Mongolia’s Wilderness Attracts Adventurers

Andrea Hausold - May 30, 2011
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Mongolia is one of the last unspoiled pristine lands on our small planet – wild, splendid and virtually intact vastness.

Snow-capped mountains, ancient volcanoes, virgin forests, placid lakes, pure rivers full of freshwater fish and steppes that are serenely white or multi-coloured from lush green, bronze or yellow grass ... Fauna and flora, although threatened to some extent by the whims of nature or human excesses, are extraordinarily diverse and exuberant especially during warm seasons.

Despite its ceasing resorts of loneliness, it is still an inhabited wilderness, known in its unique recesses only by Mongolians who have roamed the vast plains for centuries. These friendly and cordial people embody the spirit of this harsh nature, to which they belong, love and know so much about.

A half of its 2.5 million inhabitants still preserve a nomadic lifestyle, freely migrating in the steppes, mountains and deserts and living on livestock breeding and natural resources, following thousand-year-old traditions. Although "urbanized", the other half never loses an occasion to adventure into the infinite steppes both for pleasure and necessity.

Mongols are nomads in the heart. However, unlike other few nomadic nations on earth, their lifestyle is naturally recognized by the country's leaders and compatriots.

Mongolia is a free democratic country where the economy, obviously marked by the collapse of a communist system once very firmly established, depends mainly on livestock that is ten times more than the country's population. Sheep, horse, camel, goat, cow and yak herds graze on rich semi-wild vast pastures triple the size of France.

The two terrible winters of 2000 and 2001 had a severe impact on the country. Many nomadic families who lost their herds migrated to settle in the urban areas, mainly in the capital city, the population of which has reached over a million in the last two years

Independence of this country after centuries of Manchu domination followed by Russian control and survival of a virtually unchanged way of life and culture for centuries is almost a miracle. Proud of their glorious history, Mongols live in peace with their powerful neighbors joining again their beliefs as Animists and Buddhists.

Despite its geographical enclavement Mongolia opens to the world, and this opening desired by the majority of Mongols will enable them to test the strength of their identity and to carry a message of peace, harmony and tolerance by the powerful winds of the steppes.

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