Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert, Mongolia
If asked to imagine the Mongolian landscape, many of you will probably think of the Gobi, the legendary desert that occupies the southern third of Mongolia. The very name Gobi exerts a kind of magnetic pull on those drawn to the beauty of remote places and rare animals and unique plants that inhabit them. A mystical image of sand dunes, camel caravans and nomadic herdsmen is associated with this vast desert, and while it is certainly true that the Gobi has these, it offers much more. It is in fact one of the most diverse desert eco-systems on Earth, with astonishing landscapes and populations of wildlife rivalling the most exotic travellers’ tales.
Here you will find herds of gazelles and Bactrian camels crossing the sands and grasslands, while rare birds such as the bone-eating Lammergeier soar overhead, and the red sandstone spires and crevices of the Flaming Cliffs, where Roy Chapman Andrews unearthed the first nest of Oviraptor eggs and in so doing establishing Mongolia as a paleontological Mecca. Some of the most spectacular dune fields on the planet bordering forests of ancient saxaul trees with wood so dense that it sinks in water.
The Three Camel Lodge, a world renowned and award-winning eco-lodge, is a base for seeking out these natural marvels, but it has evolved into a good deal more. The goal was not only to establish a premier expedition lodge that will introduce international travellers to the natural wonders of the Gobi and Mongolia, but also to serve as a conservation centre for the local community dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and protecting the desert’s fragile ecosystems. The Three Camel Lodge’s commitment to conserving and sharing the natural treasures and beauty of Mongolia grows stronger year after year. You are invited to experience this unforgettable land, meet the nomadic families who call the Gobi their home and join in the mission to protect one of the Earth’s greatest treasures.
Location and Transfers
The Three Camel Lodge is set in the shadows of the beautiful Gobi- Altai Mountains of Gurvansaikhan National Park in the rugged Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The Lodge is 90-minutes by Landrover from Dalanzadgad, which can be reached on regional flights from Ulaanbataar.
The Three Camel Lodge comprises 50 felt gers – traditional nomadic tents – spread out across the desert floor, each with a south-facing door, a nomadic Mongolian tradition. The gers are handmade using a latticed wood structure covered with layers of felt and canvas. Rustic, roomy and invitingly comfortable, each can accommodate up to four guests, with wood-burning stoves, hand-painted wooden beds and furniture, 24-hour electricity generated by solar panels and ready housekeeping service. There are 20 deluxe gers, with additional luxuries including wood-burning stoves, hand-painted wood-framed king-sized beds, private bathrooms, Mongolian-style bathrobes, and locally produced toiletries and camel milk moisturizing lotions. For the remaining gers, ecological western-style bathrooms and shower facilities are a short walk away in the main lodge building.
The main lodge is a masterwork of design, crafted by local artisans in accordance with the canons of Mongolian Buddhist architecture – and without a single nail. Within its stone walls, Mongolian artifacts and traditional design lend a relaxed air, with conference/lecture facilities and a central fireplace to warm chilly desert nights. A full-length wooden porch offers unobstructed views of the desert skyline – the perfect perch for sipping cocktails from the full bar. While building the lodge, Nomadic Expeditions forged a cooperative agreement with local authorities for sustainable development and conservation.
The main lodge harbours the Bulagtai Restaurant, the Thirsty Camel Bar and the Lodge shop. There is also onsite laundry service and a spa suite staffed by trained massage therapists.
The Lodge takes pride in the highest standards of service and cuisine. Through arrangements with local farmers, the Lodge uses fresh produce for the preparation of traditional Mongolian dishes. At the Bulagtai Restaurant, named after the volcanic outcrop that shelters the lodge, dairy products produced by local nomadic families and organic meat from Mongolia’s free-range livestock herds are used to create regional dishes and traditional specialties, as well as Western favourites. Below the restaurant, the Thirsty Camel Bar is located in a naturally geo-cooled room, offering a wide selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
Facilities and Activities
Main Lodge with central fireplace
Wooden Porch – with views of the desert
Thirsty Camel Bar
Lodge shop – refreshments, snacks and locally crafted gifts are available for purchase
Visits to ancient petroglyphs just a short walk away
Experience daily life in the desert and interact with passing nomads who water livestock at a nearby well
Hiking nearby in the foothills of the Gobi-Altai Mountains
Camel trekking through sand dunes
Horseback riding in mountain valleys
Digging for dinosaur fossils at the legendary Flaming Cliffs with paleontologists from the Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Stargazing – the night sky above the dark desert floor is spectacular
Learn to prepare native dishes with the Lodge’s expert chefs through hands-on cooking classes in the Bulagtai Restaurant
Wildlife Excursions – with opportunities to see Argali sheep, ibex, gazelles, foxes, wolves, eagles and other birds, and the extraordinary plant life of the Gobi
Tented overnight field explorations fully supported and catered by the Three Camel Lodge
Four-Wheel Drive Excursions to remote canyons and valleys