Gornje Podunavlje Special Natural Reserve
In the northwest part of the Bačka District in Vojvodina, along the left Danube River water-front, bounding with Hungary and Croatia, there is the rare preserved flooded complex of irregular long shape, the Special Nature Reservation of “Gornje Podunavlje” as the unique example of genuine and intact nature. Along the neighboring Croatia bank of the Danube lies the “Kopački rit” Nature Park, while in the north, the Special Nature Reserve of Gornje Podunavlje borders with the Drava National Park, creating together one of the largest swamp surfaces in Europe. The International Committee of the UNESCO programme “Man and Biosphere”, had decided on its session in Paris in 2017 to include the Biosphere Reserve of “Bačko Podunavlje” in the list of the World biosphere reserves. The “Bačko Podunavlje” Biosphere Reserve stretches on the area of 176.635 hectares on the territories of the Municipalities of Sombor, Apatin, Odžaci, Bač and Bačka Palanka and contains four protected nature areas.
The Special Nature Reserve of Gornje Podunavlje comprises two large swampy areas – Monoštor and Apatin, which together cover 19605 ha of forests, meadows, and swamps, including the Danube river itself and its meanders. The Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve is home of 51 mamal species, 248 bird species, 50 fish species, 11 amphibian species, 9 crawler species, immense number of invertebrates, of which distinguish themselves more than 60 day butterflies, more than 1000 plants… Among the most important rare fauna species of this area, the most characteristic are the white-tailed eagle, black stork, ferruginous duck, wildcat, otter, European badger, as well as the biggest population of red deer in Serbia. The abundance of swamps, cracks and canals rich in plant and animal life, the area of Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve represents the premium amenity for variety of tourist programs. The Fruška Gora National Park and the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve have been awarded with the Europarc Federation European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Brussels in December 2014.
Nearby, edging the Gornje Podunavlje Reservation surface, there are few villages known for their exceptional cultural identity and the touristic and traditional well-preserved folklore values. Those villages in the close vicinity of “Gornje Podunavlje” Special Nature Reservation surface – Bački Breg, Bezdan, Bački Monoštor and Sonta are picturesque settlements where Croats, Serbs, Hungarians, Romanians, Roma and other nationalities live side by side, preserving and proudly presenting their customs and providing tourist services – accommodation and food. Those lovely villages are known for their diversified cultural identities and the touristic and folklore values, especially vivid in their colorful folklore costumes.