Ripple in the Gobi Desert

[words and photograph © Lucie Debelkova, The WideAngle]

The Gobi desert, one of the world’s great deserts, covers much of the southern part of Mongolia. Unlike the Sahara, there are few sand dunes in the Gobi; rather you’ll find large barren expanses of gravel plains and rocky outcrops. The climate here is extreme. Temperatures reach more than 40°C in summer, and plummet to -40°C in winter. Precipitation averages less than 100 mm per year, while some areas get rain only once every two or three years. Strong winds up to 140 km/h make travel dangerous in spring and fall. Great Gobi National Park is one of the largest World Biospheres, with an area larger than Switzerland. It contains the last remaining wild Bacterian (two-humped) camels, wild ass, and a small population of Gobi bears, the only desert-inhabiting bears.

The Khongor Sand Dunes are the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. Also known as the “singing dunes”, they are up to 800m high, 20km wide and about 100km long. You can climb to the top of the dunes, and the views of the desert from up there are indescribable.

Photo data: Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL, f/11, 0.001 sec (1/800), ISO 200, 162 mm

Czech nomad Lucie Debelkova is a roving travel and landscape photographer for The WideAngle network. She has covered assignments in more than 70 countries. For images by The WideAngle photographers, please take a look here.


  • Nate says:

    Thank you for the photo and description. I hope I can make it there while we are living here in Sichuan, China.


  • Thanks for the comment Nate. Hope you do manage to get there. I took part in a Land Rover expedition through Gobi a few years ago – one of the world’s most haunting places. Lucie’s image certainly catches the beauty.
    – ME

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