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Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve

21 Reviews

Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve

21 Reviews
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travellover077 wrote a review Oct 2018
Canberra, Australia337 contributions158 helpful votes
Spent two nights here on a journey around Mongolia. The experience whilst staying here were excellent - tracking Agale Big Horned sheep and storks, visiting a family that herded yaks, cattle and sheep, a wonderful scenic environment. The ger was clean and comfortable. The washing and sanitary facilities OK. The food not so good.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Susan H wrote a review Jun 2018
Lawndale Sonoma County, California19 contributions8 helpful votes
Beautiful area and comfortable accommodations, charming helpful staff. Herds of yak, sheep, hoses very picturesque.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Sa-i44 wrote a review Sep 2017
San Diego, California5,691 contributions462 helpful votes
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Gün-Galuut Nature Reserve has a great diversity of ecosystems even though it is a comparatively small area. It is filled with high mountains, steppes, rivers, lakes and wetlands. As we looked around, it seemed that the steppes where meeting the sky with nothing in-between. Just a vastness, long empty spaces, with some undulating hills, spreading out as far as the eye could see. The vastness is impossible to capture on film although I kept trying. The earth was flat as far as the eye could see. And the colors - light green. Brown. Dark green. Shapes from shadow of clouds. Puffs of sand from cars. Stripes from multiple tracks. And then herds of sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels. But never intermingled. And then we would see puffs of wool caught on the plants. Like flowers or cotton. This is Mongolia and we would experience this feeling of vastness everywhere we went. We drove over to another part of the reserve where we went looking for Argali sheep. But we would not spot any. We did however watch a lone cow slowly make her way across the vast stones, swim across the stream and walk up the other side, almost right into us. The area was covered in irises, but because of the drought, they were not blooming. I could just imagine how gorgeous it must be when the floor was covered in purple. But we didn’t stay for long, as we all wanted to watch, and photograph, the setting sun. We drove up the hill near the ger camp and settled in, most with tripods, and watched and waited. Below us were some streams with sheep, goats, horses and cows drinking their fill. On the other side was a snaking, s-curved road with three gers with red doors. And behind us was another mountain. There was an ovoo and it felt spiritual and quiet. At one point a car drove down the s-shaped road, leaving a trail of dust. Cars spewing dust is a common sight here. But this was particularly ethereal. The sun was setting. The blue, blue sky was turning colors. And the dust just snaked its way around the bends. The three gers with their red doors stood out against the brown mist. It was so quiet. Except it wasn’t. In the distance, we could hear a girl singing as she rode her horse to herd the other horses. We heard the horses neighing. The cows were snorting. Wonderful, wonderful sounds in the midst of the quiet. Some of us stayed until the final moment and then quietly walked down the hill to our gers, settling in for our first night as nomads. We woke up before the break of dawn, because just as we wanted to photograph the sunset, we also wanted to photograph the sunrise. As I stepped outside my ger to make my way to the bathrooms, I could see the sky beginning to turn pink and purple on the horizon. A few of us brave souls climbed up the mountain adjacent to our camp and settled in to watch nature at its best. It turns out that all of Mongolia is nature at its best. The light of the sun reflected in the water below, setting it on fire. And then the sky burst into flames as well, orange and red and glorious. And the sun cast our long shadows deep into the land. We went back down the hill, cleaned up and went into breakfast. Breakfast was a buffet with soup and rice, and it filled our stomachs. We grabbed fresh camera batteries and were ready for our next adventure. We were being met by a park ranger, Ariunaa. She was wearing her ceremonial deel with her binoculars around her neck as she was our spotter, accompanying us to find Argali sheep. Our caravan set out over the steppes, driving here and there as she kept a look out. I have no idea how the drivers know where they are going or how to get back. There are no real roads. There are certainly no signs or landmarks. You can’t use the gers as they move. Obviously when one grows up here, they learn to identify each bush, but it is a mystery to me how. And then suddenly we all stopped. Ariunaa lifted her binoculars and there they were – five Argali sheep, all with large circular horns, climbing the mountain. Argali are mountain sheep, but don’t confuse them with the ones we see in the US. These are much bigger, standing 3-4 feet tall and 4-7 feet long. There are 300 Argali sheep in these mountains and this year they had 60 babies. They were hard to see even with my telephoto lens as they were so far up the mountain. But one of the drivers took my cell phone and photographed the sheep through the binoculars. And thus I have my Argali sheep picture. On the way back down we made an impromptu stop at a ger with an old Russian trailer next to it. It was a ger with an orange door. The truck was a yellow-green. There was a small white building with a blue roof. And a small wooden building with a red roof. And an orange jeep. Talk about color!
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Date of experience: July 2017
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smvmd wrote a review Aug 2017
Washington DC, District of Columbia68 contributions26 helpful votes
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We had a business trip in UB and wanted to add a few days to visit the national parks near the city. Gun-Galuut and our stay at Steppe Nomad Ger Camp was excellent. The camp provides activities to take advantage of the area. We went bird-watching at the nearby ponds, rented horses, woke up early to spot wild argali sheep in the nearby valleys. Our guide arranged a visit with a local herding family and we had a wonderful time meeting the parents and 4 kids and getting a peak into their daily life. If we had had more time, we wanted to rent kayaks to explore the river - but alas, we were only there for an overnight before we had to return to UB and leave Mongolia. The Steppe Nomad camp itself was a great experience and we would recommend you stay there as part of the visit. The staff was friendly and hardworking. When we arrived, the 2017 Great Mongolian Bike Race had its 4th stage ending up at the camp as well so the place was fully booked. It was exciting to meet mountain bikers from all around the world. The gers were full so were put in the luxury cabins up on the hill (a decadent treat from our ger stays at the other parks, because these rooms had their own bathroom and hot showers!). The rooms were very clean. Despite being completely maxed out, I found that Steppe Nomad handled the crowds with efficiency and professionalism on par with any resort. Dining went smoothly and the food was delicious.
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Date of experience: August 2017
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P A wrote a review Jul 2017
msp249 contributions28 helpful votes
+1
Good 20-25 minutes off the main road, the reserve has ger, and new construction accommodations. In a reserve close to wildlife, river. Not many trees though. Gers need some upgrading and maintenance. Bathroom facilities were kept clean. Friendly hard working staff. Nice family manages it onsite. Recreation facilities available at reasonable prices. 2.5 hours by car from UB. Dining room is large, food can be average quality.
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Date of experience: July 2017
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