SINGAPORE: Visitors to Mandai will get to experience wildlife and nature from across the globe – such as walking through the wetlands of South and Central America or the cave life forms of Southeast Asia – by 2021. 

Details of the project to transform Mandai into an eco-tourism hub were revealed by developer Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) on Monday (Jan 16), during a ground-seeding ceremony.

The ceremony kicked off the construction phase of the Mandai rejuvenation project, an undertaking that will see the relocation of Jurong Bird Park, as well as a new Rainforest Park developed around the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari. 

Masterplan of the Mandai rejuvenation project. (Photo: MPH)

The details come following changes to the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report last year, which were made to include additional measures to mitigate the impact of the development on the area’s wildlife and natural habitat. 

MPH said “arrival nodes” to the precinct will be located in the east and west, connected by walking trails and boardwalks along Upper Seletar Reservoir. 

Visitors to the new Bird Park and the Rainforest Park will arrive from the precinct’s west, welcomed by a key feature of the gateway – a waterfall along a winding forest stream. 

Artist’s impression of the view from inside a waterfall in the park. (Photo: MPH)

The east entrance will provide access to nature-themed indoor attractions, as well as the Zoo, the Night Safari and River Safari. It will also house accommodation options. 

The two arrival points were created following to prevent a large number of visitors entering one entrance, thereby impacting more nature-sensitive areas such as the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. 

NEW BIRD PARK

At the ground-seeding ceremony, MPH said the new Bird Park will be developed around ideas “enabled by latest technologies”.

Visitors will experience the various bird species living in different rainforests, from those in Africa and Papua New Guinea, to the Australian bushland. The avian collection will be among the most significant to be assembled in the world, featuring birds-of-paradise and hornbills, many of them endangered species, according to MPH. 

The attractions include a “fly with the penguins” experience, which will see sub-Antarctic penguins housed in a naturalistic habitat that will create the impression of them “flying” through the waters.

Artist’s impression of the penguin tank. (Photo: MPH)

RAINFOREST PARK

Another highlight, the Rainforest Park, will take visitors through Southeast Asian foliage, and allow them to view the trees from caverns, a boardwalk and an aerial walkway. 

The Rainforest Park is expected to be ready by the end of 2021, earlier than the 2023 completion date previously announced. The Bird Park is expected to be ready by 2020.

Artist’s impression of the Rainforest Walk. (Photo: MPH)

The transformation of Mandai as an eco-tourism hub was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in September 2014. 

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