After the announcement of the closure of Jurong Bird Park, throngs flocked down to get one last glimpse of the famous bird park that had its doors open for 52 years. We were no exception, and after one last hurrah, the aviary known as the biggest bird park in Asia shut its doors for the final time. Luckily, we will see the feathered residents again as they move to the new Bird Paradise.
Indeed, Bird Paradise will see the thousands of birds from Jurong Bird Park make the great migration to their new home at Mandai, which is set to open on 8 May 2023 in a soft launch.
With it being heralded as the new biggest Bird Park in Asia, there are bound to be many new things to do when it finally opens. We’ve compiled a list of highlights from the new park you’ll want to experience with your family and friends.
- 8 Walk-through Aviaries
- Keeper’s Talk and feeding sessions
- Mandai Wildlife West
- Dining and Retail Options
8 Walk-through Aviaries
At the new park, visitors can experience the many different habitats the birds live in. Ranging from the South American Wetlands to the Dry Australian Eucalypt Forests, the park aims to showcase the co-existence of multiple species in habitats; designed to resemble the actual versions as much as possible.
The habitats have been designed so that the many requirements of the birds were met, taking into account the individual characteristics of each species to ensure that the various birds that will be co-existing together can thrive.
Heart of Africa
Spanning 1.5 hectares, the Heart of Africa is the largest aviary in Bird Paradise. With more than 80 species of birds being housed here, visitors can see many different birds that are rarely seen even in the wild; One is the Turacos, with as many as eight different species of them being housed here.
Kuok Group Wings of Asia
Designed after Southeast Asian Paddy Fields, the Kuok Group Wings of Asia aviary provides a unique visual experience to walk through as they come to greet their feathered friends.
Visitors can expect to see birds such as the Black-faced Spoonbills and Milky Storks wading through the rice terraces, all while other species, such as the Papuan Hornbills and Pied Imperial Pigeons, also soar around the habitat, making it a captivating spectacle.
Hong Leong Foundation Crimson Wetlands
True to its name, the Hong Leong Foundation Crimson Wetlands is home to avians sporting a myriad of colours as it provides visitors with a visual spectacle. Inside, you’ll also see a waterfall feature at the habitat, a tribute to the Waterfall Aviary of Jurong Bird Park.
Bird species such as the Scarlet, Red and Green Macaws, Scarlet Ibises, Roseate Spoonbills, and everyone’s favourite – American Flamingos – can be found here, making the landscape more vibrant and a feast for the eyes. Pair them with the calls of the Macaws flying above, and you get an environment and experience like no other.
Songs of the Forest and Australian Outback
Both these habitat is sure to be a treat for your ears, with it being home to over 40 species of songbirds, of which include the Chinese Hwamei and Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.
Alongside new mammal additions in the Lesser Mousedeer and the Red-necked Wallaby, the fruit doves at Songs of the Forest and the Lorikeets and Parrots in Australian Outback all make up a lively and boisterous atmosphere full of colour and life that is sure to make your visit all the more enjoyable!
Designed after the Papua New Guinea Coastal Rainforests, many unique bird species are housed here, such as the Southern Cassowary, Nicobar Pigeons, as well as the rare and endangered White Cockatoo.
Plastered against a backdrop of Pandanus Trees, best known for their iconic stilt roots, be sure to keep a lookout for this aviary, lest you miss it!
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most well-known rainforests in the entire world, and you can experience a snippet of it right here, with multiple species, such as the Golden Parakeet and Andean Cock-of-the-Rock all calling this aviary their home.
You can also spot a diverse range of doves and pigeons here too, such as the Blue Ground-dove and Crested Quail Dove, all of which make up the Amazonian Jewels aviary; feel as though you are on a tour through the Amazon Rainforest!
Inspired by the monsoon forest of Irian Jaya, the old name of current-day Western Papua New Guinea, Lory Loft hosts multiple Lory species that will surely make you go “wow” with their bright colours and distinctive chatter, with each species having their own unique vocalisation. Expect this aviary to be one of the more colourful ones you experience during your visit to Bird Paradise!
