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The forests of Gemenc

2011.10.04 - John

An easy access to the Hungarian world of water, forests and deer!

Hungary has a lot isolated places to discover and among these there is one that is unique in European standards:the forests of Gemenc. The area that is situated a few kilometres from the city of Baja, consists of rich flood area vegatation: with inner lakes, backwaters, glades that split the thick lines of trees. What makes this land outstanding amond those in Europe is its huge population of deer and boars and the recently repatriated beavers. Among others a great number of water birds can also be found here not to mention the various and populous fish that live in the Danube and its backwaters providing more than enough prey for the eager fishermen and the tourists that arrive to taste the famous Hungarian fish soup.
How to approach the area?Definetely the most enjoyable and exciting to enter the place on the water. Depending on the time of the year you may find flooded forests where you can enter by canoe or kayak, but if the water level is low there you still have the chance to paddle the backwaters and the Danube itself. On roaming the backwaters you may find yourself observing the fishermen who still use long-forgotten methods to catch fish (be careful when paddling not to break their nets that are string under the surface of the water),listening to the whistle of the Gemenc locomotive that travels through the forest or just observing the gloomy woods and its inhabitants. Expect high water level and flooded territories during the spring and early summer days, but the drier mid-summer period can also surprise you with the comfortable, soft and white sand-beds that spread throuh the bank of the river. If you need some liveliness after the calmness of the isolated backwaters, you can approach the city of Baja on the river to tank yourself with some coffee or fish soup, and you can also check the ship factory in the heart of the city. From here you can enter the stream of Sugovica that takes you further into the area.
If you are not a paddler jump into your boots, and start exploring by following the paths that criss-cross the area, if you ask for it, you can also check a wild animal feeding that is done by the national park guards. If you happenned to be one of those keen photographers this is an ideal place for you. The unque mixture of the vegatation of the forest, the wildlife and the river can result in amazing captions.
You can also vote for biking or horse carriege, but any decisions you will take, my advice is to stay at least a couple of days to immerse this word of escapism.

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