For your safety, please do not enter the nature reserve and forested areas during stormy weather as such inclement weather may cause trees and branches to fall. Do note that when planning to go outdoors, dial-a-weather at 65427788 for weather forecast. Thank you.
Alternative parking is available at Dairy Farm Nature Park Carpark B
Weekend visitors to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are strongly encourage to park at Dairy Farm Nature Park Carpark B (along Dairy Farm Road), where there is another entrance into the nature reserve.
For directions to the carpark, please refer to the map here.
Step into Singapore's second ASEAN Heritage Park and explore one of the largest stands of primary lowland dipterocarp forest in our island. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was officially declared as an Asean Heritage Park on 18 October 2011. Together with Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, it is now part of the prestigious regional network of 30 protected areas, forming the complete spectrum of representative ecosystems in ASEAN. This is a significant milestone for Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which aspires to be a centre of excellence in tropical forest conservation management.
Best known for its tallest hill, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve also contains pockets of hill dipterocarp forest, not found anywhere else in Singapore. For a reserve of only 0.2% of our country's total area or 163 hectares, it is amazingly rich in biodiversity with about 40% of the nation's flora and fauna. Find the Seraya (Shorea curtisii), a large tree that is a flagship species here, or spot the rare Mock Durian (Neesia synandra) which has inedible fruit that look like a durian. Rare fauna like the Forest Praying Mantis and the Singapore Freshwater Crab are denizens of the reserve, together with other animals like the pangolin, Horsfield's Flying Squirrel and Colugo.
As you trek within Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, you can journey back in time to the days before Sir Stamford Raffles arrived, when much of the island was covered with lowland, tropical forest. Though much of Singapore's original vegetation had been cleared for logging and cultivation, the forest at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has remained relatively undisturbed. Likewise, patches of primary rainforest can be seen around the MacRitchie area and Nee Soon Swamp at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
These nature reserves bound 4 reservoirs - namely MacRitchie Reservoir, Lower Peirce Reservoir, Upper Peirce Reservoir and Upper Seletar Reservoir. The nature reserves act as water catchment for the reservoirs, in addition, the nature reserves also ensure the quality of water in the reservoirs.
Other than being storehouses of water, today, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve are homes to more than 840 flowering plants and over 500 species of animals (including butterflies). With such an astonishing variety of plants, animals and insect life, the nature reserves are indeed treasure houses of Singapore's biodiversity.
Covering an area of approximately 3,043 hectares, both the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve are managed by the Central Nature Reserve Branch of the National Parks Board.
As nature reserves, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserves are protected by the Parks & Trees Act 2005 for the conservation of our native biodiversity. Certain activities are prohibited within the nature reserves, especially activities that cause a lot of impacts on the native flora and fauna - hiking in groups of more than 30 without a permit, releasing of animals, feeding of animals, removing of native flora and fauna from the nature reserves, cycling, walking off the designated trails are just some of these activities.
What you should do when approached by monkeys
When approached by the monkeys, you should look down and walk at least 1.5 metres away from them. Do not look into their eyes or bare your teeth as these are signs of aggression and challenge.
Keep food and snacks in haversacks and not in plastic bags. Do not eat in the presence of monkeys.
Residents who live near forested areas
- Dispose all household refuse in bins which can be tightly sealed (especially bins with sliding interlocking seals). For bins outside the house or in the open, a simple modification to the bin cover to include a key/number lock will prevent the monkeys from gaining access. You can also consider using an elastic strap to secure the lids to monkey-proof the bins.
- Keep all windows (including bathroom windows) and doors shut when there is no one at home or when you spot monkeys in the vicinity. Monkeys tend to stay in an area for only a short period of time (15 mins to 30 mins) if there is no available food before moving away.
- Keep all food, including prayer offerings, in the house.
- Avoid growing fruit trees, vegetables or spices in your garden.
- Do not feed the monkeys and advise those whom you see feeding not to do
- Do not disturb or threaten monkeys. Do not stare the monkeys in the eye, show your teeth or lunge/move forward as these are signs of aggression to monkeys. If threatened, monkeys will become aggressive.
- Do not eat or drink outdoors, especially when there are monkeys present. Food will attract the monkeys to the area.
- » History & Attractions
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was one of the first forest reserves established in Singapore. When the government of the Straits Settlements commissioned a report on the state of the forests, it was recommended that several reserves be created. Thus, in 1883, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was established. In 1951, it received more protection under the Nature Reserves Ordinance which was enacted under the National Parks Act.
The 163-hectare reserve retains one of the largest tracts of primary rainforest left in Singapore.
The forest has been a botanical collecting ground for more than a century, where the first known specimens of many species of Malayan plants were obtained.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is also home to Singapore's highest hill at 163.63 m. Composed mainly of granite, Bukit Timah Hill was once an active quarrying site in the mid-1900s. One abandoned quarry has been developed as a park - Hindhede Nature Park.
Today, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve supports diverse needs from conservation, education, research and recreation. As an ASEAN Heritage Park, it continues to build on its programmes to strengthen its position as a premier tropical forest and inspire people to learn more about Singapore's beautiful rainforests.
- » Getting There
- » Maps & Hiking Routes
Maps, Hiking & Biking Routes
Click here for map of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Click here for map of Kampong Trail.
Click here for map of Mountain Biking Routes
Click here for Trail Etiquette.
Click here for the Parks & Trees Act 2005.
Form for Application to Hike at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for groups of more than 30
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre
Begin your forest exploration 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. The Exhibition Hall is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm daily.
Here, there are amenities like restrooms, a vending machine and water fountains. Car parking is available from 5.30am to 7.30pm daily. However, as lots are limited and the reserve is especially popular on weekends, public transport may be the better alternative.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Walking Trails
Route 1 (Red)
Distance (one-way): 1.2km
Approximate walking time (return trip): 45 mins
Trail grade: Easy
Route 2 (Blue)
Distance (one-way): 0.7km
Approximate walking time (return trip): 35 mins
Trail grade: Easy
Route 3 (Green)
Distance (one-way): 1.9km
Approximate walking time (return trip): 1 hr 40 mins
Trail grade: Moderate to difficult
Route 4 (Yellow)
Distance (one-way): 1.8km
Approximate walking time (return trip): 2 hrs
Trail grade: Difficult
Kampong Trail (Pink)
Approximate walking time (return trip): 1.5 hrs
Trail grade: Easy
Mountain Biking Trail (Orange)
Distance (loop): 6km
Approximate travel time: 30 mins to 1 hr
Trail grade: Moderate to difficult
- » Opening Hours
6.00am to 7pm (Night walking within the nature reserves is not encouraged.)