Clicky

badge

Monday, February 01, 2016

Singapore Night Safari- overhyped and poorly managed attraction-needs better crowd management

Of all the attractions in Singapore, looks like Night Safari is the most over-hyped and poorly managed.

Almost all tourist itinerary on Singapore will include an evening of night safari. Is it really worth? During my first 3 visits I couldn’t go to Jurong Bird Park and Night safari, so I was unable to address queries from readers where they asked about Singapore itinerary. So I had to check it out myself in order to be able to advise others.

During my last visit, we went to Jurong Bird park and Night Safari. Jurong Bird Park was totally worth it but Night Safari was not. Below are the reasons

Night Safari lacks proper crowd management. Gates open at 7 PM but people start assembling from 6 PM itself. There is no token system, no place to sit. When we went there, staff checked our tickets and let us in. Within minutes we were trapped on both sides- huge crowd ahead of us, huge crowd behind us. I realized that others had a map and we didn’t – because we had bought a combo ticket at Jurong. But once trapped inside, there was no way to go back and collect our leaflet.


We had to stand for close to one hour before being let in.  Just before opening, a short stunt show which involves men dressed in forest costume blowing fire into air. But this couldn’t be enjoyed by all- particularly those waiting at the right most side of the waiting area.

There was a passage way between us and the first half of the waiting crowd- staff on duty would randomly allow few quests to cross over to the next half. What logic is used- I am not sure.

In between, some tour operators were trying to get their folks across on priority because of their mutual understanding with the staff on duty.

Universal Studio has a display indicating approx. wait time for each of the attractions. Something similar should be arranged at night safari. After about 1 hour we went in. After another 30 minutes of standing in line, we could board the safari van. Meanwhile there were some announcements about a show- but we didn’t have a brochure in hand and couldn’t decide if the show is worth it or if we go to Safari now will we get another chance for the show etc. Not having clear information prevented us from getting proper value for our money.

No facilities like drinking water during this entire period- from 6PM when you stand in line till about 8.30-9PM when you come out.

Finally at about 7.45- 90 minutes after we had entered the facility we got to board the safari vehicle and move. One good thing is that one group gets entire row- though a row can seat 4-5 people, if your group is of two members only, then entire row is yours- you don't have to share it with another group of 2. I didn’t feel super excited about the animals I saw- 80% of these animals can be seen even during day time and in any zoo (elephants, deers, rhino, tiger, lion etc)- only few animals were little unique not likely to be found easily otherwise. It is too dark to take any photograph. They were not caged, so that is nice. The safari ended in about 45 minutes. By 8.30 we were back- but the next show was full- we were greeted with a sign “show is full” sign. So what is our fault in this? We pay full ticket fare but have to depend on luck or fight for a chance to view the show?

A simple solution for this would be to issue a token number to every guest as they enter in. A display can indicate which batch is currently boarding (Ex: Those with token no 101 to 200) and wait time for next batch. This lets guests relax and be ready when their time to board is getting closer.

An Indian buffet dinner at 33 SGD was on offer- that was way much more than what it costs for a full stomach meal at Nalan, so we decided not to try the food inside Night Safari.

When we came out at 8.45, there was still crowd waiting to get in. Night Safari is open till midnight (last ticket sale at 11 PM)- so if you want an crowd free/easy access, arriving at about 9 PM would be ideal. Unless you are very keen, in my opinion Night Safari is one attraction that you can simply avoid. Check this post for other early morning and late evening destinations that you can visit in Singapore. Thanks to city mapper app and our 3 day public transportation pass we could reach our hotel without having to spend a bomb on transportation- Night safari is bit far from city centre- hailing a taxi will be expensive- Night Safari arranges pickup bus from most of the prominent hotels in town- use it when possible.

9 comments :

Arun Prasadh said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Looking at the crowd we can understand what you have gone through.

SandeepaChetan said...

That's very sad. We hate standing in queues and avoid these kind of travel places. Hope the authority will take some action after reading your post. We also hope you get to experience the safari on the less crowded day on your next Singapore visit :-)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Arun and Sandeep. Yes, it is very easy to bring in some order- simple token system will do lots of difference

Swati & Sam said...

Crazy crowd and that too for a safari :O

Ranjana's craft blog said...

Mad rush...but as you have written, could have been managed.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Ranjana- True.

@ Swati- Yes, all tourists are brought here with high expectations- not sure how many return delighted vs disappointed

Mahesh Divya said...

I was there couple of years back but did not faced such rush. That time over all experience was good.

ವಿ.ರಾ.ಹೆ. said...

We went on a Monday evening and scenario was same to same as you have narrated. Especially for Indians, most of the animals are very common. Ticket price is quite high. Its really a over-hyped place and can be simply avoided.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vi Ra He for confirming- we went on Saturday evening- I thought wee days might be better- your experience confirms even weekday is same.

@MD- May be the date and time you went didn't have much crowd.