Skip to main content
At the Mekong River zone, you can get up close with species like the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish. IMAGE: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

River Wonders Turns 10: Celebrating A Decade Of Wild Marvels

The year was 2014. A few significant milestones were marked in Singapore’s history: on 14 Mar, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations launched the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame; on 13 Oct, the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps was established to provide more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents with the opportunity to contribute to national defence; on 5 Dec, construction began on Jewel Changi Airport.

But the year kicked off on a decidedly wild note with the launch of River Safari – Singapore’s third wildlife park and Asia’s first river-themed zoo – on 28 Feb. Today, the park (now known as River Wonders) celebrates its 10th anniversary.

To commemorate a decade of coming face to face with giant freshwater stingrays, Mekong giant catfish, pandas, manatees, tamarins, arowanas, among other diverse wildlife found in the habitats of the Congo, Nile, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze rivers, here’s a list of things you might not have known about River Wonders.

Conceptualisation began in 2007, seven years before its official opening

Then-Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said in a speech he gave on 20 Nov 2007 at the Singapore Zoo that the Singapore Tourism Board and Wildlife Reserves Singapore were “conducting a feasibility study to develop a third animal attraction in Mandai that will complement the Zoo and Night Safari”. He added that it would be a themed attraction which would “recreate exotic river environments and allow visitors to explore and learn about endangered freshwater flora and fauna in natural habitats”.

The park opened on 28 Feb 2014, and the guest of honour was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Golden-headed Lion Tamarin. | IMAGE: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/@_paVan_

It's a huge – and very green – park

The 12-hectare park (that’s about the size of 17 football fields) is not only home to 11,000 animal specimens representing close to 260 species, it also features 400 plant species, and hosts 1 million visitors annually.

The focus on sustainable operations at River Wonders has led to it being honoured as the first attraction in Singapore to attain the Green Mark Platinum Award in the park category by the Building and Construction Authority.

Giant Panda cub Le Le moments after birth. | IMAGE: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

A Giant Anteater pup being weighed. | IMAGE: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP

The park has seen milestone births of animal babies

On16 Nov 2017, a jaguar cub was born to first-time mother Aswa. Four years later, on 14 Aug 2021, a panda cub (Le Le) was born to Kai Kai and Jia Jia. In 2022, River Wonders welcomed its fifth Giant Anteater pup. According to Mandai, this species is notoriously difficult to breed, making River Wonders one of the key contributors to the species’ EEP (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Ex-situ Programme).


The park has “water monkeys”

Dubber the “water monkey”, the Silver Arowana (shown above) has the ability to leap an astonishing 2m above the water surface to seize its prey. Check out the Wild Amazonia Trail Keeper Talk to see a keeper feed these agile fish – or try your hand at feeding one if you’re up for it!


You can get up close with curious critters

The Wild Amazonia Trail Keeper Talk gives you the opportunity to enter Amazonia Encounters, an immersive walk-through exhibit where you’ll be greeted by the white-faced saki monkey (above), green-winged macaw and Azara’s agouti.


Kids can take on the role of a giant river otter

Immerse young adventurers in the wonders of the giant river otter at the Ranger Buddies Quest outpost (shown above), allowing them to step into the shoes of the world's largest otter. This interactive escapade offers an exciting avenue for kids to learn about the fascinating skills of these extraordinary creatures, employing their sensitive whiskers for danger detection and prey tracking.


You can camp overnight at the park

After enjoying guided tours and participating in special activities, end the day with an overnight stay in the park as part of the park’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Bring your own tent and camp at the Amazon Flooded Forest, where you can appreciate and fall asleep right in front of the fascinating manatees. Rental tents are also an option.

For the latest updates on, be sure to follow us on TikTok, Telegram, Instagram, and Facebook. If you have a story idea for us, email us at [email protected].

Share with others!