|The Gobi desert, the habitat of the rarest animals and a unique natural landscape. Its desert and semi-desert ecosystems have hardly changed in many years. The Gobi is often imagined to be a place of unbearable heat and lifeless sand dunes; similar to the inhospitable Sahara desert, but the reality is quite the reverse. The Gobi has high mountains, springs, forests, sands, steppes and a rich animal kingdom.|
Occupying 30 per cent of the country’s vast territory and stretching from the east to the west through the southern part of Mongolia, it is rich in wildlife. Its numerous rare animal species include argali sheep, ibex, snow leopard, lynx, wild ass, gazelles, saiga antelope, wild Bactrian camel and Gobi bear, just to name a few. Its plant kingdom comprises over 400 species including many valuable medicinal, folder and decorative plants. The sight of an ancient sea, the region has been host to countless fossil discoveries.
The first fossilized dinosaur eggs were discovered by famous American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s in the area known as the Flaming Cliffs (Bayanzag). Famous sand dunes including Hongoriin els, Moltsog els and Burdene Bulag are some of the major attractions. The green canyon at Yoliin Am or Eagle Valley in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan national park nestled between high rock walls is an interesting variation for Gobi ecology.
|South Gobi Aimag|
The centre of South Gobi aimag Dalanzadgad is a starting point for trips to numerous destinations in the southern Gobi desert, including the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, Eagle Valley, Bayanzag flaming cliffs, Hongor els sand dunes, Borzongiin Gobi in the southern tip of the Mongolian territory
|The Eagle Valley|
One of the best-known travel destinations in the Southern Gobi is Yoliin Am canyon, known as Eagle Valley. But in fact, Yol means Lammergeier, one of the most endangered bird species of prey. Through the canyon, which is nestled between ridges of Zuun Saikhan Uul mountain, part of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, small river flows. Sheltered by high cliff walls on both sides of the canyon, thick ice gorges remain frozen even on summer’s hottest days until mid-July.
|Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park|
Situated to the west of Dalanzadgad town, Gobi Gurvansaikhan (meaning “Three Beautifies of the Gobi”) park encompasses the series of ridges and valleys that make up the eastern end of the Gobi Altai Mountains. Surrounded by low plains, the mountains rise to 2200-2600 meters above sea level and include the “Three Beauties” (three adjacent ridges named East, Middle, and the West Beauty), Zuulun, Sevrei, Gilbent, and Nemegt ridges. The park, which extends for more than 380 kilometres from west to east, has an extremely varied landscape with rocky and sandy desert plains, precipitous cliffs and ravines, salt pans and oases. Gurvan Saikhan includes the highest diversity of plant and animal life in the Gobi Altai with over 620 species of flowering plants and all 52 species of mammals that are found in the Gobi desert region. The Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National park features some of the most popular tourists’ destinations, including the picturesque gorge of Eagle Valley, and the Singing Sands, a spectacular sea of sand dunes bordered by red sandstone formations, an oasis and a saxaul forest. The Nemegt, Hermen tsav, and Bayanzag flaming cliffs, the sites of numerous important dinosaur fossil discoveries, also lie within the park.
Bayanzag – The Flaming Cliffs
Hongoryn Els Sand Dunes
The eastern part of the Gobi has an open landscape of arid grasslands prone to episodes of severe drought and dust storms. Except its numerous sandy desert, there are many small lakes, streams and springs in the East Gobi.
The East Gobi region is easily accessible by railway. The main border port of Zamiin Uud in the southern frontier of the country is located here. East Gobi desert also encompasses several historical sites including Hamariin Hiid monastery, where 19th-century great poet-playwright Damzabrabja staged his famous “Saran Huhuu” in 1830. Burdene Bulag sand dunes are some of the largest and most extensive dunes in the Gobi.