The first ever rooftop water theme park in Klang Valley, Safari Lagoon, opened its door to visitors about 20 years ago
Hailed as the third biggest theme park in Southeast Asia when it was first opened in 1998, Safari Lagoon was the go-to destination when it came to family outings.
Situated in Pandan Perdana, at the border of Cheras and Ampang, Safari Lagoon has been a unique sight for many due to the greeneries and a giraffe statue that's sticking out on the roof of the Pandan Safari Parade building.
It's definitely hard to miss, even until today, especially if you're a frequent user of the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).
Safari Lagoon was a popular attraction, as it was unusual for a theme park to be located on the seventh floor of a shopping complex
The theme park, engulfed in greenery, was dubbed as a "forest in a city" and featured a variety of facilities including water slides, wave pools, and a playground for children, according to Utusan.
Large statues of animals such as elephants and giraffes allowed young visitors to experience the thrill of being in a 'safari'.
Despite its popularity among locals, especially those in the Klang Valley area, Safari Lagoon took a hit in 2007.
The water park had a secret and it was exposed: Safari Lagoon had been operating without a license for a total of eight years.
In 2007, 19 officers and staff of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) were reportedly issued show-cause letters as there were elements of negligence over the Safari Lagoon water theme park case.
It was learned that Safari Lagoon was ordered to close in 2005. However, the water park's doors remained open to visitors for another two years, with MPAJ failing to take any action against the operator.
The illegal operations came to light in January 2007 after a freak accident took place at Safari Lagoon
It was reported that one of the employees at the theme park was killed when he was trapped inside a high pressure water pump compartment. The employee reportedly died while trying to retrieve items left by visitors during the tragic incident.
Safari Lagoon never recovered from the controversy.
It closed down and the abandoned site has left the former theme park to be in dilapidated conditions.
At one point in time, 'Anjung Kayangan Steamboat & Seafood Restaurant' occupied part of the rooftop space following the closure of the theme park. However, the eatery did not last and eventually closed down.
Today, it is not just the theme park that is deserted, but the whole building as well. Additionally, the Pandan Safari Shopping Complex has been engulfed in several controversies in the past few years.
The state of the abandoned theme park inevitably brought curious visitors there. Here's a video of Safari Lagoon taken in 2017:
Have you ever visited Safari Lagoon? Share with us your experience or fond memories of the place if any in the comments section below!