Gun Galuut Nature Reserve, Mongolia
A visit to the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts as well as anyone who appreciates the truly extraordinary landscapes Mongolia offers up.
The Gun Galuut Nature Reserve, 130 km southeast and around 2-3 hours drive from Ulaanbaatar, lies on the banks of the River Kherlen. It is relatively small, covering an area of 200 km², but it is an absolute jewel in the crown of Tuv province.
Mountains, rivers, lakes and wetlands provide a unique and varied habitat for some of the world’s most rare and endangered species. Argali (or wild mountain sheep) with its characteristic curly horns, have a protected home here, as does the Siberian White Crane which summers on the reserve’s Ayaga Lake.
Other globally threatened birds that live in the reserve include the White-naped Crane, Hooded Crane, Red Falcon, Black Vulture and Swan Goose, and some that are threatened in Mongolia such as the Whooper Swan, Black Stork, Great White Egret, Bar-Headed Goose, Bearded Vulture and Eurasian Penduline. This is a bird-lovers paradise and binoculars and telescopes are available at the reserve to enhance the experience.
There is also the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities in this beautiful setting, including horse riding, fishing, kayaking, cycling and archery. It also offers great scope for keen photographers. A tour of the reserve with a local guide will give you a deeper insight into this special place. Visit a nomadic family and see how they live in harmony with their surroundings on the reserve. We can arrange for you to stay overnight in a traditional Mongolian ger at an environmentally-friendly and community-supportive camp, to really get the most out of your trip to Gun Galuut. Away from the pressures of modern living, one can really appreciate the sense of place, the quality of light and the deep tranquility that makes the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve so remarkable.
One of our guests who visited Gun Galuut this year had this to say about the nature reserve: “Gun Galuut is well worth a visit. With the help of the local ranger, there is a good chance that you will spot argali sheep. Apparently the very best time to see them is during the rutting season when they only have one thing on their minds! There is other good wildlife around too and we saw plenty of marmot as well as several foxes and White-Naped Crane. The Chinggis Khan monument is quite a ‘big’ surprise and an interesting place to stop for a while.”
He finished by saying: “Mongolia seems to have had a rather strange effect on me and I may have reason to go back one day…” We know that feeling – Mongolia casts its magic spell on everyone who goes there!