Pretty much common in Africa or New Zealand, canoe safari is a top-notch water & nature activity that remains somehow out of the radar for most adventure seekers in Europe. If you are one of them, here is a perfect Balkan’s canoe safari destination for your summer bucket list - the Trebižat River in southern Bosnia & Herzegovina, near the town of Čapljina. Just as the reputation of this country as Europe’s last undiscovered gem goes up, the interest for its unique natural wonders is increasing accordingly. So, if you look for untouched nature and the rise of adrenalin at the same time, all you need is to try canoeing the Trebižat River since this is one of the rare places where a man can admire the wildlife at its purest form from a very close perspective.
In a case you curious to understand the difference between canoeing and kayaking, here is the clarification. The word ‘canoe’ (originally coming from the Caribbean) means ‘an open vessel’, while the word ‘kayak’ (deriving from the Inuit language) is ‘dugout’. Basically, a canoe is lager, open and equipped with a single-ended paddle, in comparison with a kayak that is smaller, closed and provided with a double-ended paddle. Canoeing is probably the best way to get the closest possible to the wild animals in their natural environment.
Somewhere between the Mostar City and the Adriatic coast, and in the vicinity of the town of Čapljina, one can find the Trebižat River, one of the tributaries of the Neretva River. With a total length of 51 km, it is one of the longest underground streams in the Balkans. This spectacular river is the only underground watercourse in Europe that disappears into the ground nine times, and consequently, it has nine different names. Crystal-clear and pleasantly warm water (20°C), beautiful canyons and stunning waterfalls – all the ingredients for a great experience are there. Serene in the beginning, the river transforms into a fast and energetic towards the estuary. Depending on the level of expertise and personal preferences, there are two routes to choose. The first, shorter one (8 km) lasts between 2,5-4 hours, while the second, more demanding one (12 km) takes 5-6 hours. Besides the high-thrill adventure, during the descent, you can enjoy some truly relaxing moments reserved for nature therapy.
Canoeing one of the gorgeous underground rivers with its pristine wilderness, rarely seen elsewhere in Europe, is an excellent way to discover Bosnia & Herzegovina. An ultimate mix of top-adrenalin descent and relaxing nature is an ideal one-day teambuilding, but it could be organized as a several-day’s journey for those looking for a Robinson adventure. Either way, while canoeing the Trebižat River, the wildlife at its purest will not leave you indifferent. If this sounds good to you, there is one more extraordinary place to be explored on the same river. Known as Monica Bellucci’s hidden gem, the Kravice Waterfalls are worth every visit, as this is one of most beautiful places you will ever lay your eyes on.
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