Karst Odyssey in the Balkans

By Chris Le Maillot


Cave exploration efforts in Bosnia & Herzegovina continued from July 21 to 31, 2009. The beautiful scenery and difficult logistics didn't distract the team from completing the objectives agreed upon before the start of the project; exploration, survey, and filming of the caves around the towns of Bosanska Krupa, Drvar, and Mrkonjic Grad.

These dark rock caves typical of bauxite karst, and the scallop walls produced by strong winter flow are widespread features in the western Bosnia alluvial aquifer.

The exploration and survey of the Mracaj Cave at the bottom of a steep valley has revealed nearly 550mts of new tunnels. Other springs in the area with substantial out-flow, and feeding the Una River were also investigated successfully.

Karst Odyssey is a group of GUE trained divers that are passionate about cave diving, and predominantly cave exploration in the Balkans. This newly GUE affiliated exploration project has been successful in its cave investigation due in part, to strong local cooperation with the BUK dive center based out of Banja Luka. The president of the club Borislav Trninic was instrumental in the organization of logistics, and land owner relation.

In addition, the first GUE Fundamentals program in B&H was hosted by the BUK Diving Club. Congratulations to Dusan Melosevic, Branislav Radjevic, Drago Teinovic and Boris Trninic for all the efforts and enthusiasm during training.

For more information and images about the Karst Odyssey Balkan Cave Diving Project, please check the following web-site: www.karstodyssey.com

Special thanks to: Ministry of Trade and Tourism (Republic Srpska, BIH), Departement for Cultural and Natural Heritage (Republic Srpska, BIH), Mayor and the town of Mrkonjic, Banja Luka Diving Club BUK, Amphibian Sports.

Karst Odyssey Project Team: Bob Cooper, Dr Jeremy Kent, Chris Le Maillot, Dusan Milosevic, Momo Majkic, Branislav Radjevic, Renato Raseta, Hugh Reid, Drago Teinovic, Boris Trninic, Rich Walker.

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