Ikh Nart Nature Reserve
The Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve (Ikh Nart) is a nature reserve located in the Dornogobi Aimag or East Gobi Province of Mongolia. Established in 1996, Ikh Nart covers an area of about 66,000 hectares of grassland and semi-desert steppe environments and harbors one of the last remaining populations of Argali Sheep.
The Ikh Nart Nature Reserve is a small nature reserve (~66,000 ha) located in Dornogobi aimag (province) of Mongolia. The reserve covers two soums (counties) - Dalanjargal and Airag that jointly manage the reserve.
The reserve is open year-round and requires no entrance fee. Nomadic Journeys tour company operates a eco-tourist ger camp for visitors that opened in 2008. Visitors may also tent or stay at a small ger camp called Khalzan in northwest Ikh Nart that offers limited accommodation.
Information in the reserve may be obtained from rangers at a scientific research camp located at N 45.72301 E 108.64488.
Traveling to and from Ikh Nart is relatively easy, and is becoming even easier. Situated about 300 km south-southeast of Ulaanbaatar, the most common ways to access Ikh Nart are by car or by train.
By car: take the newly paved road that runs southeast from Ulaanbaatar paralleling the railway line from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing. Although the pavement ends at Choyr, continue following the road south to the town of Shevi-Gobi (about 30 km from Choyr). Drive time to Shevi Gobi from Ulaanbaatar is approximately 4-5 hours. From Shevi Gobi, drive southwest approximately 50 km to reach the northern edge of Ikh Nart. This part of the journey requires a 4x4 vehicle. Taxi service to Ikh Nart is available in Shevi Gobi. As a reference point for those with a GPS, ascientific research station in the northern part of the reserve is located at N 45.72301 E 108.64488.
By train: take the local Ulaanbaatar to Sainshand train to Shevi Gobi (stop #22). The train provides a comfortable, although slower alternative to driving. The train ride lasts about 7 hours to Shevi Gobi. From Shevi, follow driving directions above. The return train to Ulaanbaatar stops in Shevi Gobi at approximately 1:00am daily in winter and midnight daily in summer. Sleeping cabins (coupes) are recommended and cost about 7,500 tugrik each way.
Ikh Nart harbors a wide diversity of plant (flora) and animal (fauna) species, including 33 mammals, 6 reptiles, 125 birds, and over 200 plants.
Click on the following links for more detailed information on species in the reserve.
Lonely Planet review for Ikh Nart Natural Reserve
Ikh Nart Natural Reserve (67,000 hectares), only a four-hour drive from Ulaanbaatar, is home to hundreds of ibex (mountain goats), black vultures and other wildlife. The natural springs near Khalzan Uul (Bald Mountain) are considered a local health remedy. Burgasan Amny Rashaan is another mineral spring a few kilometres south of Khalzan Uul. Nomadic Journeys has a ger camp here.