River_Wonders Latitude and Longitude:

1°24′14″N 103°47′39″E / 1.403782°N 103.79414°E / 1.403782; 103.79414
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1°24′14″N 103°47′39″E / 1.403782°N 103.79414°E / 1.403782; 103.79414

River Wonders
Entrance of River Wonders
Date opened29 November 2012; 11 years ago (2012-11-29)
(Giant Panda Forest)
3 April 2013; 11 years ago (2013-04-03) (Soft opening)
28 February 2014; 10 years ago (2014-02-28) (Official opening)
Location Mandai, Singapore
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Land area12 ha (30 acres) [1]
No. of animals11,000 [2] [3]
No. of species260 [3]
Annual visitors966,890 (FY 2019/20) [4]
Public transit access 138 [a]
927 [b]

River Wonders, formerly known as River Safari, is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Mandai, Singapore, it forms a part of the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, consisting of the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Bird Paradise and the upcoming Rainforest Wild Park. It is built over 12 hectares (30 acres) and nestled between its two counterparts, the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari, Singapore. [2] It is the first of its kind in Asia and features freshwater exhibits and a river boat ride as its main highlights. The safari was built at a cost of S$160m, with an expected visitor rate of 820,000 people yearly. [5]

The Giant Panda Forest was opened to the public on 29 November 2012, [6] with a soft opening on 3 April 2013, attracting close to 1,500 visitors. [7] The park was officially opened on 28 February 2014, and it was announced that more than 1.1 million have visited the River Safari since its soft opening in April 2013. [8]

On 13 October 2021, River Safari was renamed to River Wonders. [9]


Conceptualisation of such as River Wonders (then known as River Safari) began in early 2007, and its construction was officially announced to the public on 11 February 2009 with an estimated completion date of late 2011. [10] The project began with an estimated budget of S$140 million as well as an annual visitor rate of 750,000, [10] however since the original announcement in 2009 the budget has since increased by S$20 million in 2010, due to rising construction costs, to S$160 million and the annual visitor rate has also increased to 820,000. [11]

The park is built within the current 89-hectare (220-acre) compound already shared by the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari [10] and occupies 12 hectares (30 acres), making it the smallest of the four parks. [5]


River Gems

This tank and aviary displays various species of smaller fish like tetras, danios and gouramis and birds like violet turacos and Von der Decken's hornbills. [12]

River of Africa

This precinct elephantnose fish, eastern bottlenose, giraffe catfish and Atlantic tarpons.

Congo River

The Congo River area consists of a pond containing various Lake Malawi cichlids, ringed teals, and Crowned hornbills in a paludarium setup. A nearby tank showcases Lake Tanganyika cichlids. [13]

Nile River

A large Egyptian themed tank houses two species of tigerfish, the African and Goliath tigerfish alongside African arowanas, African pike, giraffe catfish, lapradei bichir and saddled bichir.

Ganges River

Themed after a Hindu temple, the area features gharials and a tank for clown knifefish and goonch.

Mary River

A tank replicating a mangrove forest houses a variety of Australasian fish like Australian lungfish and banded archerfish. Nearby is a smaller enclosure for mudskippers and a former touch pool which now houses mangrove horseshoe crabs. [14]

Mekong River

Visitors first view an enclosure for a troop of lion-tailed macaques. The main attraction of this area is a large tank that houses several giant fish from the Mekong like the Mekong giant catfish, giant freshwater stingray and Siamese giant carp. Several smaller tanks feature smaller fish species. There is also an aviary based on a rice paddy field in Thailand with painted storks, black-faced spoonbills, rufous night herons and spotted whistling ducks. [15]

Yangtze River

Rare species such as a false gharial, Chinese high-fin banded sharks and sturgeons are kept in this area. [16]

Pavilion Capital Giant Panda Forest

The Pavilion Capital Giant Panda Forest spans 1500 square-metres and is specially climate-controlled enclosure which change to simulate the giant panda's natural habitat. As of 2022, it is home to a male and female pair named Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉) and their cub Le Le (叻叻), born in 2021, Returned in 2024 Kai Kai and Jia Jia was Brought To River Wonders in 2012 transported by a Boeing 747-400 registered 9V--SFP. [17] Red pandas are also housed in this area. Visitors can watch the staff prepare fresh bamboo daily for the pandas.

Amazon River Quest

The Amazon River Quest is a boat ride that features several South American animals such as collared peccaries, brown capuchin monkeys, red howler monkeys, red-backed bearded sakis, brown-headed spider monkeys, giant anteaters, guanacos, Brazilian tapirs, jaguars, black howler monkeys, flamingos and capybaras. [18] [19]

Wild Amazonia

After the Amazon River Quest are a series of enclosures, each housing green anacondas, white-lipped tamarins, cotton-top tamarin, a pond for silver arowanas and other fish and Cuvier's dwarf caimans. Initially, the area also had the Squirrel Monkey Forest featuring a walkthrough squirrel monkey habitat but in 2023, it was renamed Amazonian Wonders and now houses Azara's agoutis, macaws, white-faced sakis and yellow-footed tortoises.

