Watery friends

The River Safari opened end-2012, but I only (finally) made a trip there at end-2013. It was on Christmas eve, and I knew there would be many kids running around, so I wasn’t at all planning on doing any serious photography (no CPL filter, no black cloth to block out strong light reflections, no tripod/monopod) but I forgot to turn off firing in RAW so I’m using that as an excuse to touch-up and post the nicer photos here!

The smallest specie of  crocodile in the world. I consciously tried to get a good composition for this one, and really prefer having the vignetting on to add to the moody mood.

The smallest specie of crocodile in the world. I consciously tried to get a good composition for this one, and really prefer having the vignetting on to add to the moody mood.

Soon after seeing the Dwarf Crocodile in the African rivers section, we came round to the Indian Ganges river section which featured the Gharial croc, the longest in the crocodile family. It has a distinct bulbous nose, and lucky for me, I’d anticipated the croc’s movements in it’s tank correctly and managed a few solid close-up shots of it’s features, sticking very close to the tank – particularly useful since I couldn’t have caught the whole animal in a single frame, no thanks to the tons of kids along with their parents hoarding the entire facade of the glass wall.

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Soon enough, we got to the most “favourited” part of the whole Safari – the Giant Panda Forest. The Safari had flown Kai Kai and Jia Jia in from China on a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747, no less. Kai Kai, the male panda, enjoyed all the attention he was getting, while Jia Jia, the female, was quite shy and hurriedly went back into her cave-like enclosure at the top of the “forest” when she realised too many humans were out looking at her. From the live CCTV feed, we could see that she was pacing around in the cave. Meanwhile, Kai Kai was busy showing off his bamboo-crunching skills and round tummy.

Kai Kai having lunch

Kai Kai having lunch

Just before exiting the enclosed cooled forest, I noticed a few little tanks with small creatures that were just as shy as Jia Jia. I managed to catch one of them peering back at me from it’s cosy home.

"Are you looking for me?"

“Are you looking for me?”

We walked on along the set route  and came round to the Amazon River Quest just as it was time for us to be there – tickets for this ride had to be purchased at the front counter along with the Safari entry tickets, and with a time slot – but the ride was such a draw that we still had to queue for a good half hour at least. It was a simple mechanised vehicular ride with tracks underneath the water’s surface that brought us to see some of the larger animals. It was a little tricky to catch good shots while on a moving thing, but I did get one clear shot of the flamingos.

Chilling out, literally. They raise a leg in order to cool their body temperatures.

Chilling out, literally. They raise a leg in order to cool their body temperatures.

It took us around 5 hours to walk through the entire Safari (inclusive of the Amazon River Quest ride). I must say it’s an attraction worth visiting; it really does have a lot of interesting animals to see and information about them and their habitats to learn about. That said, I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but I have 2 more good pictures of fishes, but I can’t for the life of me remember what kind of fish they are! If you know them, do leave a comment below or on their respective image pages!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It has been a year since Spirit of a Spright began, and I’m so grateful for all the reads, likes and especially comments sent in. It’s belated, but here’s wishing a Happy 2014 and happy blogging to everyone!

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