There are over one Million landmines in Bosnia so the danger if still very real.
Bosnia, is a country where you really cannot walk on the grass!! In fact it is recommended that you do not walk or drive on any surface that is not paved. You will need to talk on dirt paths on occasion, but when you do please make sure that you only use well traveled paths and do not step off the path, even an inch!
Only about 97% of the landmines are really cleared after the landmine teams leave an area. Landmines are still being found in supposedly safe areas in the center of town in Sarajevo. The suburbs are known danger zones.
A view of Sarajevo today, communist block apartment houses, mortar damage and grass that cannot be walked or played on.
Note added 4/2013 - I just finished reading the hunger game series and their was a part of the book that made me think of Yugoslavia. I thought it said something important and something other than just "never forget"...I have posted it here
"Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors (war, violence) should never be repeated..but collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction....Although who knows? Maybe this will be it..."
"the time it stick. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that"
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) page 379 of 390 (my kindle pages)
Avoid speaking about politics,...
Avoid speaking about politics because each national side have their own "truth" regarding passed war. Otherwise you are risking to be dragged into endless conversation which you couldn't understand.
There are three religions in Bosnia; catholic, ortodox and muslim. While the cities could be mixed, the country side is pretty much compact regarding religion. Watch carefully the bell towers!
Enjoy the beautiful nature, good tasteful and very cheap food and just act friendly.Related to:
- Family Travel
Watch your step
DO NOT walk alone in rural BiH unless you have previously been there with someone very familiar with this specific area. BiH is the third largest repository of land mines in the world. Known mine fields are usually fairly well marked with red, downward pointing triangles depicting an explosion, but you cannot be certain that all mines have been identified. My guide on my first trip to BiH told me that she had seen cows blown up and there does seem to be a disproportionate number of men with only one, or no, leg.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
Since the civil war there are many mines around Bosnia, so dont go out in the mountains or so, if you dont know how safe it is. Bosnia has many buildings with evidence from the war and mines all over the country, so you will always be rememberred.
Well Thats amazing but, Sarajevo Police is all over the place and they will get you
if you'r driving a rental car so forget about drinking & driving and drive slow otherwise you'r
totally Fu#$@ed!! oh...and don't get inside the city center at night they got all kinds of night time trafic traps for taking money out of your pocket! Take a taxi - belive me i had to pay!!
- Road Trip
I read some travell warnings about these dangerous killing fields that surrounds Bosnia before planning my trip down there.
Location I found dangerous signs:
Hrid Mahmutovac (south-east Sarajevo) also the entire mountains surrounding Sarajevo
Mountainside near Zahum with big lighted Crucifix, along the surrounding mountainsights
Don't leave builded streets, don't ask locals, they often moved from other places and have no idea about the place they live. Always try to catch organized official tours or trips who actually know the safe places.
I was in 2 situations surrounded by warning signs according landmines, in the two situations in Mostar and Sarajevo I asked the wrong people who had the nerves to send me to death. So actually I outlived luckily both minefields and I want all you common tourists not to leave paths and began such adventures.
The dangerous is that often mines are hiding in the bushes footsteps beyond a frequented road. In such cases don't leave them, when you should find a yellow tape it could be to late.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Is Malta in Europe?
Be aware if you are Maltan and want to travel in Bosnia. When I was at the border point between Serbia and Bosnia, border guard has a strong doubt where Malta lies and therefore, if it does no belong to EU, whether Maltans do not need visas. Fortunately for our Maltans colleagues I showed border guard a map of Europe and they might travel without visas ;-)
Obey the signs - still unexploded explosives!
Even though the Balkan countries have cleaned their land out of old unexploded mines and other explosives, there are still some left. Another similar threat is a broke-down building or ruins that may collapse any time.
In the cities they are usually marked and isolated, but on the countryside necessarily not. And it is only human that they have not found all of the landmines for instance. That is why, when for instance driving a car in Bosnia (especially in the Republika Srpska), it is better not to turn to small unpaved roads at all; not even turn your car around on these places. The same applies no matter walking or driving - stay on the paved roads.Related to:
- Road Trip
Take care when entering the many road tunnels when driving through mountain roads in Bosnia, especially if it is sunny. They are not lit so completely black & often wet & potholed. Make sure you take sunglasses off before you enter or you wil not see a thing. Quite scary!Related to:
- Road Trip
Fairly obvious, but a serious problem that remains from war time is... the landmine. Chances are of course small you would step on one, but its common sense to avoid the risk - by sticking to paved surfaces and not exploring old war ruins (see photo). Sarajevo's suburbs are still heavily mined so take care in those areas.
When in Bosnia you have to watch out for landmines. The biggest tip is to just stay off the grass and dirt shoulders of the roads. If you go to Sarajevo you especially have to watch out in the suburbs.Related to:
Dangerous Ruins: Never enter any ruin buildings!
Bosnia and Hercegovina is a heavily mined country, with over 1 million landmines in its territory. To make it worse, over 500,000 landmines are still undetected. Therefore, always stick to asphalt surfaces and never pees into or go off the main roads. Moreover, never enter any ruin buildings, whether you are base on curiosity or not. Unless you want to blow your leg off or something...
Bad roads, even worse drivers
These roads are in terrible condition and the drivers are all in a big hurry to get somewhere special. They will not hesitate to pass on blind curves or on one lane roads. There are little shrines to traffic victims along the roads all over this country. Even though they know it is dangerous they almost all drive recklessly. They are not being rude, they are just driving Bosnian style.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Most highway tunnels in the USA, Canada, and Western Europe are lit on the inside with electrical lighting. This makes it easier to transistion from sunlight to dimmer light.
Tunnels here have NO electrical lighting and this is very hazardous during daylight hours. We were drivning in brilliant sunlight and entered this tunnel while we were all wearing sunglasses. I ripped mine off my face so I could see. I damaged my glasses and cut my nose doing this.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
- Work Abroad
This is still a war zone.
There is still a lot of tension here. There are lots of weapons stashed and there is still a seething undercurrent of hostility between the people. There are weapons ranges here where they practice with live rounds. If you see signs warning you to stay away, heed these warnings! These are live hot rounds.
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