Lonjsko Polje swamplands - A view from our expert author

Full of fish and prone to frequent flooding, this great marshy swampland is hugely popular with migrating birds, making it a great spot for birdwatching.

Downstream from Sisak, the River Sava meanders slowly through the great marshy swamplands of the Lonjsko Polje. Prone to frequent flooding (the Sava can rise by up to 10m) and full of fish, the area is hugely popular with migrating birds, and especially with storks. The reedy shores of the oxbow lakes make for excellent nesting grounds for wading birds such as white egrets, grey herons and spoonbills.

Spotted Turopolje pigs root through the flooded oak forests (or at least they once did – most of the pigs you see now are not purebreds, which are increasingly rare), while dark, chunky Posavina horses – protected, and seen only in this region – graze in the summer pastures. Rustic villages preserve traditional oak houses, with barns on the ground floor and external wooden stairs leading to the living accommodation upstairs. It’s a rare chance to see a landscape that was once common across central Europe, and is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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