Winter in Hustain Nuruu – Takhi re-introduction
Hustai National Park is the site of a unique re-introduction scheme of Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), called Takhi in Mongolian. It became extinct in the wild in the 1960s, and since 1992 has been successfully re-introduced to Hustai and other parts of Mongolia, from zoos around the world. Hustai National Park is located around the Hustain Nuruu (Birch Mountains), north of the Tuul River some 2-3 hours drive west of Ulaanbaatar. You will be transferred there by vehicle and during our stay in Hustai there will be some shorter hikes supported by packhorses. The conservation success story of Hustai does also include numerous Marmots and a Wapiti Deer population that has increased to thousands, which have benefited a large population of wolves. Species that live in Hustai but are usually not seen are Lynx, Argali Sheep and Roe Deer. Sometimes herds of Mongolian Gazelle may be seen. There are also visible remains of Neolithic graves. Except for the middle of the winter, i.e. also in spring and fall, there is the possibility to have a more luxurious or private experience joining our ‘Hustai in Style’ trip.
A national symbol of Mongolia, the Przewalski’s horse or Takhi, has returned to its country of origin. Having never been domesticated it remains the only truly wild horse in the world today. The stockily built horses have recovered from a captive existence abroad to now again roam free in the wild forests and steppes of the Hustai National Park. Today after intense breeding programmes and research spanning over three decades, Przewalski’s horse prosper in Hustai National Park. They display their natural group-behaviour, withstand the harsh winters, protect their young from wolves and produce offspring.
Itinerary & Map
Day 1: To Hustai National Park
Pick up at your hotel in Ulaanbaatar. Once out of the city, we drive for about two hours to Hustai National Park. We will arrive at the Hustai Ger Camp, operated by the Hustai Trust on the northern edge of the Hustai range. After lunch at the camp we will use the afternoon to drive out to the remarkable Neolithic graves of Öngut, dating to the 6th or 7th century A.D.. From there we will make our way to the Tuul River and its riparian willow forests for some birding. In the evening we will take a game drive with a high probability of seeing some of the free roaming herds of Takhi. During the day they usually stay high in the mountains and are rather difficult to see, whereas very early and late in the day they usually come down into the valleys for water and to graze. Overnight in gers prepared for winter.
Day 2: Hustai National Park
Today we need adjust our explorations to the snow conditions and your interests. We can do walks or game drives through the varied habitats of Hustai National Park. Starting out from the ger camp we can hike along the ridges with views over the distant Moltsog Sands, as well as the partly forested Hustai Mountains. Trekking up a gully to an incredible look out point, we have a reasonable chance to see Wapiti Deers.
Day 3: To Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast we will visit some of the community groups who live on the fringes of Hustai with their herds of livestock. Here we have the chance to learn about the Hustai buffer zone program. We will enjoy a local lunch of buuz (steamed meat dumplings) provided by a local family, who partners in the conservation of Hustai. We will return to Ulaanbaatar in the afternoon and bring you to your hotel.
Dates and Prices
PRICE ex Ulaanbaatar:
USD 520 per person (2/6 members)
2d/1n: USD 380 per person
Single Supplement: USD 100 per person
Transport supplement by Japanese jeep: USD 150 per vehicle
Includes: Guide, all meals outside Ulaanbaatar. Two overnights. All local transport and transfers to/from Ulaanbaatar.
Excludes: Imported drinks, and laundry. Single supplement USD 80 per person. For convenience, Nomadic Journeys may add hotel accommodation and transfer in Ulaanbaatar at current rates.
DATES ex Ulaanbaatar: Daily in off season.
Transport: This journey is supported by a jeep or minibus (depending on number of travelers) to and from Hustai National Park.
Staff: A Mongolian English speaking local guide will accompany you at all times. Other language guides (French, German, Italian, Korean, etc.) are available upon request. Please enquire.
Meals: The meals will be provided in the ger camp, or as packed lunches.
Accommodation: The gers have 2-4 beds each, and are furnished with stools and a table, a wood-burning stove and a wash basin. WC and showers as shared facilities.
Winter dynamics: There is not much snowfall in Mongolia with about 274 sunny days per year. However, when snow does fall it tends to collect in droves at the wrong places due to the wind forces. Therefore our route may be adjusted accordingly.
Hustai National Park is combinable with all trips and it has the convenience of being rather close to Ulan Bator. It is a mere 2-3 hour drive from either of the railway station or the airport why you can transit directly to/from there.
Please enquire for any of these combinations. We can provide you the seamless travel solution.
I am interested in this trip
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