River Safari having 2D1N 'Glamping with Manatees' staycation from Mar. 13-20, 2021

Cannot use SingaporeRediscovers Vouchers.

Zhangxin Zheng | February 19, 2021, 03:53 PM

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Wildlife Reserves Singapore's (WRS) Glamping with Manatees' staycation is making a comeback.

When the staycation was first launched last December, the programme was sold out within hours.

The two-day-one-night programme includes activities and exclusive back-of-house tour, meals, and stayover at the Amazon Flooded Forest in River Safari.

Amazon Flooded Forest is home to a herd of 18 manatees and other freshwater creatures, such as the prehistoric-looking giant freshwater fish, arapaimas.

There will be four tents in total for each night. Two at the upper deck and two at the lower deck. Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

"Glamping with Manatees"

According to WRS, the programme offers:

• Sleep with manatees in air-conditioned comfort

• Meet a mystery animal

• Reserved seating at Once Upon a River animal presentation

• Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour and Keeper’s Interaction at Squirrel Monkey Forest

• Manatee-inspired activity before bedtime

• Glamp tent complete with amenities e.g. fan, charging plugs, two comfy super-single size beds

• Hearty dinner and breakfast

The day will start with check-in at 2:15pm and end at 10am the next day.

Each tent can fit up to four pax and is priced from S$999 onwards.

The programme will run for only eight nights, from Mar. 13 to 20, 2021.

First look

If you are curious about the experience, here's what it actually looks like in real life and what to expect:

The tent

Yes, you get real beds with two pillows for each bed within each tent.

Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

There are basic amenities such as a fan and a charging plug.

It might get cold at night so if you want, do bring along a jacket while you stay warm while staring at the swimming manatees.

You will get to shower at night and the toilets are 15m away from where the tent is.

Souvenirs for guests

Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

Photo by Ashley Tan.

Guided tours

You will get to visit the back-of-house where you will be doing some hands-on activities.

For example, packing sweet potato leaves for the manatees:

Here's Anthony, our guide who has eight years of guiding experience with WRS. Anthony started guiding only after retirement and now he is an expert at various flora and fauna. Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

There will be a guide accompanying you throughout the day tour around the River Safari and you get to speak to the zookeepers at Squirrel Monkey Forest.

Keeper feeding the squirrel monkeys. Photo by Zheng Zhangxin.

If you are lucky, you might get to see how the veterinarian, keeper and aquarist at River Safari conduct a health check on the manatees.

Video by Zheng Zhangxin.

Besides Once Upon a River animal presentation, you also get an intimate experience with some animals.

One of the animals you may get to meet is a 10-year-old pelican called Luke which is very friendly and playful.

Video by Zheng Zhangxin.

But truthfully, it really depends if he's in the mood to meet you.

Like us, animals have their days where they just want some "me time".

When's the best time to catch the manatees?

If you want to catch a glimpse of where the manatees sleep, you probably can only do so through this programme.

At night, some younger manatees can be spotted sneaking out to have some fun on their own while the adult manatees were asleep.

In the early morning, more manatees are active and that's the best time to have your camera ready to take a photo of them or with them.

Video by Zheng Zhangxin.

Besides having an unblocked view, you also get more time to observe the behaviours of these manatees, and how they interact with their cohabitors.

Other info to note

For young families that are interested in this glamping experience, do note that the minimum age for participants is five years old.

Each tent must have at least one adult.

For those who drive, each tent will have a complimentary parking ticket too.

Unfortunately, you cannot use the SingaporeRediscovers Vouchers for this programme.

Find out more here.

Top photos by Zheng Zhangxin