Singapore's tourism industry must continue to upgrade and enhance its attractions: PM Lee

Turning to Asia's first and only river-themed wildlife park, Mr Lee said that the River Safari together with the Zoo and Night Safari will make the Mandai cluster an even more exciting nature destination.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the press release from the River Safari:

Mandai, an area synonymous with Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, has become even more wild today with the much-anticipated official opening of River Safari, Asia's first and only river-themed wildlife park.

River Safari is the latest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore's portfolio of award-winning parks, which includes Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, and Singapore Zoo. With a unique focus on freshwater habitats, the park adds a new dimension to the wildlife experience in Singapore.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, officiated the grand opening before 300 guests.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, "We are very proud today to officially introduce River Safari to the world.

From conceptualisation and design to construction and completion, River Safari represents our dedication to conserve wildlife, our commitment to educate the public about threats to freshwater habitats, and our passion to create an enriching and fun recreational venue for visitors all over the world."

The journey to creating Asia's first and only river-themed park started with an idea to create a freshwater aquarium to complement the offerings of Singapore Zoo. This spark evolved and gave rise to River Safari.

Today, the 12-ha River Safari offers visitors a wildlife adventure inspired by the world's most iconic rivers, including the Amazon, Ganges, Mekong, Nile and Yangtze rivers. Built at a cost of $160 million, River Safari houses one of the world's largest collections of freshwater fauna.

To date, the park features 6,000 animal specimens representing 200 species, of which 40 are threatened. These include river giants and mega fishes such as the giant river otter, giant freshwater stingray, Mekong giant catfish and Singapore's very own pair of resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

WRS parks are world-renowned for their open concept exhibit design, and with River Safari, the team pushed the boundaries further and created a park that would provide visitors with an unforgettable adventure through the world's most iconic rivers.

"The park has been well-received since we opened the Giant Panda Forest in Nov 2012, and our soft opening in Apr 2013.

"We have already welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors from all over the world and this shows that visitors are curious about the world of river habitats.

"We feel positive that River Safari has a huge role to play in satisfying this hunger for knowledge about freshwater inhabitants," said Ms Chiang.

When visiting River Safari, visitors can look forward to interactive and digital educational interpretives, discovery stations where visitors can learn more about animals and freshwater conservation issues and behind-the-scene tours which provide a clearer glimpse into the world these animals live in.

River Safari opens daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm and tickets are priced at S$25 (adult), S$16 (child between 3-12 years) and $12.00 (local senior citizens 60 years and above). From 5 March 2014, tickets to the Amazon River Quest boat ride will be priced at S$5 (adult) and S$3 (child).