Acting as a large green lung situated right in the centre of Singapore is the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The largest of the nature reserves in Singapore, the Central Catchment Nature Reserve occupies over 2,000 hectares of forest cover and is home to some of the richest forests in terms of biodiversity.
Dipterocarp forests, which are species-rich primary lowland forests, were once abundant in Singapore before human settlements developed. Today, less than 0.5% of the original primary forest cover remains and it can only be found in small patches within the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. An even rarer forest type in Singapore is the primary freshwater swamp forest, with the most significant remaining patch being the Nee Soon Swamp Forest in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The existing habitats are home to a magnificent diversity of plants. Examples include the Keruing (Dipterocarpus spp.) and Meranti (Shorea spp.) as well as the critically endangered Raffles Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis) and the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica).
Come and experience their beauty on the carefully planned nature trails. The MacRitchie Trails are a 20-kilometre network of trails and boardwalks winding through the forest around the MacRitchie Reservoir. Key attractions of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve include the TreeTop Walk, a 250-metre suspension bridge that connects the two highest points in MacRitchie and the Jelutong Tower, a 7-deck observation tower that allows visitors an unimpeded overview of the forest in MacRitchie.
The Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve once formed a contiguous forest. That all changed when the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) was constructed in 1986, separating the nature reserves into two fragments. The Eco-Link@BKE, completed in 2013, now connects the two reserves once again to facilitate animal movements and the dispersal of forest plant seeds.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is located at the southern-eastern end of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and is highly visited by nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. It serves as a gateway to Singapore’s nature reserves, being a popular starting point for visitors who wish to hike the MacRitchie Trails. For more information on MacRitchie Reservoir Park, visit PUB’s website here.
Abutting the Central Catchment Nature Reserve Lornie Nature Corridor strengthens the ecological resilience of the Reserve by protecting the forest edge against the impacts of drying and wind. This buffer also makes the nature reserve more resilient to the effects of climate change such as extreme weather conditions.
601 Island Club Road (Located close to Singapore Island Country Club, via Venus Drive)
Nature Reserve Information
How to get there: Start from Venus Drive Carpark to TreeTop Walk. Bus Stop ID: 53079, 53071(Upper Thomson Rd)
Nature Reserve Opening Hours: 7am to 7pm (entering or remaining in the nature reserve after 7pm is not allowed)
TreeTop Walk Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Weekends and Public Holidays: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Closed on Mondays (except Public Holidays) Last entry at 4:45pm
Venus Drive Carpark Opening Hours:
7am to 7pm daily
Accessibility info: Wheelchair accessible in certain areas
Specific Dos and Don't: No pets allowed in Nature Reserve
Safety During Bad Weather
For safety, during and immediately after bad weather, please seek cover at the nearest shelter available and avoid entering forested areas, including nature reserve and nature park. Do note that when planning to go outdoors, you may dial 65427788 for weather forecast.