• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

  • Tajikistan!

    Tajikistan: A yurt in the mountains. Go Now!

    Tajikistan
    The high mountains have mysteries around every turn, including yurts (pictured), a home for the nomadic people. Go Now!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Mongolia

Geography

Mongolian Geography - Road
Road

Mongolia is a large landlocked country in either Central Asia or the Far East. This large country only has two land borders though, Russia to the north and China to the south.

In Mongolia's northwest are the Altai Mountains, whose valleys and plains offer incredible landscapes, pasture land, and a number of rivers and lakes. Much of the rest of the country is desert and the country's far southeastern border is almost entirely consumed by the Gobi Desert.

Weather

Mongolian Geography - Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert

Summers in Mongolia can be very rainy in the north, but temperatures peak during this time. Ulaanbaatar boasts daily highs of about 72°F (22-23°C) during the summer, but night temperatures still drop to only about 50°F (10°C). This season allows easy travel options as the roads are cleared of snow and transportation options tend to fall as there are little obstacles to travel. Winters are the opposite extreme with highs of only 5-15°F (-10 to -15°C), but still fairly sunny most days; unfortunately, this season makes transportation nearly impossible with snow closing many roads and a trip to a nomadic village off the travel itinerary. Falls (autumn) can be cold and receive snow, while springs seem pre-occupied with nomads busy tending to their animals as many roads are not cleared of snow, the plains are windy, and temperatures are still cold.

Wildlife

Mongolia's weather and landscape dictate the animals that can survive and thrive so the variety is somewhat limited, but still fairly diverse. Among the mammals, the marmot, fox, rabbit, wolves, and squirrel are among the most common. There are dozens more though, including less common lynx, bears, antelope, leopards, and gazelles. The sea life is limited due to the lack of water borders, but also due to the Gobi Desert. There are still numerous small fresh water fish and shellfish in the rivers, streams, and lakes though, including trout, salmon, sturgeon, carp, and pike.

Where Mongolia flourishes is in its bird life. Although some birds call the country home, many more migrate through each year. These birds include eagles, vultures, flacons, cranes, larks, swans, geese, pelicans, and gulls. Among the reptiles, are mostly lizards and there are a few amphibian species that exist as well, although in smaller numbers, like frogs. There a thousands of insect species though.

This page was last updated: March, 2013