Khustain Nuruu National Park is a protected area located in central Mongolia. It is home to a number of interesting flora and fauna, as well as the rare and endangered Takhi horse, also known as Przewalski’s horse. We visited the park as a day trip from Ulaanbaatar at the beginning of our two-month stay in Mongolia.
Here are some tips for visiting the park and what you can expect to see during your trip.
Why Visit Khustain Nuruu National Park
Whether you are a horse lover or not, a trip to the park is an experience unique to Mongolia. Indeed, the park is home to the endangered Przewalski’s horses, the only wild horses in the world that have never been domesticated.
The Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), also known as “takhi” in Mongolian, is considered to last remaining wild horse in the world. Once running all over Europe and Asia, these horses only remained in the Gobi region by the 1960s. However, some horses were shipped to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century for private owners, which helped reintroduce the horses in Mongolia in early 1990.
What is truly remarkable is that Przewalski’s horse differs from modern horses, with no relation between the two species. The Przewalski has 33 chromosome pairs, only 32 for the domestic horse. Scientists believe that they split from their common ancestor between 38,000 and 160,000 years ago, which was way before horse domestication.
Today, almost 400 horses live in the park, making Mongolia the one country where Przewalski’s horses live in their natural and historical habitat.
How to Travel to Khustain Nuruu National Park
The best way to visit Khustain Nuruu National Park (also written as Hustain Nuruu National Park) is to arrange a tour through a local tour operator or travel agency, as this national park near Ulaanbaatar makes for an easy day trip. Many tours also include other destinations in Mongolia, such as the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and the Gobi Desert. You can also visit the park independently, but it is recommended to hire a local guide to ensure your safety and to help you make the most of your visit.
What to See in Khustain Nuruu National Park
The main attraction of Khustain Nuruu National Park is the Takhi horse, which is the only surviving subspecies of wild horses in the world. You can take a guided tour of the park and visit the Takhi breeding center, where you can see the horses up close and learn about the efforts to preserve this endangered species. In addition to the horses, the park is home to a number of other interesting flora and fauna, including Mongolian gazelles, ibex, and a variety of bird species.
What to Do in Khustain Nuruu National Park
In addition to visiting the Takhi horses, there are a number of other activities you can enjoy during your visit to Khustain Nuruu National Park. These include hiking or horseback riding through the park, visiting local nomadic families, learning about archery, and exploring the surrounding countryside. You can also visit the nearby town of Tsenkher, which is home to a number of interesting cultural and historical sites.
Spend a night at the Hustai National Park Ger Camp is also the perfect way to extend your visit and enjoy the park at its fullest.
Overall, a visit to Khustain Nuruu National Park is a great way to experience the natural beauty and culture of Mongolia. Whether you’re interested in seeing the Takhi horses, exploring the park’s diverse flora and fauna, or just soaking up the peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful protected area, you’ll find plenty to see and do during your stay.
Interested in learning more about Mongolia or about our experience riding horses in Mongolia?
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