Stargazing in the Gobi Desert
The steppes of Mongolia gave birth to the nomadic Mongol people; now, they are a prime location for tourists. The expansion of the desert conceals a great many surprises, and yet the greatest of these is found in the night sky. Escaping the mod cons of civilisation and the light pollution they bring, stargazing in Mongolia is establishing a fast reputation as an unmissable sight in this remote part of the world.
Stargazing in the Gobi Desert is unparalleled, but it is also an activity best avoided in the winter, as the temperatures at night can be unforgiving at -40 degrees Celsius. Taking into account that summer temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius, and the spring and autumn see 140 km/ph winds; between June and September is the best range of opportunity.
In the face of such adversity from the elements, the safest and most rewarding choice for stargazers in the Gobi Desert is to seek out a lodge. Here the night sky can be observed in unrestrained splendour until the temperatures start to bite, at which point warm beds are within reach.Three Camel Lodge is particularly recommended for its prime location on the edge of Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park; the Flaming Cliffs, an area of significant paleontological interest, are just a camel ride away. Accessing Three Camels involves a flight via Ulaanbaatar into Dalanzadgad; from there, a two hour drive northwest across wild, undulating sand dunes culminates in an experience in ancient steppe culture and irreplaceable views of nature.
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