Did you know that in just 15 minutes by car from the bustling shopping on Orchard Road, you can be surrounded by jungle? We went for a midday hike through the MacRitchie Reservoir Park to Windsor Nature Park and saw monkeys, lizards, turtles, squirrels and birds. We even met a rooster picking food from the forest floor.
Within just a few minutes of walking from the main entrance of the reservoir, we were submerged in the jungle. The traffic noise quickly faded away and suddenly the only sounds around us were the chirping of birds. Well, that and the voices of a few fellow hikers.
Admittedly we were not the only ones going for a walk around lunchtime. Still, we were amazed of the strong jungle feeling we got in the park. To us Norwegians, strolling around the dense forest with bamboo trees and green vegetation was very exotic.
In the first part of our walk, we followed the MacRitchie Nature Trail and didn’t see too much wildlife, but the relaxing ambiance made up for that. Turning into the Windsor Nature Park after around an hour made for a totally different experience. The Squirrel Trail lived up to its name with squirrels just about everywhere.
The highlight of our hike was encountering a troop of monkeys. These cheeky creatures were so fun to watch, and we couldn’t help but laugh when we saw two animals putting on a rope pull fight using the tail of one of the monkeys.
Following the stream, we also saw turtles and quite a lot of small fish. At this part of the route, we occasionally heard the sound of cars. This felt quite strange given we were still being surrounded by dense jungle.
Going for a hike in the MacRitchie Reservoir and Windsor Nature Park may not be like exploring the Amazon rainforest. We still found it to be a great way to spend a few hours away from the busy Singapore city center. We certainly didn’t expect it to be that “jungely” considering the close proximity to the skyscrapers of Singapore.
We took a taxi from the city center to the main entrance on Lornie Road at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. The cab ride was about 15 minutes from Orchard Road.
First, we walked the MacRitchie Nature Trail until turning right onto the Drongo Trail in the Windsor Nature Park. From there we followed the Drongo Trail and Squirrel Trail before exiting the park at Venus Drive.
The total length of our route was about 5 kilometers. We spent around 2 hours walking at a leisurely pace, including plenty of photo stops.
Once at Venus Drive, we ordered a taxi back to the city using the app Grab. There are no taxi stands outside Windsor Nature Park, so make sure to download the Grab app beforehand.
(Map of the parks with the black dotted line showing the route we hiked.)
Practical information and tips:
- The route we hiked was flat but somewhat more challenging than expected due to the heat and humidity
- We advise that you bring plenty of water
- The parks are open from 7 am to 7 pm every day and there is no entrance fee
- There are toilets and a cafe at the main entrance to MacRitchie Reservoir Park
- There are toilets at the Windsor Nature Park car park in Venus Drive
- Both parks have bus stops with lines linking to the city center
- The parks have plenty of different hiking trails of varying length and difficulty (the most famous one is the TreeTop Walk in the MacRitchie Reservoir Park)
The Singapore National Parks Board states that one keeps to the designated trails and appreciate any animals you may see from afar. If you encounter Long-tailed Macaques, keep a safe distance and do not feed them.
*We visited MacRitchie Reservoir and Windsor Nature Park in November 2018.
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