About the event
Join us from May 29th to June 2nd for the Balkan Cavers Camp 2024! The official program starts on the 30th of May. More details soon.
Since its inception in 2007, the Balkan Speleological Union has been proudly hosting this annual event in different countries across the Balkan Peninsula. Our core mission is to cultivate a dynamic network of connections and collaborations among cavers and speleological organisations from the Balkans and the international community. This event is a hub for the exchange of information, expertise, and innovative ideas, and it plays a pivotal role in initiating joint exploration projects and expeditions.
This year, we’re thrilled to introduce some exciting new elements to our program. Alongside the chance to visit and explore some of the most breathtaking caves, we are launching a series of workshops. These sessions, led by experts from various countries, aim to broaden the scope of cave exploration techniques and enhance your skill set.
Moreover, we are organising panel discussions on specific caving topics, providing a platform for in-depth dialogue and knowledge sharing among the caving community.
But that’s not all – we have many more surprises in store! These additional features are designed to enrich your experience and ensure that the Balkan Cavers Camp 2024 is an unforgettable event.
Our vision is not just to explore the depths of the earth, but also to forge lasting bonds among cavers and speleological organisations from the Balkan region and the world over, so join us on “Journey Beneath, Bond Beyond”
As you stay tuned while we reveal more exciting details in the lead-up to the camp, explore experiences and atmosphere through photos of the past events below.
Our full schedule will be announced soon, but here’s a sneak peek of what to expect. Keep in mind, the program might evolve as deepening on participants from different countries get involved in the program. We’re keen for workshop leaders to contribute to their programs.
This year, we will organize specialized workshops led by cavers that know a little bit more than others on different topics. Workshops will fall into various categories. This list still isn’t final, so feel free to suggest others at our official email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can see some of the topics below:
- 1. Rigging Techniques (outdoor, on rock)
- 2. Cave Rescue (Small Party Assisted) – Pickoff
- 3. Technical Climbing Techniques
- 4. Cave Mapping Software
- 5. Advanced 3D Cave Mapping Techniques
- 6. Mobile Applications for Orientation
- 7. New Technologies in Cave Discovery (e.g., LIDAR)
Each day, choose from several workshops in different categories. Each workshop lasts half a day, allowing you to attend up to two each day, whether in the same category or different ones.
The final schedule will be posted once all workshop submissions are received.
Interested in presenting or leading a workshop? [Click here].
We highly encourage applications for workshop leadership. Even if you’re uncertain about your attendance at the event, we invite you to apply. This helps us get in touch and understand your interests and expertise. If you’re unsure whether your topic fits within our workshop themes, we still encourage you to fill out the application form so we can discuss potential involvement.
If you apply to lead a workshop by March 15th, 2024, we are pleased to offer you free participation in the event. This offer is an excellent opportunity for those considering leading a workshop to engage with a passionate community and share their valuable knowledge.
Do you have an interesting topic, discovery, or experience you’d like to share with fellow cavers? We’re inviting submissions for presentations that will engage and enlighten our community. Whether it’s a unique caving adventure, a new technique, or groundbreaking research, we’d love to hear from you. To propose your presentation, [apply here]
The deadline for applications is May 1st.
Every evening, join us for two enlightening panel discussions: one on cave pollution, and the other on cave cadastres and the relationship between speleologists and the state. Speakers from various countries will share their experiences. If you are a person who would like to join in discussion, please [apply here].
The deadline for applications is May 1st.
Got an intriguing poster, or perhaps an interesting map of a cave? We’re looking for captivating posters to display at our event. The creator of the best poster will receive a reward. If you have something to share, this is your opportunity. To submit your poster [apply here].
Have a great caving-related movie with subtitles? Want it featured at the Balkan Cavers Camp? The best movie based on audience voices will be rewarded [Click here].
The deadline for applications is May 1st.
Do you have some incredible cave photography with fascinating stories behind them? Whether it’s a unique find in a cave, a creative shot, or just something fun and interesting, we want to see it! The content of your photo can be anything, as long as it’s connected to a story.
The best photograph, as voted by the audience, will be rewarded! This is a fantastic opportunity to not only share your experiences but also to gain recognition and appreciation from fellow caving enthusiasts.
To submit your photo and its story, [click here for the application].
The deadline for applications is May 1st.
“We and Caves” Exhibition
As many of you are aware, the Balkan Cavers’ Camp traditionally hosts the ‘We and Caves’ Exhibition each year. This event is a opportunity for us to showcase stunning photographs from talented photographers. This year, we are excited to continue this tradition, offering you the chance to view an array of beautiful photos that capture the essence and beauty of caves and caving experiences.
Explore the speleological heaven of Crnopac, home to the Crnopac Cave System, the largest cave system in the entire Dinarides and one of the 100 longest caves in the world. We’ll set up different types of caves for you to visit: sport caves, beautiful caves, large and small, those requiring equipment and those that don’t. There’s something for everyone! More details soon…
Balkan Speleolympics (SPELEOBALKANIJADA)
Make sure you don’t miss out on one of the most exciting parts of our event – the Speleobalkanijada! What exactly is it? Well, that’s our little secret for now. We’re keeping the details under wraps until the camp. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be pleasantly surprised! Stay tuned for an unforgettable experience that you’ll discover only when you join us at the camp. The anticipation is part of the adventure!
