From Bird Park to Bird Paradise: The new Mandai attraction animal lovers will love
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SINGAPORE – Animal and nature lovers, this one's for you! Our little red dot got even more exciting with the newly relocated Bird Paradise. From Jurong Bird Park to Bird Paradise, the Mandai Wildlife Reserve opened its doors to the public on 8 May 2023 with much anticipation. As one of Asia’s largest bird parks, the 17-hectare park is now home to 3,500 birds from 400 species, of which 24% are threatened species. Think birds soaring above your heads, nesting amongst eucalyptus and fig trees, endangered species having a second lease of life, 400 species in lush, ungated premises with elevated canopies, meandering forest streams, scenic lookout points, gorgeous waterfalls, and more!
If you are curious about what to expect and want to maximise your day at the new attraction, read on as we uncover the main highlights and when and where to experience close encounters with your favourite birds and mammals at Bird Paradise!
An exciting dining enclave
Upon drop-off, you must walk an estimated 500 metres before reaching Bird Paradise's entrance. Those coming with the elderly and kids take note. You will be rewarded with the incredible sight of a beautiful waterfall as you take the escalator up towards the numerous eateries such as A&W, Collin’s, Han’s, Pavilion Pavilion Banana Leaf Restaurant, Old Chang Kee, Starbucks, Cheers and Birds of Paradise (how can our favourite local ice-cream stop not be included right?), as you approach the entrance. Foodies will be glad to know that there are eateries outside and inside Bird Paradise, offering many dining options and price points.
I adore the way the entire park has been conceptualised. The eateries and convenience store are well-integrated with wooden slats, concrete walkways, meandering paths, playgrounds, lush forests, and open-air wash basins. Walking towards the entrance, I felt good about the new Bird Paradise. Truthfully, I felt an instant affinity towards this new venue compared to Jurong Bird Park, which was less spacious and open. And I have yet to step into the park!
Off we go
Upon entry, I got even more excited and was vexed about where to start my journey. Orchids adorn the water feature near the park entrance, which proved to be one of many features for group photos and OOTDs. Touted to be specially designed to encourage discovery at every turn, Bird Paradise has loads of immersive and naturalistic mixed-species habitats in eight spacious walk-through aviaries. Thankfully, there was a park map at the entrance, which aids easy navigation. First, download the Mandai app, which provides all the pertinent information parkgoers should have. Then, tour ‘around the world’ as you venture into the dense African rainforests, South American wetlands, Southeast Asian paddy fields, Australian dry eucalyptus forests, and more.
Top tip 1: Download the Mandai app for park information and map for easy navigation.
One of the biggest highlight for me was the state-of-the-art penguin habitat. So naturally, that was one of my first stops. Since despite wearing an extremely lightweight and airy sundress, I was already sweating buckets. Nevertheless, the cool environment of Penguin Cove proved to be a wonderful respite from the relentless sun's rays that were beating down. Here, you get to dine in air-conditioned comfort at the newly opened Penguin Cove buffet restaurant. Beware, too, that this may be a place where you and your companions may wish to spend a longer time, thanks to the lovable penguins and the extremely cool temperature here.
Top tip 2: Wear loose-fitting clothes, and comfortable shoes, bring sunscreen for continuous reapplication throughout the day, and pack water, a hat and a handheld fan!
Top tip 3: For those who wish to stay longer at Penguin Cove, prep a lightweight cardigan.
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Bird Paradise at a Glance
Size: 17 hectares
- 10 zones, including 8 walk-through aviaries
- A penguin habitat
- A zone dedicated to birds of high conservation value
- 2,000-seat amphitheatre with two avian presentations
- 10 zones, including 8 walk-through aviaries, which consist of Heart of Africa, Wings of Asia, Crimson Wetlands, Amazonian Jewels, Songs of the Forest, Mysterious Papua, Australian Outback, and Lory Loft
- 7 dining outlets
- 1 wet and 1 dry play area for kids
Close encounters with your favourite birds and animals
Those who delight in having close encounters with their favourite birds and animals can take advantage of the opportunity to feed them and listen to their keepers' first-hand accounts of their behaviour and personalities. But first, download the Mandai app for feeding sessions, show times, venues, park maps and other essential information. No pre-booking is required! Read on for the 4 up-close experiences to partake in Bird Paradise.
1. It’s feeding time!
Having an animal come close to you and eat out of your hand can be magical. Bird Paradise offers plenty of bird feeding sessions and keepers' talks, which provide an in-depth understanding of the different bird species and even a behind-the-scenes tour. Read below for feeding times and what you can expect. Do note it costs S$8 per feeding, which goes to park conservation. The feeding sessions also allow for loads of photo ops. So go for it, we say!
