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Mongolia: Bayanzag, Kharakhorum, Khongar Sand Dunes, Khustai National Park, Ongi, Ulaanbaatar, Yol Valley
Khustai National Park, Mongolia: Home of the Przewalski Horses
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
A 2-hour drive on paved road and 30-minutes on dirt track brings us to Khustai Ger Camp - on the edge of Khustai National Park. This 50,620 hectare world-famous park is the habitat of the resurrected wild Mongolian horses the Przewalski Horse, popularly known as Takhi locally.
A distinct feature of these horses is the fact they all look similar and enjoy the same coloured coat. For tourists that becomes easy to differentiate these pedigree wild variety from domesticated ones which also roam freely.
Just so you know, Mongolia is the land without fences. Very rarely did we see fences demarcating the fields and meadows. Surprisingly, the Takhis stay within the park though nobody stops them from venturing outside!
A good time to spot Takhis are late in the evening when they come down the slopes near the watering holes. All day long the horses graze on the mountain tops or the slopes. There are some 350 wild horses in the park. Accompanying these short and stout horses are the marmot, hare, deer, gazelle, Argali (wild sheep) and the grey wolf. We spotted all of them, save for the wolf.
After our lunch and watching a brief introductory film in the camps information centre, we drove for an hour, through the park to visit the Ungot tombs. About 1200 1400 years ago people of Turkic origin carved the grave stones in which man like features can be easily recognized. On our way back to the camp, we were blessed with sightings of the majestic Przewalski horses.
That evening we had the first experience of living in a Ger a round house covered with felt that can be easily folded and transported. Ger are the homes of Nomads with just the basic facilities. For tourists, toilets and shower blocks are separately built. Reminded me of my hostel days, queuing up for your turn. The next 6 nights we would be living in Ger a few basic ones and a couple of them luxurious (attached facilities).
Khustai National Park Image Gallery Photo viewer
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