On the edge of Deliblato sands, in the middle of the Banat plain, only 60 km from Belgrade, is the village of Deliblato. Already widely known in nature circles, Deliblato is a kind of tourist attraction. The reason for that is the Nature Reserve Kraljevac, with its incredible natural resources.
Thanks to underwater springs and unique floating islands, parts of the surface of this lake do not freeze. That is the case even during the greatest winters. Due to that, Kraljevac has become a valuable habitat for various wetland birds, reptiles, and even some globally endangered species. You can find them nowhere else in the world except in Deliblato Sands.
Home of numerous species of fish, birds, and mammals
Kraljevac covers 264 ha and is placed under state protection as a natural asset of the exceptional importance of the first category. It includes three spatial units: Lake Kraljevac with floating and permanent islands and surrounding reeds of 192 ha, pasture Spasovina on a light terrace of 20 ha, and the valley of the spring Obzovik of 52 ha.
The reserve is a refuge for numerous species of fish, birds, and mammals, and its most important inhabitants belong to extremely rare and strictly protected species.
European mudminnow or popularly speaking mrguda in Serbian is a relict and endemic species of the Danube and Dniester basins. This species of fish over 7000 years old is on the world’s list of endangered species. The weatherfish, a fish that was once used to predict weather disasters, also shares its habitat, as it is sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions. It is on the list of strictly protected species in Europe.
Numerous species of birds nest on the floating islands and reeds of nature reserve Kraljevec. Among the rare and protected ones both in Europe and in the world, there are brown and yellow herons, Black-crowned night heron, and little bitter. There are also Western marsh harrier, pygmy cormorant, whiskered and black tern, as well as the Ferruginous duck. In large colonies, in the area of the reserve, the European bee-eater nests. However, it spends winters in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia.
Nature Reserve Kraljevac – A monument of nature
Among other things, the reserve is adorned with floating islands that are constantly changing the surrounding landscape, moved by the strong wind. The largest of them is the size of an incredible 2.5 ha. Trees also grow on the island, and during the year, carried by the wind, move through this beautiful lake.
Within the reserve, there are also pastures Spasovina and Obzovnik, which represent the last refuges of the river. Spermophilus is a small rodent from the squirrel family. It represents an important link in the food chain on which the endangered steppe falcon and the eagle crusader also depend. The reserve is a habitat for a special species of steppe rodent – a blind dog, specific in that it has no external eye openings. The blind dog, although considered by the people to be a pest, is a protected species.
Not only nature and its riches are the specifics of this reserve. Namely, nature reserve Kraljevac is one of the rare natural assets in Serbia, which was given to the citizens’ association for management. The Association of Sport Fishermen Deliblato Lake from Deliblato takes care of the richness of the reserve.
Where to stay?
If you are wondering if there are any places to stay here for a few days, the answer is – yes. Of course, there is. Hostel Umbra is located within the research and educational center in Kraljevac. It is perfect for families, nature lovers, and mountaineers, so it enables active rest and enjoyment. The current accommodation capacity is 14 beds. There is also a living room for up to 50 people, a kitchen, and a shared bathroom.
In the yard of the hostel, there is a summer house. It has a capacity of up to 30 people, a kitchen, and a shared bathroom. There possibility to hire a guide, boating, fishing, walking, bird watching, and photo safaris.
Although we can write so much more about the beauties of the Kraljevac reserve, we will stop. It is best to visit it yourself. Whether you are a fan of sport fishing, water recreation, photographers looking for the perfect shot or you simply crave nature, this reserve is a place that will enchant you.