A WILD EXPERIENCE
There are many awesome things to see and do in Singapore, but one of the most wild and memorable experiences I had there was jungle breakfast with the Orangutans at Singapore Zoo. This fun and unique activity is a highlight at the zoo. It has made a lasting impression on me and encouraged greater awareness of their plight as an endangered species.
I recently spent time in Singapore exploring the many epic sites and landmarks and absolutely loved Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa Island and Raffles Hotel. I also visited the green jungle oasis of Singapore Zoo, located in the north of the country.
It is one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. A stunning tropical setting, of islands, rainforests and waterfalls, which is home to 300 species of animals from Australasia and Africa, all on 28 luscious hectares.
There are no cages or ugly fences here, only wide open spaces where the animals roam around freely, with naturally landscaped boundaries of trees, streams and moats. Glass separates patrons from the more dangerous animals.
The zoo is renowned for the magnificent efforts in animal conservation and the successful breeding programs to protect endangered species, like the Orangutans.
It is also the only zoo in the world with free roaming Orangutans.
Jungle Breakfast with the Orangutans
I was thrilled to go to Jungle Breakfast with the Orangutans at Singapore Zoo. It was an amazing experience and one of the highlights in Singapore. If you want to get up close to these fascinating primates and learn more about them, this is something quite unique to be able to enjoy and one of the most popular tourist attractions, particularly with families and children. This zoo is the first to offer breakfast with wildlife.
As we sat enjoying the awesome breakfast at the outdoor restaurant, several Orangutans came swinging down from the trees, making a grand entrance. They perched on their breakfast ledge just a short distance from where we were seated. Everyone was thrilled to have the privilege of such adorable breakfast companions.
They feasted on various fruits and plants, and were quite comfortable with all of us watching them. Maybe they’re as fascinated with us humans as we are with them.
Orangutans are very intelligent animals and playful, especially the little ones which have so much energy and cheekiness. It’s a joy to watch them interacting with one another. I loved watching the mother and child.
Plenty of photograph opportunities were available during the encounter, where we could stand close to the Orangutans. We posed for photos with the professional photographer to purchase later if we wanted to, and of course took plenty of our own photos too.
The keepers were happy to answer any questions about the animals. They have a special relationship with the Orangutans. One has been with them for 20 years.
We were not able to touch the Orangutans, or feed them.
The buffet breakfast
We enjoyed a huge selection of food from a sumptuous buffet. An array of local delicacies and western foods were on offer, similar to a buffet at any good hotel. There is something for everyone here to enjoy, with hot and cold foods.
The jungle breakfast with the Orangutans at Singapore Zoo was held at the Ah Meng Restaurant, a big open air terrace.
At the end of the breakfast, the Orangutans departed on their aerial adventure, up through the trees, swinging on the vines, to their jungle island home.
It was quite sad to see them leave us, especially the cute little ones.
Check out my video below.
Snazzy Tips for breakfast with the Orangutans at Singapore Zoo
1. I recommend you arrive at the Ah Meng Restaurant terrace inside the zoo at 9am when the breakfast commences. The Orangutans join the party at 9.30am until 10am only. It’s best to enjoy the breakfast first, or you may miss out on some of the food. You can always continue eating throughout the session as well, until 10.30am.
2. Don’t rush to approach the orangutans.
3. Always respect the animals.
4. Make sure to enjoy the rest of the zoo while you are there, as your ticket for breakfast covers entry to the whole of the zoo.
5. Book your breakfast online in advance, so you are assured of a place, especially with limited numbers available.
6. Check the website for further details.
Singapore Zoo Details
- Location: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore
- Open: every day
- Hours: 8.30am to 6pm
- Facilities include: Kidzworld, River Safari, zoo tram, scooters, strollers, wheelchairs, wifi, and plenty of food options available.
- Zoo bookings: you must book online.
Interesting Facts about Orangutans
- Orangutan means ‘person of the forest’ in Malay and Indonesian.
- There are 3 species of Orangutans – Sumatran (from Sumatra, Indonesia), Bornean (from Borneo, Malaysia) and the newly identified but critically endangered, Tapanuli (from South Tapanuli in North Sumatra).
- Orangutans are great apes, not monkeys, because they don’t have a tail, and are very closely related to humans.
- They are very intelligent animals and can copy what humans do by watching, such as using tools.
- They are generally docile, but males can get aggressive.
- Children stay with their mothers for up to 8 years.
- They have a life span of about 50 years and can weigh up to 100kg.
- Their favourite food is fruit. They particularly love the smelly durian fruit, found in their natural habitats.
- Orangutans have very long arms, perfect for swinging through trees.
- In fact, they spend much of their life in trees and sleep in the treetops, only coming down when they have to.
- They make a new nest in the trees to sleep in every night.
- The logging of trees in their natural habitat is contributing to their demise. Palm oil plantations are replacing the rainforests the Orangutans live in.
Help The Orangutans
Since my encounter with these human-like creatures, I’ve become a lot more aware of the crisis they are facing and how we can all help protect them from extinction.
There are 10 different organisations around the world helping to save Orangutans in the wild that you can get involved with.
Malaysian Borneo is seeing wonderful progress in the restoration of Orangutan habitats, from trees that were planted 10 years ago with World Wildlife Fund.
The Orangutan Foundation International Australia is helping the Orangutans of Borneo in reforestation. You can buy a cute mask or donate to the cause.
Darrell Lea Chocolates, an iconic Australian brand, have recently hit the news with the company now producing all their chocolate 100% palm oil free. I love their current TV commercial being aired in Australia. Check it out below.
Other Places To See Orangutans
Other places you can see Orangutans, either in the wild or in sanctuaries, are:
- Zoological part of Lok Kawi, near Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
- Taiping Zoo, Perak, Malaysia.
- Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah, Malaysia.
- Rasa Ria Nature Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia.
- Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia.
- Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia.
- Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sumatra, Indonesia.
- Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan, Indonesia.
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