Desert Eco Tours provides a limited number of customized Eco Desert exploring tours in Iran. Desert Eco Tours is managed by a small and select group of renowned specialist tour guides whose knowledge and experience remains unequaled in this field. Their life-long devotion to deserts and desert exploration unites them in a unique bond of friendship that has spanned decades. Tour duration’s range from one day to three weeks, based on the request, your point of focus and seasonal conditions.
Lut is a large salt desert in southeastern Iran.Iran is climatically part of the Afro-Asian belt of deserts that stretch from the Cape Verde islands off West Africa all the way to Mongolia near Beijing, China. The patchy, elongated, light-colored feature in the foreground (parallel to the mountain range) is the northernmost of the Dasht dry lakes that stretch southward 300 kilometers (186 miles). In near-tropical deserts, elevated areas capture most precipitation. As a result, the Dasht-e Lut is generally considered to be an abiotic zone.
Also known as Kavir-e Namak or Great Salt Desert is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plateau. It is about 800 km long and 320 km wide. The area of this desert stretches from the Alborz mountain range in the north-west to the Dasht-e Lut (Emptyness Desert) in the south-east and is partitioned between the Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Semnan, Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd. It is named after the salt marshes (kavirs) located there.
Climate & Structure
The Dasht-e Kavir’s climate is almost rainless and the area is very arid. Temperatures can reach 50 C in summer, and the average temperature in January is 22 C. day and night temperatures during a year can differ up to 70 C. Rain usually falls in winter.
The desert soil is covered with sand and pebbles; there are marshes, lakes and wadis. The hot temperatures cause extreme vaporization, which leaves the marshes and mud grounds with large crusts of salt. Heavy storms frequently occur and they can cause sand hills reaching up to 40 m in altitude. Some parts of Dasht- e Kavir have a more steppe-like appearance.
Vegetation in the Dasht-e Kavir is adapted to the hot and arid climate as well as to the saline soil in which it is rooted. Common plant species like shrubs and grasses can only be found in some valleys and on mountain tops. The most widespread plant is mugwort. The Persian ground jay is a bird species living in some parts of the desert plateaus, along with Houbara bustards, larks and sandgrouses. Persian gazelles live in parts of steppe and desert areas of the central plateau. Wild sheep, goats and leopards are common in mountainous areas. Night life brings on wild cats, wolves, foxes, and other carnivores. In some parts of the desert, the Persian wild ass and sometimes even the Asiatic Cheetah can be seen. Lizards and snakes live in different places in the central plateau.
The extreme heat and many storms in Dasht-e Kavir cause extensive erosion, which makes it almost impossible to cultivate the lands. The desert is almost uninhabited and knows little exploitation. Camel and sheep breeding and agriculture are the sources of living to the few people living on its soil. Human settling is restricted to some oases, where wind-blocking housing constructions are raised to deal with the harsh weather conditions. For their hard-needed water supply the desert people thousands of years ago created a complicated water well system known as “Qanats.” These are still in use, and modern globally-used water-revenue systems are based on their techniques.
Central in the desert lays the Kavir Buzurg (Great Kavir), which are about 320 km long and 160 km wide. In the west, a salt lake called Darya-ye Namak (1800 km) can be found. It contains some large salt plates in a mosaic-like shape. It is part of a 4,000 km protected ecological zone, the Kavir National Park. One of the most desolate places of Dasht-e Kavir is the Rig-e Jenn.
The Rig-e Jenn is a vast area of sand dunes in the middle of Dasht-e Kavir, Iran’s central desert in the border region of the Semnan and Isfahan provinces. It was not travelled by the old caravan travelers, who believed it is a place where evil spirits live. Even today some in the neighboring towns and villages believe this. Sven Hedin, the famous desert explorer avoided this area in his 1900s explorations to Iranian deserts. Alfons Gabriel crossed the southern ‘tail’ of it on his way from Ashin to Aroosan in the 1930s.