Hustai National Park, a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve, is home to the tahki (Przewalski wild horse), the only truly wild horse population left on the planet. The park’s proximity to Ulaanbaatar makes it a popular day trip and overnight destination for visitors to see wildlife and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. The Basics
At Hustai National Park, which spans 222,395 acres (90,000 hectares), visitors can hike, go horseback riding, go camel riding, and explore the vast grounds by vehicle. In addition to the wildlife, which includes over 40 species of mammals and over 150 species of birds, there are a number of ancient ruins and monuments, including Neolithic graves, throughout the area.
Day and overnight tours of Hustai National Park from Ulaanbaatar are available. For those with more time, multi-day tours can also include other parks in the area, such as Bogd Khan Mountain National Park or Terelj National Park. Those with a week or more can go on extended adventures covering several regions in Mongolia, such as Central Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, or the Orkhon Valley. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Overnight visitors can stay in traditional ger camps just outside the park.
- Camping is not allowed inside the park.
- Bring binoculars if you can, to better see the wildlife.
- It’s best to rent a 4-wheel-drive vehicle with good clearance if not going as part of a tour.
Hustai National Park is located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Ulaanbaatar. It’s easiest to visit as part of a guided tour. Otherwise, it’s best to rent a 4WD vehicle. Take the main highway leaving Ulaanbaatar to the west to the Khustai Mountains Road, then turn onto an unpaved road and continue for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) until you reach the main camp. When to Get There
Although it’s possible to see the national park on a day trip, it’s best to stay overnight, as the best chances of seeing the takhis tend to be around dawn or dusk, when they come down from the mountains to drink from the Tuul River.
Wildlife in the Park
Hustai National Park is most known for the successful reintroduction of the tahki. The tahki had become extinct in the wild in the 1960s, but was reintroduced into the wild in the 1990s from two captive groups that remained. In addition to the takhi, a number of other animals call the park home, including marmots, wolves, foxes, lynxes, badgers, sheep, deer, gazelles, owls, and golden eagles, among others.