We’re thrilled about your interest in joining us for an adventure-packed event. As we’re currently finalizing an engaging program, please note that registration isn’t available at this moment. We will open registrations on March 15th, at which time we will also be able to offer you a selection of workshops that you can choose to participate in.
For now, just save the date! Mark your calendars for the 29th of May to the 2nd of June, 2024. This is one event you won’t want to miss!
Plan your visit
How to get there
Our event this year is at Cerovac Caves, in the beautiful Nature Park Velebit. These caves are close to the Velebit mountains, and the nearest town, Gračac, is just 4 km away.
The main area for our event is the Center of Excellence Cerovac Caves. It has everything we need: rooms for meetings, a café bar, toilets and a big outdoor place which will be the central hub for our indoor activities and the evening program. If it rains, don’t worry – we’ll have big tents ready in the parking area. There’s also a big rock nearby which will be a polygon for some workshops, just 5 minutes on foot.
Grab 70a, 23440, Gračac
WGS 84: 44.275095, 15.888321
We’ve created a comprehensive custom map to guide you through the Balkan Cavers’ Camp 2024. This detailed map will feature all essential locations within the camp, including the kitchen, toilets, workshop areas, accommodation options, and much more. Designed for your convenience, it will serve as your personal guide to navigate the event smoothly. As we finalize more details about the event, we will continuously update the map to include every piece of information you’ll need. Our map is mobile-friendly, so you can access it right from your smartphone, and we’ll share the map with you just before the event starts.
Some of the activities will take place in Lower and Upper Cerovac caves. They are each about 700 metres long. A tour of one cave takes about 1.5 hours, with 50 minutes inside the cave. For more information visit the official website: https://cerovacke-spilje.hr/en
If you wish to further explore the area, you have a myriad of options to choose from, ensuring a truly unforgettable experience including multiple hiking trails, walkways, mountain climbing, nature hikes and cycling. Also, you can experience the mesmerising Zrmanja and Kupa karst beauty through exciting white-water rafting and canoeing adventures.
We will add more details soon.
For all our participants at the Balkan Cavers Camp 2024, we’ve got a campsite. Best of all, camping is completely free for attendees. Once you register at the event, you will get your spot.
Looking for different accommodation options? No problem! There are several other choices available to suit your preferences. For comprehensive details about the facilities in Gračac and the main event area, refer to the custom map we’ve prepared for you.
Whether you choose to stay in our camp or look for other accommodation, you’re sure to find a comfortable spot to rest and recharge during the event.
Food and drinks
Specific details about the menu are pending and will be updated soon.
Rest assured, there will be something for everyone, including options for vegans and vegetarians.
If you prefer eating outside the camp, you can check our map.
The Balkan Speleological Union (BSU) is a regional organisation dedicated to the advancement and collaboration of speleological activities across the Balkan Peninsula. Established to promote the exploration, study, and conservation of caves, the BSU serves as a platform for communication and cooperation among speleologists from different countries within the Balkan region.
The BSU was founded during the First Meeting of National Speleological Organizations of Balkan countries in Vratza, Bulgaria, on September 7th 2002. Its duration is unlimited. The BSU has its headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is covered by the International Union of Speleology.
The member countries of the Balkan Speleological Union as of 2023 include Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, while other participating nations comprise Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia.
In the realm of research and exploration, the BSU plays a pivotal role in facilitating joint efforts to explore and document caves, potholes, and other underground formations throughout the Balkans. Education and training are key aspects of the BSU’s mission. The organisation provides valuable educational resources, organises workshops, and supports training programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of speleologists. With a commitment to conservation, the BSU advocates for the protection and preservation of cave ecosystems. It promotes responsible exploration practices and works to raise awareness about the significance of subterranean environments. Collaboration is a cornerstone of the BSU’s approach, fostering partnerships among speleological organisations, researchers, and enthusiasts. This collaborative spirit allows for the sharing of expertise, data, and experiences, contributing to the collective knowledge of the speleological community.
Internationally, the BSU takes pride in Representing the Interests of Balkan Speleologists on the global stage. The organisation actively participates in global speleological events, contributing to the broader understanding of cave systems worldwide.
Below is a list of the Balkan Cavers Camps throughout the years.
- 1st Balkan Cavers Camp (2007 – Bulgaria)
- 2nd Balkan Cavers Camp (2008 – Greece)
- 3th Balkan Cavers Camp (2009 – Turkey)
- 4th Balkan Cavers Camp (2010 – Romania)
- 5th Balkan Cavers Camp (2011 – North Macedonia)
- 6th Balkan Cavers Camp (2012 – Slovenia)
- 7th Balkan Cavers Camp (2013 – Montenegro)
- 8th Balkan Cavers Camp (2014 – Serbia)
- 9th Balkan Cavers Camp (2015 –Croatia, Ogulin)
- 10th Balkan Cavers Camp (2016 – Bulgaria)
- 11th Balkan Cavers Camp (2017 – Greece)
- 12th Balkan Cavers Camp (2018 – Romania)
- 13th Balkan Cavers Camp (2019 – Turkey)
- 14th Balkan Cavers Camp (2020 – Bulgaria) -> cancelled
- 14th Balkan Cavers Camp (2021 – Slovenia)
- 15th Balkan Cavers Camp (2022 – Bulgaria)
- 16th Balkan Cavers Camp (2023 – Serbia, Zlatar)