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Wildlife spotting in Europe: wild horses of the Suva Mountain

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When we hear the word wildlife, our minds instantly search for the distant pictures of tropical rainforests or lion's mane sticking out of the tall savanna grass. The urban lifestyle made us feel very distant from nature and its pure wild forms, thinking it’s something exclusive, something reserved for the safaris and African tribes. Well, let me tell you the good news. It’s possible to spot the wildlife at its purest, and without leaving the urban European continent. An excellent place for wildlife spotting in Europe is located on the Suva Mountain in Serbia, where the wild horses run free, giving the spectators the liberating views of the raw wilderness.

How the herd of wild horses ended up on the Suva Mountain

Wildlife spotting in Europe is not so common, at least not at the continental part, so it’s normal to wonder how the wild horses ended up on the Suva Mountain in Serbia. It is not evident how exactly the wild herd has formed, but the scientists think that they are the descendants of the horses who escaped from their owners in the surrounding villages, hundreds of years ago.

Dry Mountain / Suva Planina
Dry Mountain / Suva Planina
Suva Planina, Serbia

During the last century, many villages in the area exponentially lost more and more population, due to the people leaving their homes for better life in the cities. As fewer people and more tranquility ruled the area, the conditions were perfect for the herd of wild horses to start roaming the landscapes of almost 1.600 meters of altitude. Nowadays, they keep roaming, and it’s always uncertain where they will show up and when.

When you see the wild horse for the first time

When you see the wild horse for the first time, you will experience the strong sensation of the inexplicable beauty and excitement flying through your body. These wild animals are symbols of freedom, of the untamed spirit and strength, that we don’t often find in our comfortable surroundings.

The view of a strong animal like that grooming, the sound of the herd galloping and the scenery of the youngsters playing around the mama horse are something that stays within us and installs the feeling of intimidating respect for nature. Those horses look well groomed, and their fur reflects the Sun in a most pleasant way.

Visiting, accommodation and safety tips

If you join the local hiking organization, the certified guides will suggest you the best spots to try and find the wild horses. The other side of wildlife spotting is that no one can be 100% if they will show up on the certain days and where exactly, as they are living in the beech forests in the vast mountainous area. If you do see them, make sure to stay at a safe distance, and listen to the guide, as even the naturally friendly and smart animals like horses are unpredictable when untamed. There are many spots good for camping, and several mountain huts where you can sleep free of charge or for a symbolic price. There is also a possibility to rent a private accommodation like cottages and rooms, in one of the surrounding villages. There is also a possibility to stay in the Niska Banja spa or the city of Nis, which is around 20 km away.

Niska Banja
Niska Banja
Niska Banja, Serbia

This adventure is only for the bravest, but the uncertainty of the whole expedition makes seeing the wild horses that much more worth it. While wildlife spotting in Europe may be underrated, seeing the wild horses of the Suva Mountain teaches us an important lesson, the one that includes nature, respect and wildlife’s ability to live in peace, without any "help" of the intruding people.


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The author

Milena Mihajlovic

Milena Mihajlovic

I am Milena, and enjoy traveling, hiking and everything coffee-related. Through my writing, I want to inspire fellow travelers about Serbia, my dear country.

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