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Hustain Nuruu National Park

Country
Mongolia
State
Ulaanbaatar
City
Ulaanbaatar
Type of Location
Wildlife Safari
About Location

The nature reserve is about 100km (62mi) south-west of Ulaanbaatar. The Khustain Nuruu Nature Reserve was established in 1993 to preserve Mongolia's wild Takhi horses and the steppe environment in which they live. The Takhi is probably the most recognized and successful symbol of Mongolia's diverse and unique wildlife. Also known as Przewalski's horse (named after the Pole who first took an interest in them), the Takhi used to roam the countryside in great herds. In the 1960s they almost became extinct because poachers killed them for meat, and because development and livestock overgrazing reduced their fodder. In the early 1990s, with assistance from international environmental groups, many Takhi were reintroduced into specially protected areas in the 90,000ha (222,300acre) Khustain Nuruu and in the south Gobi. About 200 now live in this park or in the wild. In addition to the Takhi, there are populations of maral (Asiatic red deer), steppe gazelle, deer, boar, manul wild cat, wolf and lynx. A visit to the park has become a popular overnight excursion from Ulaanbaator in recent years.



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How to Reach

By Air

Flights are run all year around by National carrier MIAT Mongolian Airlines to Europe: Berlin via Moscow, as well as to Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Irkutsk (Russia). Some additional flights are scheduled to Osaka and Nagoya during the summer time. Foreign Airlines such as Aeroflot, Air China, Korean Air are operating flights connecting Ulaanbaatar with Moscow, Beijing and Seoul.

By Train

Most foreigners from Russia and China go to Mongolia directly along the Trans-Siberian railway. The train  brings you to the capital of Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar. The train station in Ulaanbaatar is big one and it is always full of crowds, both domestic and foreign, as it is the only passenger train station of the city.

Legend tour will pick you up at the train station and will drive you to the hotel or hostel. It is always  safer to have someone reliable to pick you up at the airport to avoid possible dangers, as you know.

Key places to visit
Takhi, Marmots, Birds Park


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Places to Visit

Takhi

The Mongolian wild horse is probably the most recognized and successful symbol of the preservation and protection of Mongolia's diverse and unique wildlife. The Takhi, also known as the Przewalski horse (named after the Polish explorer who first 'discovered' the horse in 1878), used to roam the countryside in great herds.

The last wild Mongolian Takhi was spotted in the western Gobi in 1969. At that time, only about a dozen Takhi remained alive, living in zoos in Russia and Europe. Special breeding programs in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands have brought the numbers of Takhi outside of Mongolia to about 1500. The entire global population of Takhi are now descended from the bloodline of three stallions and so computerized records have been introduced to avoid inbreeding.

Between 1992 and 2000, with assistance from international environmental agencies, Takhi were reintroduced into Mongolia at Khustai Nuruu, and Takhiin Tal, in the South Gobi. Today there are currently 107 Takhi in Khustai and 59 in Takhiin Tal.

The Takhi are the last remaining wild horse worldwide, the forerunner of the domestic horse, as depicted in cave paintings in France. They are not simply horses that have become feral, or wild, as found in the USA or Australia, but a genetically different species, boasting two extra chromosomes in their DNA make-up. The Takhi are sandy coloured except for a dark dorsal stripe. The tail and legs are dark and the legs have zebra stripes. The skull and jaw is heavier than a horse's, there is no forelock and the mane is short and erect.

New arrivals are kept in enclosures for a year to help them adapt to a new climate. The laws of nature are allowed to run their course; an average of five foals are killed by wolves every year in Khustai. The park gets locals onside by hiring herders as rangers, offering cheap loans to others and offering employment at the park's cheese-making factory on the outskirts of the park.

Marmots

Marmots live on the steppe of the valleys and lower slopes of Hustai National Park. They are gregarious and live in small polyandrous groups with one dominant male, several females and their young. Males will vigourously defend their females from other adult males.

With the onset of winter in early October, they plug their communal burrows with stones and go into hibernation. They will not emerge until the weather starts to warm in mid-March or early April. Although marmots spend nearly 90% of their lifetime underground, they are still the most easily observable mammal in the park during the summer. However, in the heat of the early afternoon, marmots prefer not to venture out of their burrows, as their large fat deposits can make their lives miserable when the temperature rises above 25 °C.

 Birds Park

Hustai National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers, with the habitat's diversity having encouraged a rich diversity of bird species. Raptors thrive in the skies above the steppe.
A face only a mother could love

Supported by a large population of rodents, raptors including the Black Vulture (Aegupius monochus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) can be observed throughout the day. During recent surveys, 126 bird species were observed in the park. Nineteen of these birds are listed in the Red Book as globally threatened or endangered.

During spring and autumn Hustai National Park (especially the Tuul River valley) is an important stopover location for migratory birds. Most birds migrating through Mongolia breed at Lake Baikal, only 400 km to the north of Hustai National Park in Siberia, which is a significant centre for Asian and European waterbirds.

Right Time to Visit

June - July

Temperature

December - January -> 0(°C) - Spring
July - September -> 22(°C) - Summer


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