Rafting in Tara Canyon, Bosnia and Herzegovina

So I have packed my rucksack with lots of changes of warm clothing and a few creature comforts for this weekend trip me and my friends are making. We are going to experience first-hand white-water rafting in the Tara Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It’s a 6 hour drive to the camp we will be staying at. We chose to stay at the Drina-Tara Rafting Club situated about 18 km from the town of Foa. We chose this place on the recommendations we had heard from people who had been white-rafting with this organization.

This 3 day adventure break starts when you arrive on Friday afternoon, which is all about settling into your surroundings with your fellow thrill seekers. The camps accommodation is in mountain style bungalows which can accommodate groups of all sizes. They are clean, functional and have all you would need for a weekend stay. Ablution facilities are communal and the showers have lashing of hot water which is definitely needed after a day’s rafting.

After breakfast on the second day we are given our safety briefing, which everyone listens to intently because we all realise the importance of the subject. We are given the necessary safety equipment and we would be soon on our way. We are taken by jeep to our starting point at Brstanovica for our 25 km rafting adventure to begin.

When you first see the river you get a feeling of the strength and ferocity of it. It’s now or never. Once in the raft events happen very quickly. All the instructors hold an international rafting licence. This really instils you with confidence as you have to listen to every command they tell you to do. It’s safety first out here, always! “Paddle up”, “Paddle harder”, “Lean in”, “Hold on” are the instructions we heard for the next few hours.

Tara Canyon is a UNESCO protected area of outstanding natural beauty and I now see why. Whilst navigating the rapids you are closed in by towering canyon walls that reach up to 1.3 km high. The scale of this canyon is immense and it gives you that feeling of being very small indeed. You really are at the mercy of the elements. It’s only through the expert skill of our instructors and the effort we all put in that will help us navigate the river successfully. This stretch of river is scaled from a 3-5 grade out of 6; 6 being un-navigable for rafting activities. This is extreme sports at its finest.

Once finished we are taken back to camp where we can shower, put on a new set of clothing, and look forward to a hearty lunch. The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Many of us took a well-deserved nap before dinner was served. I have to say the food here is fantastic. It’s tasty and substantial and you really need those calories after a day’s rafting. The evenings are low key spent around the fire, sharing stories and enjoying a well-earned drink. You can really feel the remoteness of this place, with only the crickets chirping to keep you company when you turn in for the night.

Day 3 begins with breakfast. Then you have a choice: more rafting, just like yesterday, or you could go on a jeep safari to the Sutjeska National Park. We chose rafting because that is what we came for; who knows, maybe next time we will take the safari. The rafting didn’t disappoint. It was as good as or even better than the time before; probably because we felt more comfortable in our surroundings and new-found rafting skills. Once finished we headed back to camp for lunch, to pack and say goodbye to our new friends. It was a good journey on the way back home; topic of conversation “rafting”, of course.

If you are looking for a new challenge, like extreme sports and are a bit of an adrenalin junkie like me, then go white-water rafting in the Tara Canyon; you will not be disappointed. This experience will never be forgotten, only problem is you may get hooked on wanting more. In a word, wow! There are many companies who offer white-water rafting but I was more than happy with my choice, and I would highly recommend them to you also.

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