Just under the town of Sremska Mitrovca there is one, also not known, gem of Serbia called Zasavica. Along with Obedska Bara and Carska Bara it’s one of main refuge of wildlife and one of the best kept swamp areas in Serbia. If think having a swim there is a good idea you are gonna have a bad time. Depth is around 2.5 meters but sludge is deep up to 8 meters! Just 2 kilometers of park is available for tourists and rest of it only for biologists and caretakers. If you visit this place you will meet a little eccentric but great biologist – when you visit this place for sure you will notice him.
Birds of Zasavica
First glimpse on the water and you will notice lots of birds and most common one is little Grebe. Everybody thinks it is a duck but it is more in a family of chicken. They can not fly they can skid few centimeters above the water. They are very clumsy on land so they lay their eggs very close to the shore.
There is a special bird at the national park Zasavica named golden oriole. She is famous for building hanging nests for a female to lay her eggs. When male finishes building the nest female inspect the insides and outside of the nest and if she doesn’t like she just chops the hanging thread and destroys the nest and the male needs to build another one.
What Zasavica has more to offer
In 2004 beaver was reintroduced to national park Zasavica. 31 beavers were let go in the national park – families and singles. Strapped with GPS they noticed some of the beaver migrating and one female went all the way up the Sava near the town of Brčko and had the babies there.
Just beside the national park fence there is pasture for cows and horses which walk freely. Horses are mostly tamed and you can approach and pet them. While I was photographing, one of the kids ran few meters away from the parents and started walking in the horse dung. By the time they noticed he was already ankle deep.
Boat ride along the swamp of Zasavica
In Zasavica you can take a boat ride through the swamp area. While we were in a boat we were waiting for an elderly couple to arrive. All of a sudden they were almost running towards the boat thinking we will go away. Lady said sorry and she said they went to see the horses and stayed longer than planned. All of a sudden her husband added that they could not miss the chance to visit her relatives…
An interesting history fact – Zasavica was a hiding and commanding place for Zeka Buljubaša. He was national hero from First world war. At the battle near river Drina, against the Ottomans, Zekas company ran out of bullets and they decided not to go quite into the night, they took their knives and rushed the Ottomans – and that’s how they died.
When you finish the visit of the national park there are lot’s of souvenirs to choose from but also lots of local foot to by – mostly made from donkey milk – soap, liquor, cheese and lots of pig products.
After my trip people asked me where I was for the weekend and when I told them nobody had a clue where is it and what the hell is Zasavica. After explaining them and showed them the photos they were very excited and wanted to go there. I consider this one of the places that is awesome to go for a day and enjoy and learn that even in Serbia there are places where some species can be seen only in a few places and one of them is a hidden and unknown gem of Serbia – Zasavica.