The Sutjeska National park is one of the oldest but also no1 in Europe if you look at the natural rarities-a true gem of Europe! It is situated on wider area of Sutjeska, including Perucica primeval forest-a unique nature reserve, and parts of mountains Maglic, Volujak and Zelengora. Its total areo of 17 000 hectares is mostly forested. There is a huge hunting ground of over 53 00) hectares and eight glacier lakes, also called ‘mountain eyes’ due to their beauty and purity.
The beauty of this national park is reflected in extreme beauty and variety of natural rarities-mountain peaks, springs, rivers, and lush flora and fauna. There are 17 big and small impeccably clean rivers , ten mountain peaks over 2000m, Maglic-the highest peak in republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovian, 2386m, sand pyramids near Miljevina etc. Brown bear, wild cat, bobcat, chamois, wolf, marten, blackcock, eagle can be seen here and the rivers are rich with brown trout and other kinds of fish. You can see various elements of Mediterranean, mid-European, mid-asian and alpine flora.
The Sutjeska National park is on the motorway Belgrade-Visegrad-Foca-Trebinje-Dubrovnik.
PERUCICA PRIMEVAL FOREST
UNIQUENESS OF THE SUTJESKA NATIONAL PARK CAN BE SEEN IN RARE BEAUTY OF NATURE AND ITS MOUNTAIN PEAKS, RIVERS, SPRINGS AND LUSH FLORA AND FAUNA.
This unique primeval reserve takes up about 13000 hectares and it became to exist about 20 000 years ago during ice age. It has an oval shape and it is 6km long and about 3,5 km wide. Most of it is impassable for people. It is situated at the foothill of the mountains Volujak and Maglic and in its center there is the most beautiful 80m-high waterfall Skakavac (grasshopper) whose water flows into a little river named Sutjeska.
The tallest trees in Europe, of over 50,60 m grow in the Perucica primeval forest! Most of them are firs, spruce, white and black pine trees, together with beech, maple and ash trees. “The three sister spruce trees” have been measured the tallest there- 65m! They are probably a few hundred years old. Around 170 types of trees and bushes in this forest tell us how rich eco system of Perucica is. There are also 2000 kinds of herbaceous plants (most of which are endemic) and more than 90 types of butterflies! Besies brown bear,here you can find wild bobcat, wild cat, chamois and may kinds of snakes. Due to its inaccessibility, Perucica is mostly unexplored. One of the greatest natural scientists, Radomir Lakusic, claimed that the most therapeutic herbs grow here, together with the most dangerous European snakes. Because of that, and other factors too, Perucica primeval forest is one of the most grandiose, most important and most preserved natural reserves in Europe.. It is also an open air classroom for all natural scientists- biologists, zoologists, foresters from all over the world. The locals still remember the story about a German elite military unit which entered the Perucica primeval forest during the famous battle on Sutjeska-and never left.
THE RIVERS OF THE SUTJESKA NATIONAL PARK
The Sutjeska river, with a poor water flow but with rich history and everything else, springs under Volujak mountain, at 1665m above sea level. It flows into the river Drina at 387 m, which means it has a natural fall of 1179m. Sutjeska means bay or gorge, which closely pictures its canyon near Tjentiste, over Suha towards Gacko. The river is fast, clean and foamy, rich with trout and its water fills the natural Tjentiste pool, the biggest open-air pool in this part of Europe. The middle age trade caravan road Foca-Ragusa (Dubrovnik) went along the flow of this little river. In the 14th century, in the rocks of Vratar, above Suha there was a customhouse of Herceg (duke) Scepan Kosaca – today’s Scepan Polje got its name by this Serbian medieval ruler.
The Hrcavka is a left tributary of the Sutjeska and it springs in Zelengora, between Ljubin grob and Planika, at 1570 m elevation. This little river is 13,5km long and its unusually cold water flows through a picturesque canyon, filled with cascades and stone pools. At 3km upwards from its flow into the Sutjeska you can see the remains of Serbian medieval town Todjevac and waterfall and cascades underneath. Our guides take our guests canyoning through one part of the Hrcavka canyon, which makes it the ost exciting offer of our Drina Tara rafting center.
THE LAKES OF SUTJESKA NATIONAL PARK
Donje bare lake is near Tovarnica, above the Sutjeska canyon at about 1500m. It is 200m long, 140m wide and around 4m deep. It is rich with trout. From Tjentiste there is a 19km- long footpath to the lake. Next to the lake you can see a mountain house owned by the National park.
Gornje Bare lake is 2km above Donje bare lake, at 1550m elevation. It is a cirque with great quantities of snow filling it every winter-that is why there isn’t much fish in it. You can come there from Tjentiste too.
Crno (black) lake is at the north-west part of Zelengora mountain, at 145m. Above the lake there is Stari katun-summer cattleman houses of local nomads. Giant fir, spruce and beech trees grow around the lake, reflecting on its surface. Its bottom is covered in sludge, though, so it gives the impression of black and it is not suitable for swimming.
Bijelo (white) lake. At about 15 minutes from Black lake, beneath trebova gora, at 1417m elevation, there is a round-shaped Bijelo lake with beautiful clean water suitable for swimming. It got its name due to its white, limestone bottom. It is filled with two live water springs. Blueberries, cranberries and numerous herbs grow nearby and from it you can reach Ljubin Grob.
Orlovacko lake is a glacier lake, one of the most beautiful on Zelengora, at 1500m, between the tops Stog, Ljeljen and Orlovac. Its water is in direct sun so it is a bait for swimmers. The lake is rich with trout, too. You can reach it on 23km-long footpath from Cemerno.
Borilovacko lake is only about 10 minute walk from Orlovacko lake. It is at 1550m elevation and it is rich with fish.
Stirinsko lake is the highest lake on Zelengora mountain. You can reach it from Orlovacko lake after 3 hours’ walk. Due to the small depth there is no fish because it freezes in winters.
Kotlanicko lake is 4 km away from Stirinsko lake and it is a natural phenomenon. There are many springs that fill the lake around it but also at its bottom. Because of this kind of flow and constant circulation Kotlanicko lake is the fish richest lake on Zelengora mountain.