Mongolia is not a country that is often very high on the bucket list of an average traveler. But this is exactly one of the things that makes it a must-travel destination. It is a paradise for nature lovers as there is no shortage of vast grasslands, mountains, wildlife, and other natural wonders in this pocket of unspoiled territory. For travelers seeking raw nature and wilderness, Mongolia is a dream come true. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the natural environment of this country, then following are the various landscapes that you simply shouldn’t miss:
The majority of Mongolia is covered by vast steppes. Commonly known as grasslands, these steppes stretch over 55% of the country. Although they are quite large and open, they are far from empty. Much of these areas are grazed by livestock owned by nomadic herders. These endless steppes are popularly depicted by seemingly endless greenery and lone Mongol horses. Nomadic families inhibit these vast areas, moving from one place to the other looking for new grass to support their goats, cows, and sheep.
Although Mongolia is not generally depicted as a mountainous country, it does have several mountain ranges, some of them featuring forested mountains that peak over 4,000m. In fact, with an average elevation of about 1,500m, Mongolia is one of the highest countries in the world. Altai Nuruu are the highest and remotest mountains in the country. The Khangai Nuruu mountain range is also worth visiting. It is situated near the center of the country. These forested mountain ranges feature some spectacular scenery.
It’s not just amazing scenery, forested mountains, and endless steppes that make Mongolia worth visiting. The country is also home to wide variety of large animals, including a variety of endangered species. With camels wandering the deserts of the south, golden eagles soaring in the west, and reindeer roaming the north, tourists often pick which regions to visit on the basis of the wildlife they hope to encounter. Many parts of the country are wildlife watching spots that attract numerous nature lovers each year. Since most of Mongolia remains relatively unspoiled by human development, it is the ideal destination to explore all the pristine wilderness.
Seeing one of the largest deserts in the world up close is reason enough to visit Mongolia. From the scenic views of the enormous “Singing Sands” to the majestic wild roaming camels, there’s a lot to take in. Don’t forget to visit the Flaming Cliffs. A camel ride will offer you an unforgettable desert experience.
In conclusion, if you are interested in escaping to a destination that has lots of nature, wide-open spaces, wildlife, and more, then Mongolia is certainly the place for you. The best time to visit is from May to October. If you choose to visit in winter, then be prepared for the fact that many of the sightseeing activities are restricted.
Photos by: Anthony Beck, Nick Bondarev, Tuguldur Baatar, Adli Wahid, Sarah Lachise