Ocean Network Express Penguin Cove
Last, but not least, the Ocean Network Express Penguin Cove houses everyone’s favourite bird friend, the penguins! A multi-level indoor area, the state-of-the-art aviary is home to four species of penguins: the Gentoo Penguin, King Penguin, Humboldt Penguin and Northern Rockhopper Penguin.
With deep underwater ice formations and rocky beaches, the place is modelled to fit and ensure that the penguins are as comfortable as possible. So watch as they waddle around with a projection of Aurora Australis around them, making it one of the aviaries that you should take note of!
Keeper’s Talk and feeding sessions
Come opening day, there will be keeper-led experiences which allow the public to have talks and interactions with the staff and animal care team. A “Backstage Pass” is also available to help visitors learn more about their caring efforts. They can even go behind the scenes at the Avian Breeding and Research Centre to glimpse the many conservation breeding programmes the park participates in.
Moreover, visitors can get up close and feed the birds there, for just S$8. These feeding sessions include species such as Starlings and the African Hornbills, which reside in the Kuok Group Wings of Asia aviary, alongside the Lories from Lory Loft.
All proceeds from both activities will also go towards the many conservation projects that Birds Paradise supports both in Singapore and overseas as well!
Mandai Wildlife West
Two new play areas have been introduced in the new place, with Pangolin Adventure and Pangolin Hideout encouraging younger guests to have fun and be active at the same time.
What’s more, there are educational interpretive that can be found all around Mandai Wildlife West too, all of which give new insights into the flora and fauna that can be found around the compound. Places such as Forest Stream, Epiphytic Cluster and Foraging Trail all showcase how nature’s ecosystems work together to ensure communities can thrive.
Dining and Retail Options
If you happen to be feeling peckish or famished exploring the new Bird Paradise park, you can stop by Mandai Wildlife West too, for at the very heart of the place lies multiple food options that are sure to delight your palette!
Luke’s Lobster, Leckerbaer and Mr Holmes Bakehouse will be housed together under a singular multi-concept store – the flagship of the dining options here.
Home-grown brand Birds of Paradise (a very fitting name) will also open a Gelato Boutique and Sandwich Bar, meaning you can grab an ice cream to beat the sweltering Singapore heat!
If those two options do not appeal to you, you would be delighted to know that A&W is also opening a store in Mandai Wildlife West, alongside other notable names such as COLLINS, who specialise in Western Cuisine, and Han’s Union, who offer Fusion Cuisines. For those craving North and South Indian cuisines, fret not, as Pavillion Banana Leaf also joins the list of food choices.
However, if restaurant food is not your fancy, you can grab a quick bite at one of Coffee House by Old Chang Kee, Starbucks, and Cheers, all of which are well-known brands, and are definitely able to satisfy your need for a quick bite!
Lastly, to top it all off, another home-grown brand – Unpackt, a zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store, is also joining the catalogue of stores in the area.
For the soft opening period from 8 May to 26 May 2023, single-park admission is at a special rate of $38 for adults, $23 for children (aged 3 to 12 years old) and $20 for senior citizens! If you want to get tickets early, you can do so from 24 April.
After the soft opening period, tickets will revert to their original pricing, at $48 for adults, $33 for children (aged 3 to 12 years old) and $20 for senior citizens.
Those who want repeat visits can consider purchasing the Friends of Wildlife membership, which allows year-round access to all four wildlife parks, including Bird Paradise. Members also enjoy multiple benefits, including F&B and retail discounts and priority privileges. Prices are $195 for Friends of Wildlife and $245 for Friends of Wildlife Plus.
With that, be sure to book your tickets early to enjoy the early bird discount and to avoid potential disappointment!
Date: 8 May to 26 May 2023 (Early Bird Discount)
Location: 20 Mandai Lake Road, 729825
Price: S$48 for adults, S$33 for children aged 3-12 years old, S$20 for senior citizens.
Opening hours: 9am to 6pm daily, last admission at 5pm.
Ticket bookings will be made available soon at the official Bird Paradise website. To keep up-to-date with happenings ahead of Bird Paradise’s opening, do follow their social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.
Visuals courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.