Pushpa Venkatraman, compulsive walker – and nature lover – shares her recent discoveries : interesting and detailed facts about the varieties of trees and animal life @ the Reserve.


By virtue of Singapore’s location on the equatorial belt, the reserve has one of the richest and most diverse ecological systems. Visitors will see an astonishing variety of plant, animal and insect life, typical of a humid equatorial climate.

This 163-ha reserve includes Singapore’s highest hill, Bukit Timah Hill, which stands at 163 m and retains one of the few areas of primary rainforest in the country. The forest on the hill has been a botanical collection ground for more than a century, and the first known specimens of many species of Malayan plants have been obtained here.”

– NParks website



Did you know Kuala Lumpur’s township Petaling Jaya, is named after the Petaling tree?






Buttress roots of the keranji tree

Or that Kranji road got its name from the Keranji tree?








Or that one of the tall Serayas here is believed to be at least 150 years old?







National Parks has put up information points with fun facts about the various trees and other varieties of plant and animal life you might encounter on your explorations of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.


Monitor Lizard Fern
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Malayan Colugo


Some trees (in addition to those mentioned above) to look out for are :

  • the Merombong, identified by unique holes in the trunk
  • the Bayas, which have prickly trunks and water resistant stems, used to build kelongs (wooden structure on stilts in the sea)
  • the Terap, whose bark strips off easily, used by the native people of the regions in building their homes


Giant Forest Ant

During my recent visit I saw children eagerly trying to spot trees and animals they were reading about. Families were engaged in discussions not only about what they saw – but more importantly about conservation and the preservation of biodiversity.


An excellent way to spend time at the Reserve, in my opinion.


The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is open from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.


More Information


Text and photographs by Pushpa Venkatraman