In the seemingly barren wasteland of the Gobi desert, Mongolian nomads have lived cheek by jowl with nature for centuries. I present snapshots of travellers who have visited these harsh yet beautiful lands, giving us a glimpse of a world that is utterly alien to us.
Mongolians of the Southern Gobi Desert
It is estimated that 30 per cent of Mongolia’s population still live a nomadic existence. Nomadism was banned for 70 years under a Communist regime, but when that regime collapsed in the 1990s thousands of nomads returned to the Gobi, Asia’s largest desert. They continue to battle the harsh weather and attacks from wild predators, wolves and snow leopards to a way of life they still cherish while also adapting to 21st century amenities such as satellite dishes, mobile phones and 4x4s in a delicate balance between tradition and the modern world.
The nomads in the following photo journal inhabit the mountainous steppes south of the city of Dalanzadgad 540 km away of the Mongolian capital, Ulanbataar. This is a place where the climate reaches 45 degrees in summer and drops down to minus 40 degrees in winter and nomads must brave endless sand dunes, scorching heat, months without a single drop of water as well as freezing cold in winter. The photo documentary follows a nomadic family and their herds of goats, sheep, horses and yaks as they journey four times a year across the Gobi for sheltered winter pastures and mountaintop summer.
All photos on this post is taken from the BBC series: Living with Nomads hosted by Kate Humble.