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Gobi Desert Holidays

  • Sunset over the Gobi Desert
 

Larger than the area of Switzerland, the Gobi Desert lies in the southern part of Mongolia and crosses the border into northern and north-western China. Unlike the Sahara, there are few sand dunes in the Gobi. Instead, the terrain of the world’s fifth-largest desert features rocks and gravel plains. Moreover, the Gobi is a cold desert, - frost is common and even snow is not unheard of. The low temperatures are the result of the desert’s northern latitudes and its location on a plateau at least 1,000 meters above sea level. Despite the harsh conditions, many animals live in the desert, including black-tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, Gobi bears, and Bactrian camels.

The Gobi Desert was historically a part of the great Mongol Empire and the location of a number of cities along the Silk Road. Due to the lack of modern roads in parts of Mongolia, travellers should consider using a tour company to visit the desert. Tourists who want to go dinosaur hunting venture to the north-western parts of the Gobi, a source of many ancient fossils, including precious dinosaur eggs. The Southern Altai Gobi Nature Reserve is a haven for wildlife lovers.

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The reserve boasts scores of indigenous desert animals, including the Przewalski, the world’s last wild horse. The Eastern Gobi is where the best sandcastles can be built amid the so-called ‘singing dunes’ of Khongoryn Els. The range of dunes climbs farther than the eye can see, inviting visitors to scale them, with or without the assistance of a two-humped camel, of course.

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