The line between zoo and botanic oasis blurs at this pulse-slowing sweep of spacious, naturalistic enclosures, freely roaming animals and interactive attractions. Get up close to orang-utans, dodge Malaysian flying foxes, even snoop around a replica African village. Then there's that setting: 26 soothing hectares on a lush peninsula jutting out into the waters of the Upper Seletar Reservoir.
There are over 2800 residents here, and as zoos go, the enclosures are among the world's most comfortable. Among the highlights is the Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, a morning buffet enjoyed in the company of orang-utans. Come within inches of free-roaming ring-tailed lemurs, lories and tree-hugging sloths at the giant Fragile Forest biodome, or spy on shameless, red-bummed baboons doing things that Singaporeans still get arrested for at the evocative Great Rift Valley exhibit. If you have kids in tow, let them go wild at Rainforest Kidzworld, a wonderland of slides, swings, pulling boats, pony rides and farmyard animals happy for a feed. There's even a dedicated wet area, with swimwear available for purchase if you didn't bring your own.
The zoo ceased offering elephant rides in 2014. However, elephant and other animal shows, which are frowned upon by animal-welfare experts, are held here.