Welcome to the complete step-by-step guide on how to get to Singapore River Safari by MRT. We have written this article based on our own personal travel experience taking the MRT to the River Safari. Therefore, we hope that this information is detailed enough to make this trip a stress-free one for you!
Singapore is unique in that you can pretty well use the MRT and bus network without stepping foot in a private vehicle. This means right from Changi Airport you can take the MRT into the downtown area and then use the MRT to get to interesting attractions such as this one.
The River Safari in Singapore is an award-winning attraction that you should highly consider visiting when you are in the city.
Why should you visit the Singapore River Safari?
The Singapore River Safari is just another innovative example of Singapore’s dedication to wildlife conservation. It is considered to be the first and only wildlife park that is themed around a river. This Safari is very popular attracting more than 1 million visitors on an annual basis.
With the total area of 12-hectares, 400 different plant species and over 7,500 animals to check out, it’s obvious why it is now one of Singapore’s best family attractions.
Similar to the world-famous Singapore Zoo, the River Safari has a clear emphasis on conservation and education. It takes care of multiple threatened species and educates visitors about the importance of protecting freshwater ecosystems. When you visit the River Safari you will see endangered species such as the giant panda, Mekong giant catfish and manatee.
One of our favourite features of the Singapore River Safari is how it is themed around famous rivers from different parts of the world. For example, you can explore the Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze rivers and the types of species in each one.
Awards and Recognition for Singapore River Safari
Due to its strong management and focus on conservation, Singapore River Safari has numerous awards since it opened up for business. For example, its environmental focus helped win The Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Award in the Park category.
It also won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2018. Singapore River Safari also has one multiple Singapore Experience Awards over the years.
We will outline how to get to Singapore River Safari directly below.
Getting to Singapore River Safari using MRT
Step 1: Find a hotel within 1-2 minutes of an MRT Station.
Getting around Singapore requires some planning. If you are a budget-oriented traveller then you have to really consider where your hotel is located relative to public transportation.
An ideal way to save money and time while you are in Singapore is to book a hotel room within walking distance of an MRT station. This can be beneficial for a few different reasons.
First of all, you will avoid unnecessary taxi and private vehicle fees. This includes getting to and from Changi Airport. Secondly, you can save time because you will completely avoid traffic jams during peak travel times throughout the day. And lastly, it is better for the environment because fewer emissions are created by vehicles.
We suggest that you get a room within 1 or 2 minutes of an MRT Station. This will allow you to easily access the network to get to Singapore River Safari.
Below, you will find a few examples of hotels that are within 1 or 2-minute walking distance from a station. We have also included the stations for your convenience.
The Fairmont Singapore (5-star, rated 9/10 based on reviews). Very close to Esplanade Station.
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore (5-star, rated 9.3/10 based on reviews. One minute from City Hall Station.
Take note that we do not have a direct partnership with these properties, but we do acknowledge that they are well-managed and receive high guest review scores. If you find another property that suits your budget, go for it!
Step 2: Get a ticket to Khatib MRT Station
We have summarized them below for your convenience.
- Singapore Tourist Passes
- Stored-value cards
- Single journey tickets
Although we could go into detail about these, we have already written a complete guide on how to buy MRT tickets in Singapore. We suggest that you read this order to get all the specific information that you need.
***Inside tip: Try to use a stored-value card (such as an EZlink Card for this journey) because it works for both buses and the MRT.
Regardless of what kind of ticket you end up using, make sure you are travelling to Khatib MRT Station.
Which MRT Lines service trains to Khatib MRT station en route to Singapore River Safari?
The North-South Line runs from downtown past the Safari. This is the only line that services trains to Singapore River Safari. Therefore, regardless of where you begin your journey, you will travel on this line at some point in time.
Look for the red coloured-line on Singapore’s train map. This is the North-South line and Khatib Station is Number 14.
Step 3: Take the MRT to Khatib Station
Ride the MRT along the North-South Line until you reach Khatib Station. This is one of the best stations to use on your way to Singapore River Safari.
If you have not travelled on Singapore’s MRT Network a lot, then take note that there are verbal announcements and signs above the exits. The announcements will inform you of what the next station is on the line. The signs above the doors also show your position.
