Elsen Tasarkhai – Semi Gobi: The Glistening Jewel of Mongolia
Updated: Nov 20
Mongolia, a land of vast landscapes, nomadic traditions, and untouched beauty, is home to many natural wonders. Among them is the stunning Elsen Tasarkhai - Semi Gobi, a unique combination of desert, lush forests, and pristine lakes. Often referred to as the "Mini Gobi," Elsen Tasarkhai offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of Mongolia in a compact area.
A Desert Oasis of Elsen Tasarkhai or Semi Gobi
Elsen Tasarkhai is a sand dune that stretches for about 80 kilometers in the heart of Mongolia. Unlike the vast Gobi desert, which covers a significant portion of southern Mongolia, Elsen Tasarkhai is a smaller, isolated patch of sand dunes nestled between grasslands and forests. This juxtaposition of landscapes creates a breathtaking panorama that's a dream for photographers and nature lovers alike.
Flora and Fauna in Elsen Tasarkhai
The region is home to a variety of plant species that have adapted to the desert conditions. During spring, the area blooms with vibrant wildflowers, creating a colorful contrast against the golden sands. The forests surrounding the dunes are predominantly composed of birch and willow trees.
Wildlife enthusiasts can spot a range of animals in Elsen Tasarkhai. From the elusive wild Bactrian camel to the graceful gazelles, the area is teeming with life. Birdwatchers can also spot various species, including the rare Saxaul sparrow.
Activities and Adventures in Elsen Tasarkhai
For those seeking adventure, Elsen Tasarkhai has plenty to offer:
Camel Riding in Elsen Tasarkhai: Experience the desert like the nomads! Riding on the back of a Bactrian camel is a must-do. These gentle creatures, with their two humps, have been an integral part of Mongolian nomadic culture.
Sandboarding: Slide down the dunes on a board, feeling the rush of adrenaline. It's an experience akin to snowboarding but on sand.
Hiking: Explore the forests surrounding the dunes. The trails offer serene views of the landscape and are a great way to connect with nature.
Stargazing: With minimal light pollution, Elsen Tasarkhai is a haven for stargazers. The clear desert skies offer a mesmerizing view of the stars, planets, and meteor showers.
Cultural Immersion in Elsen Tasarkhai
Visiting Elsen Tasarkhai is not just about the landscapes. It's an opportunity to immerse oneself in Mongolian culture. Many nomadic families live in the region, and they often welcome tourists into their traditional tents, known as "gers." Here, visitors can savor traditional Mongolian dishes, listen to folk tales, and even experience the warmth of Mongolian hospitality.
Getting There to Elsen Tasarkhai
Elsen Tasarkhai is located approximately 280 kilometers west of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capita