The Sava River


The Sava River is a river in the western Balkans, the second largest tributary of the Danube River. It is approximately 950 kilometers long, its basin covering almost 100,000 square km. It rises in the Triglav area of the Slovenian Alps as two rivers, the Sava Bohinjka and the Sava Dolinka, which join at Radovljica. It flows through Slovenia, just north of Ljubljana, through Croatia and Zagreb, and then forms the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina before entering Serbia and joining the Danube River at Belgrade.

Unlike other parts of the Danube basin, much of the Sava River is unregulated, making it one of Europe’s most natural rivers. The Sava is a unique example of a river where the floodplains are still intact. The most important landscape characteristics are found in the central Sava basin with a mosaic of natural floodplains and cultural landscapes formed by traditional land-use patterns.

One of the most important wetland sites along the Sava River is Lonjsko Polje in Croatia.  The site contains a mixture of floodplain forests, mashes, meadows, and fishponds.  It is of international importance for its preponderance of breeding, staging, and wintering birds, many of which are endangered.  For example, the Lonjsko Polje Park is home to many White-tailed eagles, Saker falcons, and Pygmy Cormorants, as well as endangered species of frogs, newts, and turtles. 


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Location: Bulgaria


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The Sava River | Lonjsko Polje | Slovenia | Croatia | Serbia | Bosnia and Herzegovina