South Moravia


October 18, 2021

South Morava is a river in Serbia that is shorter than the two rivers that make up the Great Morava. South Morava is 295 km long and flows mainly in the south-north direction, from the Macedonian border to central Serbia, where it meets the West Morava near Stalac and creates the Great Morava.


South Morava originates in Skopje Montenegro, in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, north of its capital Skopje. The flows of the Ključevska and Slatinska rivers create the Golema river, which, when it crosses the Macedonian-Serbian border, above the village of Binac, in Kosovo, is known as Binacka Morava. After 49 km Binačka Morava meets Preševska Moravica near Bujanovac and the remaining 246 km flows as South Morava.


The river belongs to the Black Sea basin, and the area of ​​its basin is 15,469 km², of which 1,237 km² is in Bulgaria (via its tributary Nišava). Its average flow at the mouth is 121 m³ / s and is not suitable for navigation. South Morava has a complex valley, ie, it consists of a series of gorges and valleys. After leaving the Stalac gorge, South Morava meets West Morava. In macrogeological terms, South Morava connects the Aegean and Pannonian basins. This causes a phenomenon called apparent flow inversion, because the river seems to climb up the mountains and then descend again. The point where these two large geological basins meet is the Grdelica gorge, but the bottom of the gorge, where the river flows, is much lower than the mountains that surround it, so the river flows normally. South Morava used to be 318 km long and was a longer tributary of the Velika Morava. As it caused several floods over time, the meandering river was shortened by almost 30 km, so that it became shorter than the West Morava. However, the West Morava has always had a higher flow. The areas in southern Serbia through which the South Morava flows are almost completely forest-free, which has caused one of the most severe cases of erosion in the Balkans. As a consequence of this, the river brings large amounts of material into the Velika Morava, filling and raising its riverbed, which helped the large floods of its daughter river.

Flow structure

The course of the South Morava is a composite valley. It is made up of alternating gorges and valleys.


South Morava has 157 tributaries. The most important left tributaries are: Bistrica, Kalimanka, Jablanica,

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