On the radar: Encounters of the wild kind at Night Safari

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Night Safari’s latest experiential meetings offering caters to those who enjoy the company of nature and nocturnal wildlife while dining in air-conditioned comfort

Why
In a destination where new experiential meeting options are few, Singapore Night Safari’s venture to delve into this emerging trend and offer something only they can is a much-welcomed initiative.

Named An Evening in the Wild, the package features the attraction’s diverse wildlife and is designed for corporates looking for a small but intimate venue that can accommodate between 40 (seating) to 60 (standing) pax.

What
On the recommended itinerary, the evening begins with a cocktail reception at Ankole Terrace, located conveniently near the entrance of the Night Safari. This is a great gathering spot where guests can keep themselves entertained by the grazing Ankole cattle nearby.

Once everyone has arrived, a chartered tram brings guests on the usual Night Safari tour, guided by a host. Roughly a third into the journey is where the path diverges from the norm.

Guests are ushered off the tram at East Lodge Station, where the Leopard Trail starts, but instead of heading down that route, visitors are guided to a wooden bridge leading into the forest.

What will draw you in first as you amble across the bridge are the fairy lights hanging from the thick branches of towering trees. Paired with the nearby campfire and tipi tent structure, the feeling is magical – of being completely transported away from the urban jungle of Singapore into a lush alcove of plants and wildlife.

You can touch these nocturnal creatures if you choose to, which range from majestic owls and spiny hedgehogs to scaly lizards and playful civet cats. Zookeepers will be around to handle these animals of course, so guests who are not partial to wildlife need not worry.

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How
The interior of the air-conditioned tipi tent is a warm and intimately designed space. There is flexibility for the setting to be altered to suit the occasion, but for my experience, a dessert buffet table and cocktail bar are the centerpieces, flanked by four long wooden tables.

A three-course dinner with vegetarian option is available, featuring mains such as wagyu beef tenderloin, black cod or grilled capsicum and eggplant. Free flow coffee, tea and house wine is also served throughout.

The dessert buffet steals the show here, serving as a central spot where guests, especially those seated at other tables, can meet, interact and mingle while jostling for the intricately placed treats. The pyramid of fruit skewers is especially photo worthy, while an assortment of pastries forms the bulk of the offerings. The most unique offering, the star anise crème brulee, is definitely an acquired taste but grows on you quickly.

After dinner, a Thumbuakar performance – a tribal fire dance – serves as an evening highlight before guests are whisked onto the chartered tram to complete the rest of the Night Safari tour.

Verdict
As one of Singapore’s most iconic attractions, this offering feels like a long time coming. Every part of the package makes sense and guests get to experience the full attraction while being treated to a formal yet lively event at the Night Safari.

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