My First Outdoor Experience in Bosnia

Lukomir 27/6/2014

“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
– Socrates

My name is Avery Nelson and I am a sophomore undergrad at the University of Denver. I am working as an intern with Green Visions for 8 weeks this summer. As a part of my internship here, I am encouraged to participate in as many hikes and trips as possible. Here is a little bit about my experience with the Definite Departure hike to Lukomir with a group of other University of Denver students.

As we loaded into our mini bus that was waiting for us at the Bascarcia tram stop, we were greeted by our guide who goes by Benjo (full name is Benjamin Mujkic if you would like to check him out on our website). Benjo is full of energy and it is hard to find him without a smile. As we left Sarajevo into the surrounding hills Benjo explained some of Sarajevo’s history and explained some of the mountains we were driving into, etc. As we got closer to finishing our drive to Lukomir, we stopped at a natural spring that was built into the side of one of the mountains. It was a pretty cool experience to fill up our water bottles here. The water was cold, fresh, and apparently pretty clean. I’m used to throwing a couple iodine pills into my Nalgene before I feel safe drinking it, but all over the mountains surrounding Sarajevo and greater Bosnia are these little springs where everyone fills up their water with clean glacial melt.
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Exploring Sutjeska

The team up at the summit

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”
― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

Loading into the van at the Baščaršija tram station is always the first exciting part of Green Visions hikes. When I enter the van, I get to see the people who I will be hiking with for, in this case, the next two days. It’s always interesting to see the different languages, experiences, opinions about traveling in the Balkans, etc. The mountains are absolutely stunning, don’t get me wrong, but one of my favorite parts about these hikes that I have been doing with the company is the ability that I have to converse with the people that I am hiking with. It never gets old and each hike brings new and exciting people into my life who I often learn from. Peeling little bits of knowledge from all the different people allows me to slowly obtain a better understanding of international similarities and differences.
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Come meet us at the ITB Berlin: The Western Balkans and Via Dinarica Hiking Trail Aim for the Stars

Come meet us at the ITB Berlin: The Western Balkans and Via Dinarica Hiking Trail Aim for the Stars

Named one of National Geographic Traveler’s “Best of the World” destinations for 2017, the Western Balkans’ Via Dinarica Trail is Europe’s new adventure darling. From March 8-12, tourism professionals from the region—Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia—will attend the ITB Berlin travel trade show—Hall 4.1, stand 213. Stop by for conversation and daily networking opportunities presented by the Via Dinarica Alliance, the Western Balkans Network, and a host of other operators from the Balkans. Activities include workshops and two trip giveaways.

The Western Balkans also welcome all visitors to attend two special presentations—both on the Pow-Wow (Responsible Tourism) Stage located in Hall 4.1.b:

Via Dinarica Mega Trail: Where Mountain Summits meet the Stars
Thursday, March 9, 15:30 – 16:00
Conservation Tourism: a new model for Macedonia
Friday, March 10, 16:00 – 16:30

#besttrips2017, #itb2017, #viadinarica

Picture courtesy of Adnan Bubalo / Balkanvibe

Bosanskohercegovačke zmije otrovnice

Autor teksta i fotografija: Adnan Zimić (magistrirao na Odsjeku za biologiju, Prirodno-matematičkog fakulteta Univerziteta u Sarajevu, a aktivno učestvuje u vođenju Green Visions programa kao planinski vodič).

U Bosni i Hercegovini živi 14 vrsta zmija među kojima su tri prave zmije otrovnice iz porodice Viperidae: poskok (Vipera ammodytes), bosanska šarka (Vipera berus bosniensis) i balkanski šargan (Vipera ursinii macrops). Njihovi otrovni zubi smješteni na prednjem dijelu gornje čeljusti. Zbog svojih otrovnih žlijezda glava ovih otrovnica je trouglasta, a kao adaptacija na dodatno-nokturalnu aktivnost imaju okomitu zjenicu. Postoje i dvije „poluotrovnice“, a to su: Telescopus fallax (zmija mačka) i Malpolon insignitus (zmajur, crnostrik). Zovemo ih tako jer su im otrovni zubi smješteni na zadnjem dijelu gornje čeljusti, iza redova „običnih“ zuba. Nalazimo ih samo u mediteranskom dijelu BiH, a njihov otrov je vrlo slab i najčešće stvara manju oteklinu.