The station before Khatib is Yio Chu Kang.
When you hear the announcement for Yio Chu Kang Station, move close to an exit. The next stop will be Khatib Station – the first point of interest.
Step 4: Get off at Khatib Station and travel to the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus area.
Alight at Khatib Station. It’s time to leave the MRT network and transfer to the shuttle bus area.
Look for Exit A when you get off the train. Follow the signs to the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus pick up area. This will require you to make two consecutive left-hand turns.
In no time you should be at the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus queuing area. Wait here for the next bus bound for Singapore River Safari.
Step 5: Get on the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus and pay for your ride to Singapore River Safari.
As mentioned before, try to pay for this bus ride with the same stored-value card that you used for the MRT.
Pay using an EZlink card or a NETS Flashpay card.
An important note to remember: CASH IS NOT ACCEPTED ON THE BUS. It takes too much time for getting change, etc.
Come prepared and have a card loaded with cash and ready.
Step 6: Take the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus to the Safari
Once you have paid for the bus ride, then relax on the way to the Singapore River Safari. This is the easiest part of the trip.
Just make sure that you bring all your belongings with you getting on and off the shuttle bus.
Step 7: Get off at bus River Safari Coach Bay and walk to the entrance of the Safari.
You can expect the Mandai Khatib Shuttle bus to drop you off at the River Safari Coach Bay.
From here you can follow the signs to get to the entrance of the River Safari. Expect to see clear signs that point you in the right direction.
Common questions about taking the MRT to Singapore River Safari
When does the Mandai Khatib shuttle open and close?
Heading from the station to the River Safari:
The first bus leaves from Khatib MRT Station at 8:00 am.
Also, the last bus leaves from Khatib MRT Station at 7:00 am.
Heading from the Zoo to the station:
The first bus leaves from Singapore River Safari at 8:20 am.
Also, the last bus leaves from Singapore River Safari at 7:20 pm.
How much does it cost to take the Mandai Khatib shuttle bus to Singapore River Safari?
The cost to ride the Mandai Khatib shuttle bus to Singapore River Safari is $1 dollar. Therefore, the total roundtrip cost is $2 dollars. Take note that children below 3 years of age travel for free which is a bonus for families.
How much time does it take from Khatib Station to Singapore River Safari (and vice versa) on the bus?
Usually, it takes about 15 minutes to go from Khatib Station to Singapore River Safari on the bus.
How often do buses depart Khatib Station for Singapore River Safari?
According to the schedule, the shuttle bus is scheduled to depart every 20 minutes from Khatib Station en route to Singapore River Safari. This is an approximation and subject to variables such as traffic conditions.
Don’t get stressed out if you have to wait a few minutes longer!
Should you stay at a hotel near the Singapore River Safari?
It is safe to say that most tourists choose to stay in the downtown area, as opposed to the nearby River Safari. The Safari is outside of the ‘tourist zone’ meaning that you have more selection for accommodation, shopping and markets farther south.
What areas of the city do we recommend for tourists?
If you are a budget traveller then you might want to stay in an area such as Chinatown. Here, you will find a wide selection of hostels and boutique hotels that are within 1 or 2 minutes of Chinatown Station.
However, if you have the cash, go big and stay near Marina Bay.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Raffles Singapore are two popular options for affluent guests.
More questions about getting to Singapore River Safari by MRT?
Hopefully, the step-by-step guide on how to get to Singapore River Safari by MRT has been descriptive enough to answer any questions that you may have. However, if we did manage to miss anything please send us an email and we would be more than happy to provide you with additional information.
One of the cool things about Singapore River Safari is that it is also very close to Singapore Zoo and Singapore Night Safari. Make sure that you do your research to see whether you want to combine either of these two attractions with a visit to the river Safari. These are all very well-managed attractions in Singapore and some of the most popular family-oriented things to do.
Also, take note that the directions outlined in this article are not highlighting the only way to make it to Singapore River Safari. You can actually go to different MRT stations where there are buses that go to the Safari as well.
If you are staying in an area other than downtown please refer to the official website for Singapore River Safari. This is the spot where you can learn more information about getting there from an alternative station in the city.