Birding at Pulau Semakau
Birding is another activity that you can do in Pulau Semakau. The remoteness of this place somehow attracts a rich diversity of rare birds that can't be seen on the mainland. So if you're hear on a birding trip, bring a pair of binoculars with you. The one that is given free on National Day does not count as one. Do check out my off the beaten page to see what birds can be seen.
Non-refundable $25 fee for boat and administration. Do note that this trip is only open for Nature Society members. Click the website for details on how to join the Nature Society.
Going for an inter-tidal walk
Honestly, the best thing about going to Pulau Semakau is to check out what nature has to offer. Going for an inter-tidal walk ( walking along the shore when the tide is low) with a guide would be good idea as you'll appreciate what you see with understanding. And please remember, bring only the memories and photographs home. For pete's sake, don't bring a bucket to collect mussels for dinner, it's not only illegal but detrimental to nature*. Check out the website below for the schedule of the walks.
Students: $39.90 per person
Public: $52.50 per person
Cost includes rental of boat, guides, guidesheets, coordinating and administrative fees.
1 guide and 1 trainee guide to 10 participants.
*I'm not joking, I actually spotted an old woman clutching a red bucket, harvesting shell fish "gong gong" at Pulau Ubin. What she didn't know was that this action is ILLEGAL in a nature reserve. Plus, Singapore waters ain't exactly clean so after eating the shellfish, you might end up ***ting your insides and puking your brains out.
Fishing at Pulau Semakau
Besides the walks and birding activities, sport fishing is another activity you can do in Pulau Semakau. It's quite a worth while activity since I was told that black-tipped sharks were seen swimming in the lagoon and LARGE groupers were actually caught in these waters. Ah, sounds tempting doesn't it? Now to pour cold water over what I said, you'll need to release any fish caught in these waters. Yes, you're NOT ALLOWED to bring back any fish caught from this waters. Are you still keen, if you are, click on the website for the price and other details.
Members- $30 per trip
non-members - $40 per trip covering ferry transport and admin costs.
Bring your own food, drinks, fishing tackle, rain gear etc.
Checking out the Mangrove Trees
Other birding your brains out, angling and wading the waters in Pulau Semakau, you can also check out the unusual mangrove trees by the shore. Many of these trees have stilt roots that poke eerily out the water for air. Many of these trees attract birds and mudskippers so it pays to hover near them.
Checking out the Marine Life
This little sotong (squid) is so cute that I've decided to put it here. It was spotted off the sea-grass lagoon in Pulau Semakau that day and oohed and ahhed by everyone in the group. Of course, it was released into the water after the trauma.
When the tide is low at Semakau, you can catch many interesting marine animals, to name some we encountered there were: octopus, stingray, flatworm, nudibranch, jellyfish, etc.
Check Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) website for details, walk schedules and booking of the walk.
Price for a guided walk for adults is $53.50 and for students is $40.60, all inclusive of 7% GST.
The price covers transfer by boat from Marina South Pier to Semakau and return.
Below is a typical programme schedule for the intertidal walk (the timing depends on low tide):
3.30pm: Arrive at Marina South Pier
3.45-4.30pm: Depart for Semakau Landfill
4.30-5.30pm: Landfill tour cum video presentation by NEA staff
5.30-7.45pm: Intertidal walk
7.45-8pm: Wash up
8pm: Depart Semakau Landfill
8.45pm: Arrive at Marina South Pier (MSP)
(note: Return time to MSP is an estimate. Do make allowance for any delays in returning).