Poskok –Vipera ammodytes (Linnaeus, 1758) kao najotrovnija i najveća zmija otrovnica u Evropi naraste u prosjeku oko 65cm, vrlo rijetko prelazi 90cm. Najmarkantnija morfološka karakteristika poskoka je roščić koji se nalazi na vrhu njuške. Spolni dimorfizam je uočljiv po samoj obojenosti jedinki: mužjaci su najčešće sive boje sa crnom cik-cak šarom, dok su ženke najčešće smeđkaste ili crvenkaste, sa ne tako upadljivom cik-cak šarom. Poskok je viviparna vrsta, te na jesen ženka okoti od 5 do 20 mladih dugih do 24cm koji su već opremljeni otrovom. Poskok naseljava širok spektar staništa, ali u pravilu preferira osunčana područja, kamene, travnate padine i svijetle šume, te se često može naći u blizini ljudskih naselja. Na proljeće se ženke poskoka (ali i drugih pomenutih otrovnica) često mogu naći i pored ostataka snijega – zbog instinktivne potrebe koja će omogućiti potpuno sazrijevanje jajnih ćelija. Naseljava gotovo čitavu BiH od nivoa mora do visokih planinskih ekosistema. Odrasle jedinke se hrane uglavnom sitnim sisarima i pticama, većim gušterima i drugim zmijama. Vrlo često se poskoci, osobito krajem ljeta i u toku jeseni, penju na drveće, grmovito rastinje i visoke stijene (zbog ishrane i termoregulacije). Zbog toga, neoprezni ljudi bivaju ugriženi od strane takvih jedinki u glavenim ili vratnim predijelima tijela, pa je po narodnom vjerovanju dobio ime po tome da visoko skače. Otrov poskoka je snažan, te je jedina po život opasna vrsta zmije u BiH. Međutim, pretpostavlja se da su smrtni slučajevi ujeda poskoka u BiH oko 2 %, a potpuno zdrava i odrasla osoba se vrlo brzo oporavi bez ikakvih posljedica.




Bosanska šarka – Vipera berus bosniensis Boettger, 1880. Adultne jedinke gotovo da jedva dostižu 60cm. Spolni domorfizam je također uočljiv u obojenosti jedinki: mužjak je siv ili smeđe boje sa crnom (u pravilu isprekidanom) šarom, dok su ženke smeđe ili crvenakste sa manje izraženom smeđom šarom. Pojava melanizma je vrlo česta kod ove vrste u BiH (kao termoregulaciona adapatacija) i važno je napomenuti da se crne zmije trebaju tretirati kao forme, a ne kao (pod)vrste. Šarka je također viviparna vrsta, a ženka rađa od 3 do 15 mladunaca. Rasprostranjenje šarke u BiH je neobično. Nizijske populacije naseljavaju šumske predjele i rubove starih očuvanih šuma Posavine. S obzirom da su ovakvi ekosistemi u BiH vrlo rijetki, nizijske populacije su ekstremno fragmentirane i kritično ugrožene. Trenutno je poznata samo jedna takva populacija u zapadnoj Posavini. S druge strane, visokoplaninske populacije naseljavaju uglavnom alpske livade (iznad granice šume), pa su prirodno fragmentirane (kao da se nalaze na posebnim otocima). Još uvijek nije poznato da li se na svim bosanskohercegovačkim planinama nalaze populacije šarki, ali su poznate sa slijedećih: Cincar, Dinara, Čvrsnica, Zelengora, Lelija, Maglić, Bjelašnica, Igman, Treskavica, Vran, Vlašić, Vranica. Šarka ne naseljava mediteranski dio Hercegovine. Iako se mogu naći zajedno, šarka nerado dijeli stanište sa poskokom zbog kompeticije za prostor i hranu. Ujed šarke je bolan, ali smrtni slučajevi su ekstremno rijetki (npr. u slučaju povrede glavnog krvnog suda).




Vipera ursinii macrops – balkanski šargan je najmanja zmija otrovnica u Evropi. Adultne jedinke narastu do 50cm. Mužjaci su svijetlo smeđi ili sivi, dok su ženke žućkaste. Na sredini leđa nalazi se gotovo uvijek jasna smeđa ili tamno siva cik-cak šara. U Bosni i Hercegovini šargan naseljava alpske livade iznad granice šume, uglavnom submediteranskih planina (Čvrsnica, Velež, Čabulja, Dinara, Šator, Zelengora, Maglić, Bjelašnica). Često dijeli stanište sa šarkom, nerijetko i sa poskokom. Ishrana vrste je vrlo specifična: hrani se isključivo skakakavcima i zrikavcima. Otrov šargana je vrlo slab te se često poredi sa ubodom pčela. U BiH, ali i globalno, šargan je vrlo rijetka i ugožena vrsta sa ekstremno fragmetiranim populacijama.


TripAdvisor 2017 Certificate of Excellence!

We’re pleased to announce that Green Visions has been recognized with a 2017 Certificate of Excellence, based on the consistently great reviews we have earned on TripAdvisor. What people say about our trips and services matters to us.

We have been fortunate to be recognized consistently over the past 5 years.
We would like to thank all our guests who have taken the time to share their feedback about their experience with Green Visions.

Curious about our tours? Why not visit our Trip Advisor page to see what our guests are saying about us.

Trip Advisor "Certificate of Excellence" 2018

Green Visions received for fifth year in a row TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence”, which we’re really proud of. Thanks to your trust to share Bosnian Highlands with us and all your great reviews, we achieved this.

Thank you for being with us on this amazing journey, promoting Bosnian natural and cultural heritage, since 2000.

"Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans" with Green Visions

“It takes about three months to hike the White trail from end to end, but with just seven days to spare I’ve joined a tour with Green Visions, a Bosnian operator involved in the route’s development, focusing on a stretch across three spectacular contiguous national parks: Sutjeska in eastern Bosnia, Piva on the border, and Durmitor in north-western Montenegro…”
Check the article written by Krithika Varagur, who shares her experience on Via Dinarica trail with Green Visions.
Article is published by British “The Guardian” on 08th October 2018. Enjoy!

Link on full article can be found, HERE.