Monday, April 07, 2008

Night Safari

Yesterday I went with one of my dorm-mates, Sarah from England, to see the Night Safari. We paid for a transfer, which was a great idea, as I really appreciated being whisked quickly straight home later in the evening. And Mohammed our driver was a very friendly guy.
Mohammed had a theory about the best way to do things, which was that you saw the show first, then went on the tram, as otherwise the 8.30pm show was often full. So we lined up in the queue for the 7.30pm show, only to have the heavens open at about 7pm. And open they did, in truly tropical style. (When we got back to the hostel in town, the people on reception were amazed as it hadn't even rained in town.)
So then we joined the zillions in the queue for a tram ride. But they had the trams rolling along quickly and the queue moved quickly, and before we knew it, we were on a tram. They have artificial 'moonlight' conditions. And it was quite wonderful rolling through the rainforest seeing all the animals alongside. They even had a few elephants, right near us. I noticed that they were feeding on green branches that I had seen being taken in on a truck a bit earlier. So the 'nearness' is kind of stage-managed, even though it doesn't seem like it. There was also a big bull elephant with the most enormous tusks. Unfortunately the person in front of us broke the rule (I think just because she forgot) and flashed her camera as we passed this. Yikes! But fortunately big bull elephant didn't miss a beat and carried on eating.
We thought we would be too late and the 8.30pm show would be full, but luckily there was still room. The person leading the commentary was entertainment herself, a real stand-up comedienne. Sure, a lot of her stuff was scripted, but she also ad-libbed with people in a few places and she was very very funny. A young English child next to us was taken up and used in an act, where an animal had to smell which hand she was hiding a grape in. And a 'macho male' - who turned out to be a very shy Kiwi- had to go up and get a huge python wrapped around him. And one poor unsuspecting family had been sitting on a bench seat that this python lay beneath- and they did a 'mock hunt' for it. The whole show was excellent and had quite a range of animals. It was fun!
The only 'downside' of taking the transfer, was that we needed to be ready to be picked up at 9.30pm, so lacked time to go walking on the trails. But as I was feeling quite jaded by then anyhow, I was quite glad to go. And amazingly, I enjoyed a wonderful night's sleep. I woke once at 4am, then went back to sleep until 6.30am. This is the quickest transition to normal sleep out of jetlag I can recall, all ready to give myself the next dose of it for Paris.
Oh, I did wake one other time. Just after 11pm, although several people in the room were sleeping, Ms Plastic Bag Torturer #2 began her act. I swear she had a whole pack full of plastic bags of an especially noisy variety! The thing is, she was still asleep at 7.30am when I came down to breakfast, so either she is panicking by now as she forgot to set her alarm for an early start.... or...
PS I am of course, Miss Sanctimonious. And I am now off to Jurong Bird Park, where it could well be quite warm!


  1. Kiaora Margaret,
    Glad you are enjoying Singapore, our hometown is a haven of sanity after experiencing travels in other parts of the world. Enjoy the free internet facilities at Changi Departure Lounge, call home for 5cents a minute from Budget Phone in T2, go upstairs to the local food hall to enjoy typical Singapore food, and take an open air stroll in rooftop garden to relax before boarding.
    Buen Camino
    Grandpa Joe from cloudy and drizzly Christchurch

  2. Kiwi, I'm really looking forward to your report of the bird park. Are they WILD birds, or in captivity?

    Gandpa Joe: Thanks for the tip about Singapore. I am planning to go to Oz in November/December to stay with Simon (comment above this one) so maybe I will have a stop-over in Singapore!

  3. Ahhh Grandpa Jo, I hae missed the food hall there on other occasions so I will make sure I look for it this time! And I have heard about the rooftop garden but missed it also.
    The birds are in captivity maalie.... but they have a huge aviary with a man-made waterfall, so it doesn't feel as a human to be like captivity. Some other parts of it are more crowded for the birds.
    If you stopover in Singapore I can recommend Hangout@MtEmily's - YHA hostel if you want a hostel. Hotels are all beyond my budget!