The Vrbas River in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a natural wonder that has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Flowing for 250 kilometers, the river is known for its breathtaking canyons, stunning natural scenery, and cultural landmarks. It has played an essential role in the region’s history and culture, and is a popular destination for outdoor recreation.
Starting high in the Vranica Mountain, the Vrbas River meanders through the central part of the northern slopes of the Dinaric Mountain range. As it winds its way through the landscape, it passes through dense forests, green valleys, and rocky gorges before it joins the Sava River.
The Vrbas River is home to numerous fish species, such as the endangered endemic Danube salmon, common nase, and grayling. Other aquatic species, such as freshwater mussels and crayfish, also call the river their home. The river’s surrounding habitats support a variety of bird species, including kingfishers, herons, owls, and wild ducks. On land, the river banks are lined with lush vegetation which provides shelter and food for a range of wildlife, such as otters, beavers, and various small mammals. The surrounding forests support large species, like deer, wild boars, and brown bears.
Apart from supporting incredible biodiversity, the Vrbas River is a great destination for different types of outdoor activities. The river’s canyons and rapids have made it a popular destination with rafters and kayakers, hosting several international competitions, while the surrounding landscape is a great spot for hiking or free climbing.
To preserve the natural values of the Vrbas River, our partners from the Center for Environment in Banja Luka have started the process of establishing two new protected areas. We hope that this will provide the necessary protection and create new opportunities for developing sustainable tourism and other nature-positive practices. The Vrbas River is a unique and beautiful natural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, playing an important role in the lives of people living on its banks.