The full name of this reserve is “Stari Begej-Carska bara“. It is located in the middle of the vast plain of Banat, between Novi Sad, Belgrade and Zrenjanin, embraced by the rivers of Begej and Tisza. The reserve covers the area of about 1600 acres, surrounding the Old Begej River, and the Carska, Perleska and Tiganjica ponds. Translated to English its name means “Imperial pond” and it has been known as such ever since the Austro-Hungarian reign. It was one of the favorite hunting resorts of many Austrian notables.
Birds are the biggest treasure of the reserve, with 250 species and most being in the World and European “Red book” of endangered species. For this very reason, this well-known bird sanctuary received special protection as a Ramsar site and was listed as one of the internationally significant wetland areas.
The pond is home to pelicans, storks, cormorants, pygmy cormorants, white-tailed eagles, buzzards, common spoonbills, western marsh harriers, and all eight species of herons. And, of course, there is the Royal heron, chosen as the symbol of the reserve.
Aside from the birds, Stari Begej and Carska bara are abundant with fish, such as carp, catfish, or sturgeon. Within the borders of the reserve, there are designated areas where sport fishing is possible. These waters are a part of a fishing resort of Ecka, which is the largest natural fishpond in the whole Europe.
Other available activities include sailing, bathing, and horseback riding, or indulging in a horse carriage ride. Also, the whole region can be observed from birds perspective, from a plane or a motorized hang-glider. Numerous hunting grounds cover the area of 7.000 acres, with animals such as wild hog, roe deer, red fox, muskrat, bats, hedgehog, mole, weasel, hamster, and squirrel.
It is interesting that in untouched nature of this reserve, no mosquitoes can be found, which is simply unbelievable considering the amount of wetlands. According to explanation given by caretakers of the fishpond the mosquitoes are being destroyed by frogs and spawns. After all, it is nature that regulates life in this kingdom.
Each year, in the middle of July, hikers and mountaineers of Zrenjanin invite their fellow mountaineers from all over the country, to enjoy the features of this beautiful landscape. A pond, in the middle of a plain, has to be simply enchanting in order to attract hopeless admirers of high lands.
In the end, people are nothing but guests here, so the time that can be spent in the reserve is restricted, so is the number of guests that can visit it during a year time. The reserve is open for visitors between 5 am and 10 pm, and 30.000 people yearly are allowed to leave their footprints on this beautiful soil. The animals of Carska Bara must not be disturbed.