Sungei Buloh is a wetland reserve located on the north-west coast of Singapore. It acts as an important stopover for migratory birds along the East Asian – Australasian Flyway. The reserve supports a mix of coastal habitats such as mangrove, mudflats, coastal forest, and sandy beaches. One of Singapore’s last remaining areas of intact mangrove, half a day at the reserve will give you the opportunity to witness an amazing diversity of wildlife despite being in the middle of a city-state. Various resident bird species can be seen year-round, including kingfishers, red junglefowl, and even oriental pied hornbills. Casting your eyes across the mudflats and mangroves, watch out for long-tailed macaques, dog-faced water snakes, mudskippers – fish which walk on mud(!) – and saltwater crocodiles. The reserve has excellent facilities and is easily accessible by bus from Kranji MRT Station. WildSide recommends avoiding visiting during one of Singapore’s frequent thunderstorms!
Average rating: 4.0 (very good)
Average spend per person: entrance to the reserve is free, public transport to the site costs around $10
Number of reports: 1
Best time to visit: you can visit the reserve year-round although if you’re a keen bird watcher, make sure to visit between September and March, as the wetlands fill up with migrating birds using the site as a refuelling station
Typical activities: animal watching, bird watching, hiking, jungle trek
WILDLIFE IN Sungei Buloh
According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here include:
Macaque – 100% of visitors (1/1) reported sightings
One of the easiest mammals to spot at Sungei Boluh. Long-tailed (also known as crab-eating) macaques congregate in troops of up to fifteen. They move from the forest edge to the mangroves throughout the day. Just by walking around the nature reserve you’re likely to encounter macaques. As they are used to people, they are not scared of approaching and can become aggressive if food or plastic bags are on show. Make sure to keep all food, drinks, and plastic hidden away or within a rucksack. Smiling directly at macaques can aggravate them, as showing your teeth is seen as a threat. Check out this article from National Geographic looking at the differences in behaviour from their island-dwelling relatives in Malaysia.
Saltwater crocodile – 100% OF VISITORS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
A once common species in Singapore, saltwater crocodiles were at one stage thought to be locally extinct. Although they are now frequently seen within the wetlands and mangroves of Sungei Buloh. It is thought that the crocodiles recolonised the area from either an escaped population or by crossing the causeway from Malaysia. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk the reserve, as these crocs are easily mistaken for bits of wood sticking out of the water. They are also occasionally seen lying on the sandy banks of the mangroves near the footpaths. WildSide recommends sticking to the paths as they are dangerous. The crocodiles seem to become more active a few hours before dusk.