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Khustain National Park/Mongolia

Introducing Khustain National Park

Also known as Khustain Nuruu (Birch Mountain Range), this park was established in 1993 and is about 100km southwest of Ulaanbaatar. The 50,620-hectare reserve protects Mongolia’s wild horse, the takhi, and the reserve’s steppe and forest-steppe environment. In addition to the takhi, there are populations of maral (Asiatic red deer), steppe gazelle, deer, boar, manul (small wild cat), wolf and lynx. A visit to the park has become a popular overnight excursion from Ulaanbaatar in recent years.

Entry to the park is a one-off fee of US$5 (free for locals). It’s worth spending at least one night in the park, as you are most likely to see takhi and other wildlife at dusk or dawn.

The park is run by the Hustai National Park Trust, which is supported by the Dutch government and the Mongolian Association for the Conservation of Nature and the Environment (Macne).

The information centre at the entrance to Khustain National Park has a ger with displays on the park and the takhi, a small souvenir shop and videos that include a documentary on Mongolian horses, featuring Julia Roberts. Ten kilometres south into the park’s core area is the former park headquarters. Another 13km or so west is Moilt camp.