African Birds feeding
When: 9.30am & 2pm
Where: Heart of Africa
Look out for: Eight different species of Turacos, the most extensive variety held in a single area, including Great Blue Turaco, Livingstone’s Turaco, White-crested Turaco, Superb Starling, Red-winged Starling, Laughing Dove, Black-crowned Crane.
What to expect: Take in the majestic sight of various bird species swooping down from the canopy for feeding time. You can also feed the starlings and rollers with mealworms and turacos with pieces of fruit.
Lories & Lorikeets feeding
When: 11am & 3.30pm
Where: Lory Loft
Look out for: Dusky Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-collared Lorikeet, Marigold Lorikeet, Coconut Lorikeet, Yellow Bibbed Lory
What to expect: Feed the lories and lorikeets with cups of sweet nectar in this highly interactive feeding experience. Be prepared with these cuties and choose to sit atop your head.
Where: Wings of Asia
Look out for: Australian Pelican, Black-faced Spoonbill, Papuan Hornbill, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Milky Stork
What to expect: Take in the splendid view from the pavilion, which overlooks the Balinese-inspired paddy fields, while feeding pelicans with their favourite fishes.
Top tip 4: Feeding sessions may be crowded, so allocate some time and be prepared to wait.
Top tip 5: Wear a hat in case the bird chooses to perch on your head during feeding, and leave a souvenir!
2. Keepers’ Talk
Who better to learn more about these amazing bird species than the keepers themselves? Gain deeper insights into penguins, songbirds and macaws. Here’s what you should know.
Learn all about Penguins
Where: Penguin Cove
Look out for: Gentoo Penguin, King Penguin, Humboldt Penguin, Northern Rockhopper Penguin
What to expect: Fancy learning about penguin behaviour and the personalities of individual penguins? Now you can!
Get a rare glimpse underneath the swimming penguins from an acrylic dome on the first storey. Head to the mezzanine level for a multimedia projection highlighting the four seasons in the life of a King Penguin's colony and the impact of climate change on penguins in the wild. Even better, dine at Penguin Cove Restaurant while observing the penguins in their habitat.
Top tip 6: Observe penguins in their natural habitat and in comfort as you partake in the snacks and drinks at the café. This is an excellent place to rest tired feet.
Be serenaded by Songbirds
Where: Songs of the Forest
Look out for: Greater Green Leafbird, Bali Myna, Straw-headed Bulbul, Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Santa Cruz Ground-dove
What to expect: Discover the distinct vocalisations of each species and the importance of protecting these threatened songbirds. Be sure to try out the Silent Forest interactive and keep an ear out for a forest filled with the melodious sound of birds compared to one without.
About Macaws and Flamingos
Where: Crimson Wetlands
Look out for: Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-green Macaw, Blue-throated Macaw, Scarlet Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, American Flamingo
What to expect: Lured by an electric whistle, flocks of macaws descend, anticipating their favourite macadamia and walnut treats. Listen to intimate anecdotes and gain a deeper understanding of their unique personalities and behaviours at this interactive Keeper Talk. Then, hop across the lily play pockets and test your balance. Or take in the 20m-tall waterfall inspired by the San Juan Curi waterfall in Colombia – a tribute to the Waterfall Aviary of Jurong Bird Park.
3. Uncover more with the behind-the-scenes tour
Bird Discovery Tour
When: 10.30am –12.00pm OR 3.30pm – 5.00pm
Cost: $400 to S$500 per group
Group size: Up to 8 pax
What to expect: There's nothing like getting an inside scoop on the most charismatic feathered friends in this intimate experience. So expect up-close-and-personal experiences on this tour!
Backstage Pass: Avian Healthcare
When: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Cost: From S$118.40 to S$148 per pax
Group size: Min. 2 to go, up to 8 pax
What to expect: How are the birds kept in the pink of health? Peek behind the scenes and catch a vet in action at the Avian Healthcare and Research Centre. Observe meal preparation by the nutritionists at the Nutrition Centre. You may even see one of the bird nannies providing ‘eggs-pert’ care for their charges at the Breeding Centre.
