Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sleep with the beast in Singapore Zoo

Sleep with the Beast is a 2 days 1 night family education program offered by Singapore Zoo. We were very lucky to get a spot last weekend. It was a last minute thing as I thought we had a family wedding during the weekend. Apparently we don't. And luckily, 2 families withdrew last minute and we were in...wooohoooo!!

We were late. As always. Drove straight from KL. Not as early as I we intended to. Too knackered from the wedding the night before. It was raining cats and dogs in Johor. And I was thinking...how to camp in this kind of weather??? God listened to my prayer. Always. The moment we reached the zoo, the weather was perfect. And it remained perfect until we finished the program. Alhamdulillah.

First stop, Wild Africa guided tour. It's funny how I always get more excited with the new info than the kids. Like the fact that the male baboons will fight and compete to be the male alpha of the harem. And there's only one male alpha in each harem. And you can identify them by their bushy bright mane.
And the rest of the losers will start to lose their mane once they lost to the male alpha. It's like a hormonal thing. Isn't that just wicked cool?? I will go oooooohhh and aahhhhh and kids will start rolling their eyes looking at me in disbelief and mocking me: How could you not know that ummi?? Don't you watch National Geographics?? Well no kiddos. I was busy doing laundry and chores.

Kids got the chance to feed the baboon with bananas.
Our group facilitator was Ming Hwee. A 2nd year zoology student from NUS. It's very obvious he's very passionate about the animals.
Next stop was the reptiles lab.

 We took a boat ride to the camping site.
Participants were briefed on how to pitch a camp. 
This was our first camping experience as a family. The staffs were very kind to give our family 2 tents. Yeayyy...no need to squeeze everybody.
All camps were set and ready.
After pitching up the tents, we headed to Night Safari for dinner.
Dinner at Restaurant Ulu-Ulu. A very sumptious dinner for "campers".
Next, we boarded the tram. Look at the queue to the Night Safari. Horror!!
 
One of the great things about this program is you got to skip the queue. And you get reserved spot for all shows. Hoyeahhh!! ;-)
Creatures of the night show.
The brief panic looking for the missing snake among the audience. Very good acting by the crews.
Mystica; Dreamforest Fiesta is going on right now in Night Safari. But we didn't get to spend much time to watch the shows as we need to go back to the camp site at the zoo.

Little Missy volunteered herself to light up the camp fire. They were having trouble lighting the fire up. Once they started pouring more kerosene, I freaked out and asked Mr O to mind Little Missy who's very excited and got a tad too close to the fire.
It was a bright starry night. My camera didn't do justice. Perfect weather to camp.

We played some games. 
Charade.
The kids singing the Singapore zoo song. We had lots of fun. Tired but fun.
Back to the auditorium for supper and washing up. The kids played chess while waiting for their turn to wash up.
The scenery that greeted us in the morning.
The weather was really great. The Seletar dam and slight drizzle throughout the night helps greatly to cool the air. The kids slept well. Except Hajar who woke up at 3am due to some animal noise. Well, they don't call sleep with the beast for nothing right??
Early morning stroll in the zoo. Pretty nice to walk around without the crowd.
Buffet breakfast with orang utan at Ah Meng Restaurant.
There were some animal shows during breakfast too.
After breakfast we continued the program with behind the scene session at Fragile Forest.
Creepy crawlies lab.

We also got the chance to view the pandas and take a peek at the almost completed River Safari.
Fees to view the panda is SGD 5 for adult and SGD 3 for kids. It's not part of the program but we got the privilege to book our slot in advance. You have 15 minutes to view the panda. And the tickets were snapped up really fast. Luqman cannot understand why people were so enthusiastic to see an animal who don't do much and sleep most of the time.
Well son, that's called brilliant marketing :-P Just after we finished the panda viewing, the rain started. Ain't we damn lucky???

You can obtain more information about the program from here. I think it's a twice a year program. One in June and one in December. The one in June will be from 8th-9th June. Registration will be closed at 40 pax. Places got filled up pretty fast. If you are interested, do reserve your spot early.


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