Khustain Nuruu, also known as the Hustai National Park, is a protected area located in central Mongolia, about 100 km west of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The park spans over 50,000 hectares and is home to a variety of wildlife, including the iconic wild horse species known as the Przewalski’s horse or Takhi in Mongolian.
The Khustain Nuruu area was first established as a nature reserve in 1993, with the goal of protecting and reintroducing the Takhi, which had become extinct in the wild in Mongolia in the 1960s. The reserve was upgraded to a national park in 1998 and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
The park’s landscape is characterized by rolling hills, rocky outcrops, and open grasslands. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including wolves, foxes, deer, and numerous bird species. However, the most famous inhabitants of Khustain Nuruu are the Takhi.
The Takhi, also known as the Przewalski’s horse, is the only remaining wild horse species in the world. The species was once widespread throughout Central Asia, but by the mid-20th century, it had become extinct in the wild. A captive breeding program was established in Europe, and over several decades, a small population of Takhi was reintroduced into their native habitat in Mongolia.
Today, there are over 300 Takhi living in Khustain Nuruu, and the park serves as a vital refuge for the species. Visitors to the park can observe the Takhi from a distance, and the park also offers guided tours and educational programs to learn more about the species and their habitat.
In addition to its wildlife, Khustain Nuruu is also home to numerous archaeological sites, including ancient burial mounds and rock art. The park is an important cultural and historical site for the Mongolian people, and it is a popular destination for tourists interested in exploring Mongolia’s natural and cultural heritage.
Visitors to Khustain Nuruu can stay in ger camps, traditional Mongolian tents that offer comfortable accommodations and a unique cultural experience. The park is easily accessible from Ulaanbaatar by car or bus, and it is a popular day trip or overnight destination for tourists.
In conclusion, Khustain Nuruu is a unique and beautiful natural area in Mongolia that is home to a variety of wildlife, including the iconic Takhi. The park is a vital refuge for the species and an important cultural and historical site for the Mongolian people. If you are planning a trip to Mongolia, a visit to Khustain Nuruu should definitely be on your itinerary.