Tara River (Ријека Тара / Rijeka Tara) emerges from the confluence of the Opasnica and Veruša Rivers in the Prokletije mountain, part of Dinaric Alps of Montenegro. The total length is 144 km, of which 110 km are in Montenegro, while the final 34 km are in Bosnia and Herzegovina along which form the border between the two countries in several places. The Tara flow from south to north - north-west and converges with the Piva River at the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro border between the villages of Šćepan Polje (Montenegro) and Hum (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to form the Drina River river.
The Tara River Canyon, also known as the Tara River Gorge, is the longest canyon in Montenegro, while sharing with Bosnia and Herzegovina last 32 km. It is 82 kilometers long from Đurđevića Tara to confluence with Piva River in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its 1,300 meters at its deepest, making it the deepest river canyon in Europe. The canyon is protected as a part of Tara National Park in Montenegro and is a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tara River cuts through the canyon.
The Tara canyon is unique with significant depths averaging around one thousand meters, and in some places up to one thousand-three hundred meters. It is ranked right behind the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. The Tara River, at its end making confluence with Piva, becomes the Drina, and is some hundred and fifty kilometers long. In its passage through the Tara National Park, the river has a mean fall of 3.6 meters/kilometer, making a host of waterfalls and cascades possible, thus creating with its uniqueness The Montenegrin Colorado. Meanwhile, Tara River and its Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina is yet to be appreciated.
All along its flow, the Tara gets large quantities of water from numerous sources, and quite a few tributaries. The most important tributaries on the left bank of the Tara are Ljutica and Susica, and the most important tributaries on the right bank being Vaskovaska rijeka and Draga. The most important source is the source Bajlovica sige, a source placed on the left bank of the Tara river giving to the Tara a few hundred liters per second, where the water sourcing from the Bucevica cave falls into the Tara more than thirty meters high, and more than a hundred and fifty meters bright. Very special are the Tara cascades. The roar from the cascades is heard on the very peaks of the canyon. There are more than forty cascades, the most famous being: Djavolje lazi, Sokolovina, Bijeli kamen, Gornji tepacki buk, Donji tepacki buk etc. Because of the quality of its water, and because of its unique ecological system, Tara in 1977 was put into the programme “Covjek i biosfera” (Men and Biosphere) and inscribed into the ecological biosphere reservations of the World, being thus protected under an internationally issued convention.
There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon.
The canyon is part of the Tara River rafting route. The one day rafting route, from Brstnovica to Sćepan Polje is 18km long and it takes 2 to 3 hours. This part of the canyon is the most exciting because the river has the biggest drop in elevation in the shortest length. There are 21 out of 50 rapids in this part of the Tara. The rapids are Brstanovići, Pećine, the very dangerous Celije rapids and Vjernovički rapids.
In 2005, the European Championships in Rafting were held in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Vrbas River and the Tara River. According to the International Rafting Federation: "The event was hugely successful ...". In May 2009 the World Rafting Championships was held again in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Vrbas River and Tara rivers.
The Bosnian and the Montenegrin government initially had plans to flood the Tara Gorge and construct a hydroelectric dam on the Drina River. However, this plan was abandoned on April, 2005 after several successful protests of advocates for the preservation of the canyon. In September 2006, a protocol for cooperation between Slovenian company "Petrol" and Montenegrin company "Montenegro-bonus" was signed, and the building of an electric plant with initial power of 40 or 60 megawatts is planned, despite all efforts to protect the gorge. The Bosnian and the Montenegrin government had plans to flood the Tara River Gorge, with the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Drina River. However, they abandoned this plan in April, 2005 after several successful protests of advocates for the preservation of the river and canyon. But, in September 2006, a protocol for cooperation between Slovenian company "Petrol" and Montenegrin company "Montenegro-bonus" was signed, and the building of an electric plant with initial power of 40 or 60 megawatts is planned, despite all efforts to protect the gorge. Also, plans of constructing dams in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Drina River, some 15 kilometers downstream of confluence of the Tara with the Piva River, are still alive.
- Drina River
- Piva River
- Sutjeska River
- Sutjeska National Park
- List of national parks of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- WRC2009 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
*International Rafting Federation
*Sutjeska National Park
*Commision to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina