KISSMYARTS
// text and photography by Marjolein den Hartog //
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In Search of the Takhi Horses

Since we didn’t have enough time to visit some popular regions like the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia or the Khövsgol Nuur lake in the north, we decided to stay in the areas surrounding the capital Ulaanbaatar (UB) and Mongolia’s second-largest city Darkhan. These were the places in which we had a few appointments at esgii’s felt slipper suppliers anyway, so it made sense to stay local for some sightseeing. Luckily for us, there’s this 50,000-hectare nature reserve called Hustai National Park within 100 kilometres of UB. Coincidentally, I once wrote an article for WWF Netherlands’ youth magazine about Hustai’s famous inhabitants, the takhi horses, so I was very curious to see them in real life. These last remaining true wild horses, also known as przewalskis, turned out to be quite hard to spot, but, thanks to our ‘eagle-eyed’ driver Puuje, we found a few. Marmots, on the other hand, popped up everywhere, and we saw plenty of wildflowers and insects. Also, the landscapes of the vast steppes—dotted with sheep and surrounded by mountains—were especially stunning!