Next Expedition

Desert Expeditions

The Sands of Time and Delays

EXPEDITION INFORMATION UPDATE
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The Taklamakan desert has a fearsome reputation as China’s largest dune desert. Many have dared to venture into its interior in a quest for legendary treasures buried beneath her shifting dunes and never been seen again. Taklamakan’s literal translation is ‘the desert you go in and don’t come out’.

This forthcoming expedition, which is waiting for the unexpected delayed permits for this region will be British-led by me, but is however a joint Anglo-Sino project. My team and I will be crossing through the interior of the Taklamakan desert and travelling the full length of nearly 1,000 km over its giant, shifting sand dunes – and out the other side.

Each expedition invariably offers up its own ‘cause’ and in this instance, we are keen to bring the attention of the Belt and Road initiative, currently gaining momentum across from China to Europe, to a global audience.

It will also have as its research and educational core the role of water; and we are keen to develop that idea as one of the supporting themes of this challenge in one of the worlds driest deserts.

With temperatures reaching between -20c at night and above 38c by day the expedition will provide challenging extremes to be tackled along the way. Further details of the planning and expedition resources will be posted on the website over the coming months.

Taklamakan Desert Facts

Transport for Water in the Desert

Camels and their handler

Although the crossing of the Taklamakan Desert will take approximately 60 days on foot, a number of Bactrian camels are used to transport water and resupplies along the journey. These are examples of some of the animals the team have already chosen for the expedition.
塔克拉玛干沙漠联合探险队

The Taklamakan Anglo-Chinese Expedition

Planning the Expedition

The forthcoming Expedition expects to travel some 1,000 km, crossing the desert west to east.
Past expeditions include one undertaken by Victorian explorer Sven Hedin, who crossed North to South (the shortest and easiest route between the dunes) but lost two men, nearly all the camels, and very nearly perished himself. Recorded earlier attempts were short-lived being defeated by hunger, thirst, and the desert’s notoriously ferocious sandstorms.

THE TAKLAMAKAN DESERT EXPEDITION WILL BE THE FIRST FEMALE-LED EXPEDITION TO CROSS THE LENGTH OF THIS DESERT AND ONLY THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITION IN OVER 500 YEARS TO CROSS ITS LENGTH.

One of the world’s largest and least explored deserts of giant shifting dunes.
A central Asian desert in the centre of Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Province, Western China. Skirted north & south by the old silk route to and from China, a route which had to circumnavigate this inhospitable desert.
Local population Turkic, Muslim, Chinese Han & Uyghur. The desert is also home to 409 vertebrates, wild camels, reptiles, & snakes

TERRAIN & CONDITIONS
Altitudes of up to 5,000 feet (1,500m) – Dunes up to 1,500 feet high (450m)
Shifting dunes, creating extremely difficult and challenging terrain. Severe scarcity of water
Subject to ferocious sandstorms, including the black ‘Kara-buran. Daytime
Swinging temperatures daytime 30º C plus to night temperatures – 20º’ C & lower

2019 -DELAYED DUE TO ONGOING POLITICAL COMPLICATIONS FOR ALL ENTRY PERMITS REQUESTED FOR THIS AREAUPDATED INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ONLINE

Desert Team

Discussions prior to departure

Four members of the 5 man/women team discuss the final points of route prior to crossing the 200 km of AL HUQF area and beyond.

Rosie Stancer - Exploration and Expeditions

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