Rafting on the Tara River

Rafting on the Tara River, an exciting adventure we had planned for a long time. Before I start with the detailed description of everything that happened to us, I want to remind you that we once went rafting on the Struma River in Bulgaria. So we have some experience in this bold endeavor. I begin the story with the road to Tara rafting center. It is located about 600 km west of Sofia and the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the town of Focha, the road is just uniquely bad with two-way traffic. In some places, it is difficult to pass oncoming cars.

To be honest, those last 27km felt like forever, but I survived. This is actually the only problematic thing in our whole expedition there. Accommodation is in small alpine-type houses. A sharp roof and cozy furnishings, with only the essentials (beds). Everything is very clean and well maintained. I can even say it's new.

The length of the entire descent is about 22 km. It takes about 3 hours, depending on whether you linger on the rapids for photos and enjoying the surrounding scenery.

With a good will and a lot of rowing, it can be done in 2 hours, which I do not recommend. The river is pretty calm for the most part because we were there in the month of August. Just to remind you that then 2022 was very hot and a big drought. The level of the Tara River was quite low, which is why the speed of the boats was slow. You ride in a jeep, all the while feeling like you are on a jeep safari. These local Bosnians drive like crazy. Action is guaranteed for the next 27 km. You are climbing up the mountain almost all the time. You reach the beginning of the river from where the descent takes place. Bookmark and Share

How to get from Tara rafting center to the start

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What is rafting on the Tara River

You have to wait with the other boats and be lucky with the skipper (the person driving the boat). Luck comes down to whether he speaks English or understandable Serbian. Separately, to be brave and guide you with the boat through the biggest rapids.The water is crystal clear with a blue hue.

All stones are visible at a depth of up to 10 meters. The first part of Rafting Tara is relatively faster. There are quite a few passages with rapids and shallow places where the boat sometimes stops. That's why you have to row very hard there and aim in the right trajectory. There is a place at the top of the river where you can jump off a large rock.

The highest part is about 10 meters. It's quite scary, at least for those who haven't jumped before. The water is 8-10 degrees and you can swim in it for 2-3 minutes. Regardless of the fact that you are wearing neoprene, it is very cold. In the middle of the rafting route there is a break and a small waterfall (2-3 meters), where you can take pictures and videos.

Below it is a restaurant where they sell beer, soft drinks, etc. I think 15-20 minutes is enough to stand there. After this place, the second part of Tara river rafting starts. If you are more daring, you can spin the boat in the rapids or have a race with another boat in the quiet part of the river. All the while, if your skipper is talkative, he will tell you about details about himself and the river. The approach of the boat is to first row up this Pia River, then turn upstream and follow a large rapid. In practice, when entering a larger rapid, you get very wet. When the river is very cold and the air temperature is high, a fog is produced that spreads over the surface of the river.

This phenomenon is quite mystical, especially if it is quiet on the coasts. After 15-20 minutes it's all over and you're at Tara Center Base Camp. When I wrote equipment, I remembered that I did not give details about it. It includes: wetsuit, life jacket, helmet and aqua shoes.

The whole package as of today August 2022 is 180 euros. A final piece of advice to all who wish for such an adventure. Choose the months of May and June, when the river is at its fullest and safest. Gather 8 people to ensure that only acquaintances will be in the boat.

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