Hustain Nuruu, also known as KHustai National Park, is a protected area located in the Töv Province of Mongolia. It is situated approximately 100 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia.
The park covers an area of 50,600 hectares and was established in 1993 with the primary objective of protecting and reintroducing the endangered Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) to its native habitat. The park is also home to other wildlife such as red deer, steppe gazelles, marmots, and various bird species.
Hustain Nuruu is characterized by its diverse landscapes, which include mountains, forests, steppe grasslands, and wetlands. The park is a popular destination for tourists interested in wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking, and horseback riding.
Location and Direction
Hustain Nuruu National Park is located in the Töv Province of Mongolia, approximately 100 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Here are the directions to reach the park:
- From Ulaanbaatar, take the road towards the west (towards Altanbulag) on the main highway.
- After driving for about 30 km, take a left turn at the signpost for Khustain Nuruu National Park.
- Follow the dirt road for approximately 50 km until you reach the park entrance.
- The park office is located near the entrance, where you can obtain permits and hire a local guide if needed.
Attractions in Hustain Nuruu National Park
Hustain Nuruu National Park is a unique and beautiful destination that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some of the main attractions in the park:
Endangered Wildlife: The park is home to the endangered Przewalski’s horse, which was successfully reintroduced to the area in the 1990s. Visitors can see these majestic animals in their natural habitat, as well as other wildlife such as red deer, steppe gazelles, marmots, and various bird species.
Scenic Landscapes: Khustain Nuruu National Park is characterized by its diverse landscapes, which include mountains, forests, steppe grasslands, and wetlands. The park offers beautiful views of the Mongolian countryside, and visitors can hike or horseback ride along the park’s various trails.
Cultural Experiences: The park offers opportunities to learn about Mongolia’s nomadic culture and traditional way of life. Visitors can visit local herder families, learn how to milk mares and make conventional dairy products such as airbags and cheese, and watch cultural performances.
Eco-Tourism Activities: The park strongly focuses on sustainable tourism development and offers a variety of eco-tourism activities such as birdwatching, star-gazing, and photography tours.
Historical Sites: The park is home to several ancient rock carvings and petroglyphs that are believed to date back thousands of years. Visitors can explore these historical sites and learn about Mongolia’s rich cultural history.
Things to do in Hustain National Park
There are many things to do in Khustain Nuruu National Park. Here are some popular activities for visitors:
- Wildlife Viewing: One of the main attractions of the park is the opportunity to see the endangered Przewalski’s horse in its natural habitat. Visitors can also spot other wildlife such as red deer, steppe gazelles, marmots, and various bird species.
- Hiking and Trekking: The park offers various trails for hiking and trekking, ranging from easy to challenging. The trails lead visitors through the park’s diverse landscapes, offering beautiful views of the Mongolian countryside.
- Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is a popular activity in Mongolia, and visitors can experience this traditional mode of transportation by riding horses in the park.
- Cultural Experiences: Visitors can learn about Mongolia’s nomadic culture and traditional way of life by visiting local herder families, learning how to milk mares and make traditional dairy products such as airag and cheese, and watching cultural performances.
- Birdwatching: Khustain Nuruu National Park is home to a variety of bird species, including the Eurasian eagle-owl, cinereous vulture, and saker falcon. Visitors can take guided birdwatching tours to spot these and other bird species.
- Photography: The park offers stunning landscapes and wildlife, making it a perfect destination for photography enthusiasts.Camping: The park has several designated campsites where visitors can pitch tents and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Important essentials of the trip to Hustain Nuruu National Park
- Permits: All visitors must obtain a permit to enter the park, which can be obtained at the park office near the entrance.
- Accommodation: The park offers several accommodation options, including campsites and ger camps (traditional Mongolian yurts). It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak season (June to August).
- Clothing: Mongolia has a variable climate, with hot summers and cold winters. It is recommended to bring warm clothing even if you are visiting during the summer months, as temperatures can drop at night. It is also recommended to wear sturdy footwear for hiking and trekking.
- Food and Water: It is recommended to bring your own food and water, as there are limited options for purchasing supplies in the park. Local herder families may offer traditional dairy products such as airag and cheese for purchase.
- Medical Supplies: It is recommended to bring basic medical supplies such as first aid kit, insect repellent, and any necessary medications.
- Respect Local Customs: Mongolia has a rich cultural history, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Visitors should dress modestly and ask permission before taking photos of locals or their property.
- Leave No Trace: It is important to practice Leave No Trace principles and to not leave any trash or waste in the park. Visitors should pack out all trash and dispose of it properly.
By keeping these essentials in mind, visitors can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to Hustain Nuruu National Park while also respecting the local environment and culture.