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The Nomads of Mongolia
With a population of around 3 million and the area of 1,566,000 square km (605,000 sq mi), Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country in the world and also home to one of the last remaining nomadic cultures. A various ethnic groups, most notably the world-renowned Kazakh eagle hunters and the
Because of its continental climate, Mongolia’s precipitation is not only low but also varies from year to year and from place to place. In a country like this, grain can grow but not every year and not enough to support the whole population. Therefore, ancient Mongolians had chosen pastoralism over agriculture, which values mobility and the ability to cope with problems by moving away from threats or toward resources.
Nomadism requires a good understanding of natural cycles and an appropriate selection of pastures to satisfy the needs of the different animals. Each season, families must move to a suitable location for a camp. When animals are weaker in spring after a long winter, nomads choose pasture in lower lands that’s less rocky, marshy and grass grows relatively early. In winter,
Depending on the region, the distance the nomads have to cover to reach their seasonal camp differs. In the forest areas, where there’s much more rain, an average distance would be around 15-20 km. Families can travel up to 150 km to find water and pastures in the dry mountainous areas or desert. Nomads consider migration a sacred tradition. Any quarrel, any agitation, during the migration or its preparation, is a bad omen. On the day of departure, they dismantle their
The greatest challenge to nomadic families comes with harsh winters known as
Today, despite exponential growth in international travel and mining, Mongolia has remained one of the few fascinating places that has escaped the trampling of travelers’ boots and heavy machineries. An attractive destination for those looking for a unique combination of primordial landscapes and nomadic culture, almost vanished elsewhere in the world, Mongolia has held on to the old ways while sampling the new. Mongolia’s nomads, over one-third of the population, have
The Jewels of Mongolia
A sampling of the best Mongolia has to offer for visitors in one trip, this 13 day tour will take you through the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire at Karakorum, hot springs, volcanoes, rivers and lakes.VIEW TRIP