How can I get involved in BRT5?

Paddle with us!
We are inviting you to paddle the Sava with us for the first and the last stage of the BRT5 program.
Become part of the BRT5 team and paddle the smaller stretches of river with simple logistics, and more manageable paddling for recreation paddlers. The middle stages (2&3) of BRT5 will entail long days of fast paddling, where the team will cover 45+ km of flat water every day, sleeping on the river banks with limited support. When we paddle through towns and cities everyone is welcome to join, but the exhausting long days are for the BRT5 team only. More info here: BRT 5 Program

Plan your one BRT5 River Action
BRT5 River Actions are where you put your ideas to use to protect the Sava catchment!

Combine sport, activism, community, fishing, science, or art to create a river-side action on the Sava or one of the Sava’s tributaries. More info here: BRT5 River Action

Join another River Action
Take a look at our BRT5 River Actions Map to find a River Action near you!

Which parts of BRT5 can I join in my kayak?

Kayak with BRT5 on these dates!
1. The first stage (April 24th– May 1st) in Slovenia, will be the most exciting part for kayaking. But whitewater experience is required and a buddy to take care of you if you are new to paddling.
* Check distances and river info on the detailed BRT5 Program to be sure you are up for it.

2. The last stage (May 27th– June 1st) in Serbia will be flat water but also a cool time to join.
*Be sure to check the difficulty and length of kayaking each day to see if this meets your experience.

The BRT5 River Actionsand events in protected areas will be open for participation and may involve paddling and river fun!

BRT5 Team Only
The middle stages of the tour, (between May 2nd– May 26th) is reserved only for BRT5 crew, expedition kayakers and local kayak clubs who will join us for their local sections. We will be covering more than 45 km per day on flat water, sleeping in bushes and and have limited support/contact.

To paddle 1.000 km in 39 days the BRT5 core team will follow a strict padding timeline and will not be able to wait for anyone on the water or portaging dams.

What is a BRT5 River Action?

BRT5 River Actions are where your ideas come to life. You have the freedom to come up with your own action on the Sava or a tributary. Something that helps the Sava, draws attention to threats or highlights how the Sava and tributaries give back .

It can be a kayaking trip, a bike trip or a hiking trip along a tributary. Or maybe you have a citizen science project with your school. A garbage clean up and a football game! A protest and a picnic! An art installment or day of painting. Any combination works, as long as it’s for a river, on a river of the Sava catchment!

More info here: BRT5 River Actions

Can I join in a kayak if I have no previous experience?

We encourage people to get into the sport of kayaking. But not during BRT. A large group event on a river or lake is not a good place for beginners. If you want to join on a lake or mellow and short stretch of river (class II, 5-10 km) and have a friend to look out for you, cool. Otherwise, stay on land and help up protest, party and resist greed from there! BRT5 will have tons of dry-land events including BRT5 River Actions!

We always inform people about the difficulty of kayaking on the BRT Program so make sure you check this out before you coin us, here. For BRT5 best days for paddlers with limited experience are April 24th, 26thand 28th.

Do I have to be an expert kayaker to join?

If you plan to kayak whitewater, you must be an experienced and confident paddler. Each participant is responsible for her/his own safety on the river. This is not a guided tour or lesson. If you are a less experienced paddler, we still want you to join. It just means selecting a stretch of river that matches your ability level.

* Check distances and river info on the detailed BRT5 Program to be sure you are up for it.

Am I insured when paddling/protesting with you?

No. You are responsible for your own travel and health insurance and for any crazy actions or adventures during BRT. If you are a foreigner, make sure to have travel insurance sorted for specific outdoor activities.

How can I get involved in BRT5 if I can’t physically attend?

  • Find some media (news, radio, newspaper, magazines) near you that can report on BRT5 and why the Sava needs protection. They can contact
  • Share our posts.
  • Make a donation.

Where will we sleep?

We sleep in sleeping bags. Most often in tents, sometimes in a van, sometimes just under a tree. Stage 1 and 4 of BRT5 – when we want you to join and paddle with us –  we will sleep near the Sava in tents, usually in campsites. For the last 2 days we will be sleeping in a hostel in Belgrade.
Details here: BRT5 Program

What can I expect for the final BRT5 event in Belgrade?

There will be loud music. And dancing.

We sincerely hope decision makers and investors will remember it for a very long time. And that we will only have restricted and foggy memories of it 😉

What about the food, can I expect 3 meals served per day?

You must take care of your own meals. Some events or days may have an option to get food on the go, otherwise, pack a lunch.

Will we have the cell reception during BRT5?

No, you won’t always be able to call your mom.

Will I get a reward for joining a BRT action?

No, but you will get a sincere hug, a high-five a thank you and maybe some stickers.

What does a protests look like?

Each one is different but they all have one major requirement – NO aggression!

Can you make an itinerary for my additional travel, before or after the tour?

Sorry, you are on your own there. We are dedicated to river conservation, not tourism services.

Can you pick me up and drop me off at the airport?

Probably not. Once the tour begins we are busy paddling from one tour stop or event to the next and organizing things. But if you post on the Balkan Rivers Tour Facebook event, with your arrival/departure details, you may make a new friend who can help you out!

Can I rent a kayak/bike/fishing rod/hiking boots from you guys?

No. We are not an agency. If you come from far away (traveling by plane, train or bus) and you fire us a message well in advance, we will try and help you get a contact to rent gear or carpool. But ultimately you are responsible for taking care of yourself and your own gear.

How much does it cost to join Balkan Rivers Tour?

Nothing. It is free to join, but you are responsible for your own means of travel/transportation and all your own gear and meals. Together, we become a convoy of people enthusiastic about saving rivers through kayaking and creative direct actions.

Is Balkan Rivers Tour a travel agency?

No. It’s a river defence action, an annual month-long expedition organized by the NGO Leeway Collective via the river conservation movement Balkan River Defence. We do not plan trips. We work to protect wild rivers.

Where is the Balkan Peninsula?

The Balkans refers to the region of southeastern Europe from Slovenia in the north, to Greece in the South; from the Adriatic Sea over to Romania and Bulgaria. With no definitive border, the Balkans covers about 470,000 km2 (300,000 square miles) A topographical map of the Balkans shows a web of thick blue lines that represent the area’s rich river systems. European environmental conservation groups call the Balkans the Blue Heart of Europe, referring to clear creeks, steep canyons, and lush forests that make it an area like no other. This is one of the last places where the snow that melts in the mountains flows undisturbed to the sea.

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