Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve! Step into the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and you will experience nature in an untouched form. A mere 12km from the bustling city, the 164 hectare (400 acres) Reserve includes Singapore’s highest hill which stands at 163.63 metres and retains the only substantial area of primary rainforest left in Singapore.

The Nature Reserve has one of the richest and most diverse ecological systems in the world. Visitors will see an astonishing variety of plant, animal and insect life, typical of a humid equatorial climate.

The forest on Bukit Timah has been a botanical collecting ground for more than a century, and from it has been obtained the first known specimens of many species of Malayan plants. Dr Davic Bellamy, an eminent conservationist, pointed out that the number of three species growing in a mere hectare of the Reserve is more than the total number of tree species in all of North America.

History : In 1882, Nathaniel Cantley, then Superintendent of the Singapore Botanic Gardens was commissioned by the Government of the Strait Settlements to prepare a report o the forests of the settlements. On Cantley’s recommendation, several forest reserves were created on the island over the next few years. Bukit Timah was one of the first forest reserves established in 1883.

All the reserves were worked for timber with the exception of Bukit Timah Reserve. By 1937, the forest reserves were deleted under economic pressures for development. However, three areas, including the Bukit Timah Reserve, were retained for the protection of flora and fauna under management of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
In 1951, further protection of the Reserves was provided by the enactment of a Nature Reserves Ordinance and the establishment of a Nature Reserves Board for the administration of the Reserves, now designated as Nature Reserves, which total some 2800 hectares in area.

Today, the nature reserves are set aside for the propagation, protection and preservation of the indigenous flora and fauna of Singapore under the National Parks Act and managed by the National Parks Board.

Visitor Centre : If you are planning to take a hike here, begin your forest exploration here with an orientation visit at the Visitor Centre.  A self-guiding exhibit features essential information about the native flora and fauna of the nature reserves. Visitor amenities such as telephone, toilet, souvenir kiosk and ranger-cum-information counter are also located at the Centre.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Visitor Guidelines

Native Plants and Animal

  1. you may take photographs but do not damage any feature of the built or natural environment.
  2. Move quietly and carefully as noise can disturb native animals and will deprive you of the opportunity of seeing them.
  3. To avoid upsetting the natural processes, do not bring in dogs, pets or other non-native animals.
  4. Respect the natural dietary needs of the native animals and do not feed them. Feeding monkeys, for example, may encourage aggressive behaviour.
  5. The streams and other water bodies are also essential parts of the ecosystem, so treat them with respect by not polluting or washing in them.

Some Tips for Your Safety and Enjoyment

  1. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and light clothing. You might want to carry a backpack containing a water bottle and insect repellant.
  2. It is wise to keep to designated trails and roads. Hikers are advised NOT to use the biking trail for hiking.
  3. Open fires and camping are prohibited.
  4. Seek the advice of Rangers, Officers and Nature Wardens who are here to assist you.

For Cyclists on The Biking Trail

    • Be considerate and give way to those on foot.
    • For your safety, avoid riding at high speeds and remember to wear protective gear.