Preparing for a wild visit

Proper preparation makes for a more enjoyable visit.
Wild visits are also more fun if we observe some basic courtesies.
Here are some tips for nature photographers.
Special preparations for visiting the shores

  • Wear light, breathable clothing.
  • Wear appropriate footwear that will support and protect your feet.
  • Wear a hat if much of the walk will be in the open.
  • Bring enough drinking water to last your walk. 1 litre per person per 3 hours is a good estimate. Also bring a small easy-to-digest snack to energise yourself.
  • Prepare raingear and plastic bags for electronic and other delicate items.
  • Before your walk have a good night's rest, drink plenty of water and have your regular meal.

Check the weather forecast at the National Environment Agency's Meteorological Services website which has a 3-hour to 3-day outlook for various locations in Singapore.

Basic courtesies

Be a visitor that makes a difference for nature: Be a role model and set a good example for visitors around you. If you observe anything unusual (e.g., degradation, damage, pollution of the environment) or illegal activities, report it to NParks at 1-800-4717300. Your active participation will help to preserve our wild places.

Be patient:
It is more fun to quietly observe animals going about their daily business. If they are disturbed, most will simply hide until they feel the coast is clear. This can take a long time, during which there will be nothing for you to see.

Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere: The animals can hear you better than you can hear them! Be quiet to avoid frightening them off. Other visitors made the time and effort to come for the peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Playing the radio or other music destroys this ambience. Leave your radio at home, switch mobile phones to silent mode and speak softly.

Respect the wild: Don't touch or harass animals as they may defend themselves if they feel threatened. Some plants may also cause rashes. Watch where you put your hands and feet to avoid hurting and being hurt. Don't use plants or animals as toys or food for other animals. Leave everything the way you found it.
Don't remove plants and animals: They will die! Each has a part to play in its ecosystem which may be affected by the loss. Also, other visitors will then be deprived of the joy you had discovering these plants and animals. Take photos instead of a trophy or souvenir of your visit. Or make a drawing or write a poem to capture the emotions and thoughts of your visit.

Respect the dead: Even dead leaves and animals have a role to play. As they decay, nutrients are returned to the ecosystem. It is illegal to pluck leaves, flowers or remove other materials at designated reserves and parks.

Poaching is illegal at reserves and parks. Please report any poaching to NParks at 1-800-4717300.

Don't leave your mark on nature: Just as you enjoy the untarnished beauty of nature, so will those who come after you. Please don't vandalise or leave graffiti.

Killer Litter! Litter is not only unsightly but also kills small animals that get trapped in them (e.g., inside plastic bags) and larger animals that may eat them accidentally. If you could bring a sweet to the walk, you can bring the empty wrapper home too.

Stay on designated routes, boardwalks and trails: the ground is alive with small animals, growing plants and delicate seedlings. Stomping on them will result in a barren area around the route which means there will be less for us to see along the trails. You may also get lost if you stray from the marked trails.

Do not cycle on trails, routes and boardwalks which are not designated for cycling. This destroys the trail and mood for others who prefer to enjoy a quiet, nature walk. Cycling also scares away the wildlife. Why not use the trails designated for cycling instead?

No pets please! Please do not walk your dog in wild natural areas. Dogs leave a scent which disturbs the native wildlife. Dogs may also dig up or harass wildlife. Wildlife that defend themselves from dogs may injure the dog or the owner. So please leave your pet at home. There are designated dog run areas in our parks, bring your pet there for a fun and safe outing. Here's details on some dog runs on the Singapore for Kids website.

Do not feed the monkeys: You do them more harm than good. Feeding is often a death sentence for a monkey. The forest also suffers as the monkeys no longer disperse seeds that is so important to forest regeneration. more about the harm caused by feeding monkeys

Don't release unwanted pets in a wild place: Introduction of non-native animals (and plants) to our wild places can upset the natural balance. The introduced animal may die or worse, thrive and displace our native animals. So please don't release animals such as birds, turtles, fishes or rabbits in our wild places. more about the impact of animal release

Trips to a sea shore involve special preparations and precautions.

Special courtesies
for nature photographers

In the pursuit of the perfect photograph, don't forget the well-being of the plants and animals you are photographing.

Do photograph animals where you found them. It is more natural and less stressful to them.

Be patient. Don't catch, dig up or harass animals to get the perfect shot. Most will simply hide and not re-emerge for some time. If the conditions donít allow for a good photograph, leave the animal alone. There may be another opportunity later on during your visit.

Do not deface or disturb the vegetation for a better angle.

Do watch where you step as you are looking for the best angle.

Never take an animal home to photograph. It will die.

See also...
  • Warning, venture at your own risk By Chang Ai-Lien The Straits Times 9 Aug 05
    YOU'RE more likely to get hit by a car than attacked by a wild animal in Singapore. But it could happen. We present the how-not-to-get-yourself-killed/maimed/ poisioned guide to enjoying the outdoors

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