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Antares Bush Camp is a 3-star graded self-catering camp located within the 3000Ha Grietjie section of the Balule Nature Reserve. The camp has 5 en-suite bedrooms with air-conditioning and additional outside showers. One room is set up as a family room with a queen bed and an adjoining room with bunk beds for the children. The other three rooms can be set up as twin room or with two single beds combining to create King beds. Although we have 10 beds we prefer to market for a maximum of 8 guests. Connected by a deck between the bedrooms and the main living area, the camp boasts a large fully equipped kitchen. Guests can decide to dine inside or outside where there are views down to the waterhole which attracts a wide variety of game and birdlife. An outside boma area gives guests the option to have a traditional South African braai. A small plunge pool is also an added feature for those hot summer days. The most exciting feature of the camp is the underground Umgede Hide which offers guests an opportunity to sit and watch or photograph birds and other wildlife such as elephants and lion from inside the safety of the hide. One game drive per day is included in the daily packages.

BIRDERS OVERVIEW

  • UNDERGROUND PHOTOGRAPHIC BIRD HIDE

  • BIRD GUIDES

  • ACCESSIBLE WITH A NORMAL SEDAN VEHICLE

  • GUIDED WALKING TRAILS

  • GUIDED GAME DRIVES

  • BIRD LISTS

  • FIELD GUIDE BOOKS

The reserve is predominantly Savanna Woodland with about 10km of Olifants River frontage

HABITATS

INFORMATION FOR BIRDERS

Antares Bush Camp is a registered Birder Friendly establishment with BirdLife South Africa and has enjoyed a long and loyal connection to the organisation through the owners, Ian and Mel Owtram. Umgede Hide is one of the latest underground hides to open in South Africa and is often described as the best hide anyone has seen or sat in. With the water at eye level this offers a unique perspective at which to enjoy the experience. Bird photography is possible all year round with the water levels maintained on a regular basis. Summer sees a profusion of water lilies offering potential for African Jacanas and other water birds to take up residence while in the winter months a clear surface offers a great opportunity to be creative with reflection photography as the golden breasted bunting take off after a bath or drink. A second deck, Hornbill deck, offers guests an opportunity to photograph nesting yellow billed hornbills during the summer breeding season or maybe just chattering tree squirrels who take over the cavity in between times. A third hide will be completed shortly where small birds such as Blue Waxbills and African Firefinches can be photographed at close quarters, thereby ensuring that all guests can still get those amazing shots without the need for the expensive long lenses.

BIRD SPECIALS

With Antares located on the Grietjie reserve we have access to about 10 km of the Olifants river where there is always a possibility to see the elusive Pel's Fishing Owl or African Finfoot. Regular sightings on the sandbanks include White-crowned Lapwings and the occasional Marsh Sandpiper. In the camp nesting African Barred Owlets are a highlight from the dining deck. Other exciting visitors and residents on the reserve include Martial Eagle, Ground Hornbill, Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Woolly-necked and Black Storks along with a list of over 300 other species which have been recorded.

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