4. It’s show time!
No matter which zones you decide to visit first, go to the 2,000-seat Sky Amphitheatre, which has two brand new shows – Predators on Wings and Wings of the World. The show is not merely a display of some rare species and how intelligent or cute the birds are; it is also packed with nuggets of interesting information about the birds in Bird Paradise. Did you know? Owls with yellow eyes are day-active species, while those with orange or red eyes are active at dusk and dawn. Learn these facts and more at the Bird Paradise shows. We shall not spoil the fun for you by over-sharing. All we can say is, expect entertainment, fun and laughter and an animal party. So don’t skip these two shows!
Predators on Wings
When: 10am & 2.30pm, Daily
Where: Sky Amphitheatre
Check out: White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andean Condor and Cinereous Vulture
Wings of the World
Where: 12.30pm & 5pm, Daily
Where: Sky Amphitheatre
Check out: Macaws, Hornbills and Pelicans
Top tip 7: Be there at least 10 minutes before showtime. This will give you ample time to head to the restroom and chope a vantage seat at the 2,000-seat amphitheatre.
How much time to allocate?
For someone who walks relatively briskly, it took me an estimated 4 hours to cover the entire park, complete with some time for a quick meal and two shows. However, if you plan to partake in the feeding sessions, keepers' talks, join the behind-the-scenes tour, and take copious OOTDs, I suggest setting aside more time to take it slow. Also, if you plan to bring along children and the elderly, set aside more time, as you will likely be taking frequent breaks.
Let the kids expend their boundless energy at the Treetop Play (open 9am – 6pm), where they bounce on the trampolines and scale the nets like the feathered residents! Bring along the kids' swimwear should they prefer water activities. The egg-themed Egg Splash playground (opens 9:30am – 5:30pm) offers wet play zones with water slides, sprays and shallow pools. Adults can unwind at the sheltered pavilion, retail shop or café nearby (phew!).
Top tip 8: The café and sheltered pavilion nearby offer you a chance to rest as your children partake in the wet and dry playgrounds.
Top tip 9: Bring extra clothes if you do not want to disappoint those who love water features.
So is Bird Paradise worth a trip?
The Bird Paradise is definitely well worth a visit. However, at S$48 per adult ticket, it may be a hefty dent in the pocket, especially for those coming as a family. That's why we suggest getting Go City's All-inclusive pass, including entry to Bird Paradise. Read below for details.
Top tip 10: Get Go City’s all-inclusive pass to enjoy considerable savings in Singapore's 27 attractions. From now until 14 May, you save an extra 10% when you input promo code "MAY10". Get Go City’s all-inclusive pass here.
Get your Bird Paradise tickets from GoCity
Bird Paradise is located at 20 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729825.
Other Mandai Wildlife Reserve attractions animal and nature lovers should not miss:
Types of Go City passes
There are two types of passes that you can choose from:
1. All-Inclusive Passes
Go City's famous All-Inclusive passes allow customers to visit as many attractions in a destination for one fixed price, delivering incredible savings, choice, inspiration, and ease.
Each All-Inclusive Pass is subject to a purse value based on the pass's duration. The purse value is the maximum amount you can use based on the standard gate price for each attraction. For example, with the 6-day adult All-Inclusive Pass, you can visit as many attractions up to S$519.
See below for purse values for each pass:
2-day All-Inclusive Pass: adult S$274 / child S$219
3-day All-Inclusive Pass: adult S$389 / child S$299
4-day All-Inclusive Pass: adult S$444 / child S$384
5-day All-Inclusive Pass: adult S$489 / child S$389
2. Explorer Pass
And for those who are more selective, there's the Explorer Pass. With this pass, you can select how many attractions you wish to visit, and you'll have 60 days to do so. Plus, there's no need to decide which ones you'll see before purchasing, so you can keep your plans flexible.
Each Explorer Pass is subject to a purse value based on the pass's duration. The purse value is the maximum amount you can use based on the standard gate price for each attraction. For example, with a 6-choice adult Explorer Pass, you can visit six attractions for up to S$219.
Here's a breakdown of the purse value for each pass:
2-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$84 / child S$69
3-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$109 / child S$89
4-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$134 / child S$114
5-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$169 / child S$134
6-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$219 / child S$159
7-choice Explorer Pass: adult S$224 / child S$179
Plus, with the Go City app, you'll have all the information you need at your fingertips. We're discussing attractions information, suggested itineraries, a handy map, and more!
How to start using the pass
First, choose the All-Inclusive Pass or the Explorer Pass and make your purchase. The confirmation email will be sent to you. Next, download the Go City app. You can then use your order confirmation number to add your pass to your phone. Not a fan of apps? You can also print your pass at home using the link in your confirmation email.
This content was produced in partnership with Go City.