Gobi Desert

Mongolia, China

Extreme
Not Suitable For Families

About the Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert is a vast region of Asia that stretches over two countries, China and Mongolia, covers 1,424,493 km2 (550,000 sq mi) and is best known in history as part of the Mongol Empire.

Climate

The Gobi is classed as a cold desert with an average rainfall is 194 mm (7.6 in) each year and occasional frost and snow. Its lofty altitude on a plateau roughly 915-1,524 m (3,000-5,000 ft) above sea level means temperatures can fall to -40°C (-40°F) in winter and rise to over 40°C (104°F) in summer. Temperatures can also change as much as 35°C (95°F) in a 24 hour period. It is also subject to high winds at speeds of up to 136.79 km/h (85 mph), making the Gobi one of the most severe regions on earth.

Flora and Fauna

Despite the harsh conditions, the desert is home to many specially adapted animals like Bactrian (two humped) camels, wolves, polecats and the Cashmere goat (bred for their amazing hair). The endangered snow leopard, of which as few as 1,700 remain in the wild - is also found here, as well as the Gobi Bear of which there are only an estimated 50 still in existence. Flora mainly consists of drought adapted shrubs such as saltwort and sagebrush, as well as low grasses.

Activities

Desert tours by jeep are popular and usually include visits to the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, which includes rare wildlife species and around 290 plant species as well as the opportunity to see the variety of ecosystems within this vast desert. Also within this park are the Yolin Am (a deep, narrow gorge) with its deep ice field - a great hiking region, and the sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, also known as the Singing Dunes, a good area for astrology and observing the power of the desert.

Bayanzag is a prime spot for fossil hunting – the first discovery of dinosaur eggs was made here in the 1920s.

Hiking
Backpacking
Guided Tours
Landscape Photography
Stargazing
Mongolia, China
Latitude: 42.59, Longitude: 103.43