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TRAVEL IN GOBI DESERT OF MONGOLIA

Blog | published: 2019-05-27

Blue Mongolia travel agency team is preparing this information for tourists, who are planning to travel in Mongolia, specially, the gobi desert region of Mongolia. This essay will give the detailed idea what to see and what to do in gobi desert of Mongolia, but also it includes the climate and comfort of the traveling.

Where is the gobi desert?

The Gobi Desert is a large desert or brushland region in Asia. It covers parts of northern, and of southern  Mongolia.  The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Taklamakan desert to the west, by the Nexi corridor and tibetan plateua to the southwest, and by the  north china plain to the southeast.

What is the temperature in gobi desert?

The Gobi is overall a cold desert, with frost and occasionally snow occurring on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 metres (2,990–4,990 ft) above sea level, and it has too much strong wind in spring season. Hence, the icy sandstorms and snowstorms of spring and early summer plus early January (winter). An average of approximately 194 millimetres (7.6 in) of rain falls annually in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds may cause the Gobi to reach −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter to 45 °C (113 °F) in summer. Based on this information, Blue Mongolia team will recommend to travel to gobi desert region in summer or autumn seasons, app. from June to until November. The best period is August and September.  

What national parks are there in gobi desert? And what is about conservation and ecology?

In Mongolia, we have several national parks and strictly protected areas in gobi desert region, which is the most attractive places of tourists. The mostly touristy national park is Three Beauties of Gobi desert in Omnogobi province area. The untouristy biggest national park is Gobi Protected area A and B sectors in Omnogobi and Gobi-Altai provinces, Takhiin tal- Wild Horses Nature reserve area in Gobi-altai province, Zagiin Us Nature reserve area in Dundgobi province, Ikh gazriin chuluu national park in Dundgobi province, Shar Tsav nature reserve area in Omnogobi province, Suikhent nature reserve in Dornogobi province, Ergeliin Zoo national park area in Dornogobi province areas. 

These national parks and nature reserve areas sustain many animals, including black tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, wild bactrian camels, mongolian wild ass and sandplovers. They are occasionally visited by wild camels, wild horses, snow leopards, desert brown bears - mazaalai, wild mountain sheep and wild goats, wild asses and wolves. Lizards are especially well-adapted to the climate of the Gobi Desert, with approximately 30 species distributed across its southern Mongolian border. The most common vegetation in the Gobi desert are shrubs adapted to drought. These shrubs included gray sparrow's saltwort (Salsola passerina), grat sagebrush and low grasses such as needle grass and bridgegrass.  

What about touristy national park Gobi Three Beauties?         

Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, established in 1993, is one of the largest national parks in Mongolia, covering 10,425 square miles. The park stretches 80 kilometers from north to south and 380 kilometers east to west. Gobi Gurvansaikhan lies in the northern region of the Gobi Desert. It comprises of gravel and rubble plains, dry valleys, salt wetlands, springs, and Oases. The foothills of these mountains have red Cretaceous sandstone eroded into gorges. Around 52 mammal species, including the wild ass, hamsters, pikas, Gobi bear, gerbils, snow leopard, and wildcat and endangered species such as the Argali sheep and the Siberian ibex, live in this hostile environment of the Gobi Desert. Around 246 types of birds including the breeding birds such as Kestrels, vultures, lammergeyers, and Altai snowcocks also flourish in the park. Sand dunes such as the Khongoryn Els are notable sights in the region.        

Gobi Three Beauties national park is including the source of many important fossil finds of 2 main ancient period. Djodohta period fossils-110-90 million years ago and Nemegt period fossils – 90-65 milion years ago fossils of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and archosaurs. Djodahta period area includes Bayanzag flaming cliff, Togrogiin Shiree hills and Tsahiur valley- Flint valley with ancient man site.   The most lovely the important discovery was dinosaur eggs, twenty-six of which, averaging 9 inches in length, were uncovered in 1923. Nemegt period paleontology area includes Ukhaa tolgod hills, Khermen tsav flaming canyon, Nemegt yellow stone canyon, Altan Mt, Bugiin cliff, Nogoo cliff and Sharigiin ganga ravine.    

Archeologists and paleontologists have done excavations in the Nemegt Basin in the northwestern part of the Gobi Desert, which is noted for its fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs and prehistoric stone implements some 100,000 years old.        

What about is about Gobi A strictly protected area?

Great Gobi A Strictly Protected Area is a nature reserve in gobi desert, situated in the south-western part of Mongolia at the border with China. A similar reserve in the Gobi exists further to the west - the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected area. Both reserves form one unit, the Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area (SPA), which encompasses a total of 53,000 km2. Great Gobi A is one of the last refuges for critically endangered animals, like wild bactrian camels and gobi desert brown bears - mazaalai.

Great Gobi A lies in the southwestern part of Mongolia in an arid region of the Gobi desert. The vegetation is dominated by desert and desert steppe. Great Gobi A is generally drier than Great Gobi B. Together with Great Gobi B, the reserve was established in 1975 and has been designated by the United Nations as an international Biosphere Reserve in 1991. With a total area of about 46,369 km2 it is one of the largest reserves worldwide. The headquarters for the Great Gobi SPA is situated in Bayantooroi, a settlement about 20 km north to the Great Gobi A reserve. The park sustain app. 800 wild camels and 25 brown desert bears and it is the one of the best animals for wildlife photographers and nature lovers and adventure seekers, who is trying to see the most rare animals in the world.

Twenty km from the reserve is the wild camel breeding centre at Zakhyn Us, which was established in 2004 with 12 wild camels which had been caught by Mongolian herdsmen. There were 22 wild camels at the breeding centre in 2014 and in 2013 two bull wild camels were released into the reserve with satellite collars. One of them has formed his own herd with five female wild camels. The breeding centre which is financed by the Wild Camel Protection Foundation.  

What to do in Mongolian gobi desert?

Following activities are possible in Mongolian gobi desert areas and in national parks and nature reserve areas for tourists and travelers:

- Visiting to camel breeder nomad family

- Hiking on sand hills

- exploring the paleontological areas and looking for bones and eggs

- visiting to national park information centers to see dinosaur bones and eggs

- wildlife photographing

- riding camels and riding horses

- visiting to ancient man site -400 thousand years ago

-exploring rock paintings dated to 40000-13 centuries

-exploring wild life

-bicycling in wild nature

-trekking and walking in cliffs, sands, red sandy soils and vegetation fields with lizards

-motocycling in the wild nature

-enjoy the naadam festival of gobi nomad people- goat herders and camel herders

 

Narrated by Blue Mongolia travel agency team 

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