THE OLD COURSE OF THE DANUBE
Special nature reserve „Gornje Podunavlje” is located in the northwest of Serbia, on the border with Hungary and Croatia. It consists of two wetlands, Monoštorski and Apatinski.
SNR “Gornje Podunavlje” is a protected natural area of the 1st category, spreading along the left bank of the Danube river. It is part of a large complex that spreads through the neighboring countries of Hungary (National Park „Danube – Drava”) and Croatia (Nature Park „Kopački rit”). It is part of the large nature reserve „Bačko Podunavlje”, which makes „European Amazon” one of the major and most preserved wetlands on the entire Danube, under the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves from June 2017.
DID YOU KNOW?
Specific wetland forests are intersected by canals, river islands, meanders, ponds, swamps, wet meadows, and groves. Rare bird species are characteristic, such as the white-tailed eagle and the black stork. There are 51 species of mammals, 248 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 11 species of amphibians, 9 species of reptiles, a large number of invertebrates. Butterfly fauna stands out with over 60 species of diurnal butterflies and more than 1000 plant species. Gornje Podunavlje is inhabited by the largest population of European deer in our country.
It covers almost 20.000 ha, along the left bank of the Danube, covering almost 70 km of river flow. There is a large number of weekend settlements, like Baračka, Šebešfok, Kenđija, Daraži fok, Mrtva Baračka. Gornje Podunavlje is one of the few destinations where you can still enjoy the ride on the Danube, endless canals, the roar of deer, peaceful nights in rural households, and fish specialties. Gornje Podunavlje is also significant for authentic cultural heritage. Characteristic original customs, costumes, language, boats, and dishes are what attract guests and make Gornje Podunavlje an attractive destination for visitors.
HOW TO GET HERE?
Eco-center „Karapandža” is located next to the settlement Kenđija (Bezdan), on the shores of the Bajski canal. The easiest way to reach Monoštorski rit and the Eco-center „Karapandža” is through Sombor and Bezdan, with about a 20-minute drive. Eco-center „Karapandža” is located in the reserve, 30 km away from Sombor, 115 km from Novi Sad, and 205 km from Belgrade.
GPS coordinates: 45.894167 18.869167
HOW TO SPEND TIME?
Activities within the Eco-center are the presentation of the reserve, educational class, tour of the educational trail led by a professional guide, cycling, motor boating, or rowing. The eco-center has a capacity of up to 50 people, and it is recommended for groups up to 25 people, depending on interest.
Attend an eco-class in the outdoor classroom, a presentation of the reserve, where visitors are introduced to topics related to nature protection, the reserve, and its flora and fauna. The covered space is equipped with benches, tables, info-boards, and is suitable for organizing ecological workshops. For years, they have been made up of preschool children, pupils, students, families, and all true nature lovers.
Active tour of the reserve starts with the circular Walking Trail „Karapandža”. Educational walking trail along the Danube river lasts up to 2 hours, led by an expert guide, during which presents the reserve through various interesting facts of historical, biological, and cultural significance. The 4 km long educational trail is equipped with information boards, a bird observatory, and a rest area. Because of the flat terrain, the trail is suitable for all levels of preparedness.
Enjoy cycling during which the guide, during breaks, presents the interesting facts and potentials of the reserve in direct contact with the natural environment.
Discover the reserve by boat ridding, led by the guide or independent rowing from da Bajski canal, which stretches from Hungary to Bezdan where it flows into the Veliki Bački canal.
The shores are overgrown with forests, reeds, and wetlands, while the coastal part is covered with water lilies that provide shelter for numerous fish species in one of the cleanest canals in Vojvodina.
Lunch in nature – for all visitors who want to spend the whole day in the Eco-center, there is an opportunity to prepare a barbecue kettle goulash in the Eco-center yard.
Take a walk along the „Štrbac” walking trail, which is located between Bački Monoštor and Bezdan. The educational trail „Strbac” is marked with informational and educational boards, tables, and benches. The tour lasts 1.5 hours and ends at the Šarkanj pond (Crna bara) where the bird observatory is located.
After visiting the Eco-center „Karapandža”, you can focus your activities on the ethnographic wealth in the nearby settlements of Bezdan and Bački Monoštor.
This area prepares traditional fish and game dishes. Boats and oars, household items as well as fish equipment are made of wood in local workshops.
Bajski canal is the cleanest canal in Serbia. When Veliki Bački canal was built, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, he was an engineering project of that time. All of them have one thing in common, their beginning or end is almost in the same place, near Bezdan. On the left bank of the Danube near Bezdan, the Danube-Tisa-Danube, and the Veliki Bački canal begins, and not far from there, the Bajski canal flows into the Veliki Bački canal.
Bezdan. On the bank of the Danube near Bezdan, the Batin Battle Memorial Museum was built in 1981. The permanent exhibition was made by the curators of the Museum of Vojvodina and the City Museum of Sombor and shows the course of the Battle of Batin, which was fought from November 11 to 29, 1944.
Bezdan ship lock is located at the estuary of today’s Vrbas – Bezdan canal into the Danube. It was built in 1856 and is the first object in Europe where underwater concreting was applied.
Here you can find a living workshop where you can watch how damask is made from silk and the finest Egyptian cotton, by original technology from the end of the 19th century. in which each piece is unique.
The Museum of Perfume Bottles has more than 2.000 perfume bottles that have been intensively collected for years. There is a museum of this kind of attraction, with 6.000 bottles of perfume, only in Barcelona.
Bački Monoštor is a village, surrounded by the Danube, canals, and forests of the SNR „Gornje Podunavlje”. Full of natural beauties, old crafts, and interesting people who live in it. It is about 15 km from Eco-center and it is possible to organize visits to the Ethno-house and beekeeping household.
Eurovelo 6 bicycle route is an international bicycle route that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea and passes through Serbia following the Danube.
From the entrance to Serbia (border crossing Bački Breg), at the end of the first kilometer, you reach Bački Breg and then continue through the village of Kolut to Bezdan (9 km). It turns from the main route, along the bank of the Danube, where after about 2 km it turns right towards the weekend settlement of Kenđija (info board SNP „Gornje Podunavlje”) and continues for about 2 km to the Eco-center „Karapandža”. You can continue driving through SNP „Gornje Podunavlje” towards Apatin.
The special nature reserve „Gornje Podunavlje” has a certificate within the project “Best 99 in Serbia”, whit the goal to improve the service in tourism in Serbia and promote the highest quality tourist facilities, and it is included in several categories.
All information regarding programs, visits, or special requests, can be obtained from the agency “Vojvodinašume-Tourist”.
Address: Preradovićeva 2, Petrovaradin, Novi Sad
Phone: +38121/6432-401, +38121/6432-976
Working hours: 7AM-3PM
You can download the program of the visit here.