Amazon Flooded Forest

The Amazon Flooded Forest is a large indoor complex that features a wide variety of species from the Amazon River. Giant otters are visible from a viewing tunnel and several smaller tanks house electric eel, a shoal od Crenicichla lugubris and smaller fish like blue discus and altum angelfish. This complex boasts the largest tank in the park which holds the park's group of manatees, arapaima, red-tailed catfish and pacu. River Wonders has had success in breeding the manatees. In August 2016, two young male manatees named Junior and Kai were released into a protected bay in Guadeloupe to participate in a breeding programme. [20] However, on October 2 2016, Junior died of a renal failure. [21] At the end of the building is a tank for freshwater stingrays.


The park boasts a tropical rainforest setting [11] along with as river theme with various animal attractions, theme park rides and other major exhibits.

Giant pandas

One of the main attractions is a pair of male and female giant pandas – Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉) [22] – which are housed in a specially constructed climate-controlled enclosure which change throughout the four seasons emulating their original environment. [23] The zoo grows its own 8,000-square-metre (86,000 sq ft) plantation of special bamboo specially for the feeding of the giant pandas. These pandas are a sign of the twentieth anniversary of friendly Sino-Singapore relations. The park also received a conservation donation from CapitaLand. [24] The names of the two pandas were selected from entries of a public naming competition organised in 2010. [25] The pandas, which arrived in September 2012, are on a ten-year loan from China. [26]

On 14 August 2021, a panda cub was born to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, later revealed to be a male on 10 September. [27] This was the first after seven breeding rounds since 2015, which did not yield any cubs. The panda cub was conceived via artificial insemination. [28]

During the first few days after the cub was born, Jia Jia was given fluids as well as a glucose diet to get through the trying period with her mothering skills improving by the day. [29] [30]

Subsequently, on 26 August 2021, Mandai Wildlife Reserve (then Wildlife Reserves Singapore) announced that the cub will return to China once it turns two, the age when it matures. The cub also has black markings being more apparent by the day. Discussions are also ongoing with Chinese authorities to extend Kai Kai and Jia Jia's stay beyond 2022, the initial period when the pandas are supposed to return. This is to allow for more breeding programmes to be conducted after the cub separates from the parents. [31] [32]

On 22 September 2021, the cub opened his eyes to the world for the first time when he was 40 days old with the panda cub weighing 1.87kg, an increase of 370g from the previous week. Two weeks later, the panda weighed 2.638kg as at 1 October. [33] [34]

On 8 October 2021, the cub was revealed to have teeth quicker than expected, given that the teeth were formed two months after birth instead of the three typically. This meant that it could start eating bamboo soon. Six teeth were seen, with the first forming on 23 September. On 6 October, the panda weighed over 3kg with its length taken as 51.5cm from head to tail. [35] The panda weighed 4.18kg as of 22 October with the length at 59.5cm from head to tail. [36]

It was revealed on 19 November 2021 that the panda took its first steps and weighed 6kg with a length of 67cm. [37] [38]

On 29 December 2021, the panda was named Le Le (叻叻) based on the name "Shi Le Po" (石叻坡), an old Chinese term for Singapore. Le Le debuted the following day at its new nursery in the Giant Panda Forest. [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] On 10 March 2022, Le Le joined Jia Jia in the main exhibit with the information board unveiled. [44] [45]

On the 13th of December 2023, Le Le made his last public appearance to Singaporeans. On the 16th of January 2024, Le Le touched down in Chengdu on a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft, where he will contribute to the conservation project for pandas. [46]

Theme park rides

The park's boat ride, the Amazon River Quest, was opened to visitors on 7 December 2013. It takes visitors through several animals from South America. [47]

A 15-minute Reservoir Cruise on the Upper Seletar Reservoir, will travel along the outskirts of Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari compound, which border on the reservoir, giving visitors a chance to spot animals including giraffes and Asian elephants. Tickets are priced at S$5 for adults and S$3 for children aged three to 12, on top of River Wonders admission. Each cruise can take up to 40 passengers and runs at 15-minute intervals from 10.30am to 6.00pm daily. The boats are wheelchair-friendly. The ride opened on 1 August 2014. [48]



Public transportation

River Wonders is not served directly by MRT line with the nearest station being the Springleaf MRT station.

