
Its a great place to go if you can figure out when the birds are there.
You read that right! Last year, my class ditched the usual Cineleisure, Sentosa, Ion and Sakura buffet to head to Sugei Buloh for our class outing and I have to admit, it was the most memorable one I've had. We marveled at the mudskippers fighting, crabs digging holes, fishes literally jumping out of the river for goodness-knows-what-reason, humongous weird-looking reptiles lying in front of our paths and a whole host of other strange and amazing sights. It was nature at its best, considering we live in Singapore of course, The place was also well-mapped and the walking trails were clearly defined with a lot of interesting sights along the way, provided you keep a lookout of course. It's unlike the zoo in the sense that you're in such close proximity to the 'wild', but fret not, because the 'wild' there is rather tame.
We even had a peaceful mini picnic at one of the lookout towers and it was such a refreshing change from those we normally have at crowded Sentosa beaches. All in all, I really enjoyed the outing, being able to really bask in the company of my friends in the tranquility of the reservce, undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of city life where sights and sounds everywhere relentlessly attempt to distract you.
Tucked away in the north-western part of Singapore, Sungei Buloh is a nature heaven that most S'poreans tend to overlook or simply forget. For the those who don't own a car, I do empathise with them as getting to this venue can be a chore, as public transport to this gem of a place, is convoluted at best. To those with private transportation, then I do wonder why do they aren't they doing justice to this venue.
Perhaps this might anyone interested to visit Sungei Buloh..... It' FREE entry (weekends only..even then, the charges at weekends and public/school holidays are just a token $1 (adults) and 50cts per child/student/senior citizen. And for the motored visitors - FREE Parking !!! How's that for a start ? And what's even better, play a big part in the saving GAIA...it's a low carbon activity venue !!!!
But to be brutally frank, to enjoy Sungei Buloh better, a basic knowledge of nature life is advisable. Otherwise, the park may come across as simply a big garden that migratory birds visit, with plenty mozzies to irritate come late noon onwards. And of course, at least a basic love for nature.
And to really enjoy the awesome place, "lower" your heartbeats...slow down and spot the macros ...insects, wildlife,eco-systems...enjoy the breeze wafting from the Straits of Johor....there's even a pond that many fishes (mullets) jump into the air at periodic seconds...spectacular sights indeed!
Go with plenty of time, no rush. Bring along insect repellent, water bottles (there's a water cooler at the front exhibit house to top up your bottles) ...and of course, a good binoculars, at least 7x50, to spot the birds all the way from Siberia, etc.
For the nature photographers, a macro lens (100mm or 180mm are recommended) to really bring out the eco-systems, insects,...you will be squatting a lot, even prone,...but it's a macros heaven!
The reserve entrance area is undergoing retrofitting and improvement at the moment, as part of the park rejuvenation masterplan...with completion slated at end 2013. So visit the park....reconnect with nature, reconnect with yourself.
I like it that it is a less crowded place than zoo and bird park, yet it offers a great variety of life forms if only you would take time to observe. Not to mention, you are paying must less as well. Known to be a popular bird viewing place but you can find lots of crabs, spiders and monitor lizards too! I have seen snakes before so I have learned to bring a long umbrella to protect myself.
Important to bring binoculars to watch the magnificent flying creatures, insect repellent, towels, lots of liquid and snacks. Please do not litter at this beautiful mangrove habitat.
I came here once, as part of a school field trip. I was very excited about this trip, as I like walking through nature, and learning about new plants and wildlife.
As it was a rainy day, the wetland reserve was particularly wet, and it was a muddy fare. I noticed that there were many foreigners around me, who had taken time off the visit the wetland reserve, I feel that the people have disrupted the serenity brought by the wetland reserve, as big groups of people are often walking around, and talking loudly. As a student, it also disrupted by learning.
I think Sungei Boloh is a very unique feature that Singapore has. Much effort has been put in to make this place accessible to the public, and I'm grateful that I've had a chance to go to such a place.
This place really does showcase the original Singaporean nature landscape, mangrove swamps. The place is filled with fresh air and is cool due to the number of trees present, but the ground is more of muddy than stable soil or rocky earth, which really showcases our natural coastal landscape. This is a good sight to appreciate, as to me many people do not really know the true beauty of Singapore's original landscape before it became a concrete jungle.
There is also a significant variety of wildlife that resides in the reserve, such as crabs, lizards and kingfishers, who reside in their natural habitat. Despite the reserve being a nice place, I feel that it is too disturbed by all the human activities in the area which deters more wildlife from residing there and thus the nature reserve is not at a state where it is a true swamp habitat yet.
If visiting, do keep a sharp eye for potential dangers such as snakes and wasps which are in reasonable abundance in the nature reserve.
As part of my geography lesson last year, we had a learning journey to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. I would like to commend on the tour guides there for being very informative and making our trip far more engaging and interesting. A complete guide of the reserve would take approximately 2 hours and be prepared for your feet to feel very tired. Also, I would advice you to bring a water bottle as you can get really thirsty during the tour.
Nevertheless, you will definitely enjoy being completely surrounded by the flora and fauna in the reserve. The walkways are very well constructed and all you have to do is follow the path. No worries about getting lost whatsoever. An interesting yet educational experience indeed!
I actually have fond memories of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It was a combined secondary school excursion with another affiliated school, and I don't recall having to pay an admission fee(it was most likely covered by my school). As we had to do various activities whilst bonding with the other school, not only did we get to be on a closer level to the surrounding nature(such as measuring the pH of the water in the swamp), we also had a guide who pointed out various wildlife to us. I still recall fond memories of monitor lizards lying in the pathway.
I advise one to enlist a guide or at least, have a map of the area so to not be lost. The area was relatively remote(without anyone around) and thus it is better to be safe. Also, bring a pair of binoculars as that will enable you to observe wildlife up close.. from a far distance that is (:
However, I do think that it is based on your luck as to the amount of wildlife observed... but learning about the mangrove forest is fascinating.
One absolutely cannot go there with expectations, because you will be invariably disappointed. There is no guarantee that you will even see any form of wildlife worth talking about, especially with an untrained eye. Even with a guide, the wildlife may still elude you. And will a spotting of a supposedly rare bird even excite you? You probably have the highest chance of spotting a monitor lizard, which stoically stares as you as you gape at its incredible lack of aesthetic appeal. If you would rather see the cute pandas, I suggest a trip to the zoo is in order.
However, if you are able to go there with an open mind, and treat it as an opportunity to interact with nature, with any wildlife spotted being a bonus, Sungei Buloh can prove to be a fulfilling trip. After all, I did see way more than just a monitor lizard.