Updated: Feb 2
One can not imagine Mongolian Gobi without its main inhabitant- the Bactrian two humped camel. The Bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range and is the largest living camel. Shoulder height is from 180 to 230 cm (5.9 to 7.5 ft), head-and-body length is 225–350 cm (7.38–11.48 ft), and the tail length is 35–55 cm (14–22 in). At the top of the humps, the average height is 213 cm (6.99 ft). Body mass can range from 300 to 1,000 kg (660 to 2,200 lb), with males often being much larger and heavier than females. Its long, woolly coat varies in color from dark brown to sandy beige. A mane and beard of long hair occurs on the neck and throat, with hairs measuring up to 25 cm (9.8 in) long.
Camel is one of the most productive livestock for the Mongolian nomads as it can be used for its wool, meat, milk and as a transportation. Plus, camels do not require much care; they are resistant to all types of harsh weather. However, the population of the Bactrian two humped camels in Mongolia decreased in the last decade. There are 480,000 domestic and 800 wild Bactrian camels(Khavtgai) in Mongolia, mostly roaming in the south and southwest part of Mongolia.
A non- government organization arranged the camel festival for the first time in 1997 in order to protect and raise the population of the two humped camels. Since then, It has been successfully celebrated every year , and has become the favorite event for the locals as well as the international travelers.
During the camel festival, many programs are organised such as camel race, camel polo, cultural performance like traditional songs and dances by the local bands.
Mongolian nomads from near and far regions dress up in their best costumes and bring their best camels for the festival. It is usually held in Bulgan sum, Umnu-Gobi province. Last year, the festival was registered in Guinness record as the "999 camel festival".
Despite the cold weather in March, the festival is a must see for foreigners . If you are interested in a tour to Camel festival, click here.