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Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

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Need a break from the city? Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a world-class conservation area set within a sprawling 202-hectare mangrove swamp along Singapore’s northern coast — a paradise for migratory birds on their journey from Siberia to Australia for winter.


The region was doomed for redevelopment with condos boasting Johor Bahru views, but local birdwatchers objected, pointing out the wetland’s global importance for its unusually high variety of rare species. Today, Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve survives as one of Singapore’s last wild places and has been designated an ASEAN Heritage Park for its unique ecosystem. If you’re a nature fan, it should be at the top of your to-do list in Singapore (along with a visit to Pulau Ubin).

The city and its greedy little mitts in the distance. Photo taken in or around Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Downtown Singapore, Singapore by Sally Arnold.

The city and its greedy little mitts in the distance. Photo: Sally Arnold

While birds and birdwatching are probably the main focus here (the best birdwatching happens early in the morning), you don’t need to be a twitcher to enjoy the reserve. Take a walk along the mangrove boardwalks; throughout the year it’s possible to spot tree-climbing crabs, mud lobsters, large snails and mudskippers. Many species are shy and observation hides are available where you can see the flora and fauna undisturbed. If you’re lucky you may spot an otter

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Keep your eyes peeled. Photo taken in or around Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Downtown Singapore, Singapore by Sally Arnold.

Keep your eyes peeled. Photo: Sally Arnold

Sungei Buloh is also the only place in Singapore where you may catch sight of saltwater crocodiles, though the Malayan water monitors are much more common and can grow to intimidating sizes. Don’t worry — emergency numbers are plastered all around the park if you encounter a croc.

Twitchers getting all twitchy. Photo taken in or around Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Downtown Singapore, Singapore by Sally Arnold.

Twitchers getting all twitchy. Photo: Sally Arnold

September to March is when the migratory birds fly in. Immigrant egrets, sandpipers and plovers will join the local resident herons, sunbirds and kingfishers, among others. Birds of prey like sea eagles and falcons are easier to see along the Coastal Trail to Eagle Point, where large pod-like hides have been constructed. Take your time, and with careful observation you may be ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
As a nature reserve should be, Sungei Buloh is quite isolated. Head to Kranji MRT station then board public bus #925 and alight at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B. Walk across the road to the Visitors’ Centre. On weekends bus #925 stops at the Wetland Centre entrance. The bus journey takes about 10-15 minutes from the station. The private Kranji Express operates daily (08:30–17:45) from Kranji MRT station. See the schedule.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Visitor Centre: 60 Kranji Way; Wetland Centre: 301 Neo Tiew Cres
Daily 07:00-19:00
T: 6794 1401 
http://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/sungei-buloh-wetland-res

Location map for Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

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