There are two bus services operated by SBS Transit and SMRT Buses which call at the bus stop near to the Zoo. [49]


A shuttle service, known as the Mandai Shuttle, plies daily between Khatib MRT station and the Zoo. A one-way trip cost $1 for everyone above the age of three. [50] A separate service, known as the Mandai Express, operates on selected weekends and holidays to and from three locations in Bedok, Sengkang, and Tampines. A one-way trip cost between $1 and $3 for everyone above the age of three. [51]

As of April 2023, the Mandai Shuttle has been taken over by free shuttle services. Pickup is still from Khatib MRT station.

See also

External links


  1. ^ via  TE4  Springleaf and  NS16  CR11  Ang Mo Kio
  2. ^ via  NS4  JS1  BP1  Choa Chu Kang


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  2. ^ a b "About River Wonders". Mandai Wildlife Group. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club (20 March 2013). "About River Safari" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  4. ^ "WRS Yearbook 2018/2019" (PDF). Mandai Wildlife Group.
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  10. ^ a b c Grace Chua (11 February 2009). "River Safari in 2011". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  11. ^ a b Mustafa Shafawi, Hetty Musfira (21 May 2010). "Attractions of Asia's first river-themed park River Safari unveiled". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  12. ^ "River Gems - River Wonders".
  13. ^ "Congo River - River Wonders".
  14. ^ "Mary River - River Wonders".
  15. ^ "Mekong River - River Wonders".
  16. ^ "Yangtze River - River Wonders".
  17. ^ "Giant Panda Forest - River Wonders".
  18. ^ "Amazon River Quest". Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  19. ^ "Amazon River Quest - River Wonders".
  20. ^ "River Safari sends two manatees to the Caribbean for intenanational breeding programme". 7 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Surviving manatee doing well in the Caribbean: River Safari". 4 October 2016.
  22. ^ Relax – S'pore's giant pandas named Kai Kai and Jia Jia
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  25. ^ Channel NewsAsia
  26. ^ Channel NewsAsia
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  30. ^ Soh, Gena (20 August 2021). "Giant panda Jia Jia on a glucose diet to boost her energy after giving birth". The Straits Times. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  31. ^ Co, Cindy (26 August 2021). "Baby panda to return to China after it becomes independent; gender to be revealed soon". CNA. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
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  33. ^ Chia, Osmond (24 September 2021). "An eye-opening moment: Kai Kai and Jia Jia's panda cub opens eyes for the first time". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  34. ^ Ang, Shermaine (1 October 2021). "He's growing fast! Singapore-born baby panda tips the scales at almost 3kg". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  35. ^ Woon, Wallace (8 October 2021). "Giant panda cub gets new teeth at 2 months old, may start eating bamboo earlier than expected". The Straits Times. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  36. ^ Zheng, Zhangxin (28 October 2021). "S'pore River Wonders' panda cub is now over 4kg, requires bigger weighing tray". Mothership. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  37. ^ Koh, Maxine (19 November 2021). "Singapore's panda cub is turning 100 days old and he's finally getting a name in December". CNA Lifestyle. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  38. ^ Menon, Malavika (19 November 2021). "Almost 100 days old: Baby panda expected to join public exhibit early next year". The Straits Times. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  39. ^ "First giant panda cub born in singapore named "le le (叻叻)" – After the old chinese term for his birth country". Mandai Wildlife Reserve. 29 December 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  40. ^ Tang, See Kit (29 December 2021). "First giant panda cub born in Singapore named Le Le after public vote". CNA. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  41. ^ Goh, Yan Han (29 December 2021). "Singapore's first panda cub named Le Le; public can see him twice a day from Thursday". The Straits Times. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  42. ^ Leo, Lakeisha (30 December 2021). "Giant panda cub Le Le welcomes visitors at new nursery in River Wonders". CNA. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  43. ^ Sarah, Siti (30 December 2021). "Visitors queue to catch glimpse of Singapore's first panda cub Le Le". The Straits Times. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  44. ^ Abdullah, Shameelah (10 March 2022). "Le Le makes his debut at River Wonders' Giant Panda Forest exhibit, joining mum Jia Jia". CNA Lifestyle. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  45. ^ Yeo, Shu Hui (10 March 2022). "Le Le, first panda cub born in S'pore, joins mum at Giant Panda Forest exhibit". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  46. ^
  47. ^ "River Safari launches boat ride, marking completion of wildlife park". Channel NewsAsia. 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013.
  48. ^ "Launching This Friday: New River Safari Cruise". Channel NewsAsia. 30 July 2014. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014.
  49. ^ "Getting Here".
  50. ^ Chew, Hui Min (9 March 2017). "New daily express bus from Khatib to Mandai wildlife parks". The Straits Times. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  51. ^ "Mandai Express".