A weekend trip to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

Gun Galuut Nature Reserve in Mongolia makes an amazing weekend getaway, particularly to see the wetland birds, yaks and wild sheep.

Kherlen River flows across Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

Kherlen River flows across Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

Where is Gun Galuut Nature Reserve?

Gun Galuut Nature Reserve lies one hundred thirty kilometers east of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The complex concentrates around the Kherlen River and is a wetland bird heaven. You can also find here Argali — the largest species of the wild sheep.

Where to stay at Gun Galuut Nature Reserve?

Gun Galuut doesn’t have many tourists, especially in comparison to Terelj. Thus, there is only one tourist camp here — Steppe Nomads. The accommodation is basic and run down, but offers an alternative to camping.

Unfortunately, the camp’s staff lacks knowledge of the local wildlife, so you cannot count on them for guidance. I recommend hiring a guide in UB and requesting help from the reserve’s ranger. She doesn’t speak English but knows the area in-depth. She will take you around while your guide translates.

Mongolian yurts (ger) near Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

Mongolian yurts (ger) near Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

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How to get to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve?

No bus or marshrutka goes to Gun Galuut. Your best choice is to hire a vehicle or book a trip either with Steppe Nomads or with another tour company.

A big plus of hiring a car in Ulaanbaatar is that the driver may also take you to a couple of attractions on the way. Those include the XIII Century Complex and the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Monument. There is also a picturesque mountain road (no asphalt) connecting Terelj with the area near the reserve. If you have two-three days to spare, you could see both sites.

For those of you who still want to try a bus option, I recommend catching a bus going to Baganuur (from Bayanzurkh Bus Terminal). It is the closest town to Gun Galuut, and you might able to secure further transport there. But, be prepared to face the language barrier.

You could also try to convince the bus driver to drop you on the way. The optimal place is one hundred thirteen kilometers on paved road to Baganuur. You will see here the Gun Galuut NR’s sign located at the junction of asphalt and earth roads. Get out of the bus and turn right. Then, continue south for seventeen kilometers. You can follow visible earth tracks and signs on rocks. Few people leave in the area, so your hitchhiking chances are low. Walking may be your only option.

Costs for Gun Galuut Nature Reserve?

The reserve entrance tax is 3000 MNT per person. Unless you booked a tour, pay it to the ranger.