Mongolia’s Gobi: Journey into Nomadic Life at Three Camel Lodge

Petter vieve

Mongolia's Gobi

The sun rises over the vast expanse of the Gobi Desert, casting an orange glow across the endless landscape. In this remote corner of the world, the Three Camel Lodge stands as an eco-resort, inviting travelers to experience Mongolia’s traditional nomadic way of life. The Three Camel Lodge, founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, is an eco-resort in Khan Konghor, Mongolia, offering a unique nomadic experience. The lodge features 24 gers, round tent-like dwellings made of wood, felt, and rope, with wooden furniture and minimalist decor. The lodge also features an on-site restaurant, bar, and spa. The lodge is a gateway to the Mongolia’s Gobi natural wonders, including Bayanzag, Moltsog Els, Yol Valley, and Gobi Gurvan Sakihan National Park. The lodge is committed to sustainability, implementing eco-friendly practices and sourcing materials locally. Despite the challenges, the lodge is open from May to November, aiming for increased government support to enhance infrastructure and extend tourism season.

A Nomadic Oasis in the Gobi

Located in Khan Konghor, one of the most remote places on Earth, the Three Camel Lodge is designed to immerse visitors in Mongolia’s nomadic lifestyle. The heart of the lodge lies in its 24 gers, round tent-like dwellings made of wood, felt, and rope. These structures, flexible and resilient, reflect the adaptability of the nomadic culture they aim to showcase.

Inside the gers, simplicity meets luxury. Wooden furniture and minimalist decor create a cozy atmosphere, while unexpected comforts like private bathrooms with running water and electricity from solar energy elevate the experience beyond traditional nomadic living. The lodge also boasts an on-site restaurant, a well-stocked bar, and a spa – a surprising touch of extravagance in the heart of the Gobi.

A Dream Realized: Jalsa Urubshurow’s Vision

The Three Camel Lodge is the realization of Jalsa Urubshurow’s dream. As a Mongolian-American, his connection to Mongolia was fostered by his father’s vivid stories. In the early 1990s, when Mongolia opened its borders to international tourists, Jalsa seized the opportunity to visit his father’s homeland. The experience left a lasting impression, inspiring him to share Mongolia’s beauty and culture with the world.

Jalsa’s journey led him to establish Nomadic Expeditions in 1992, a travel services company aimed at bringing more Western travelers to Mongolia. In 2002, he took his vision a step further by founding the Three Camel Lodge in the heart of the Gobi, offering a permanent retreat for those seeking an authentic nomadic experience.

Exploring the Gobi’s Wonders

Surrounded by the Gobi’s breathtaking landscapes, the Three Camel Lodge is a gateway to remarkable attractions. A short drive from the lodge lies Bayanzag, one of the world’s significant dinosaur fossil sites. Known as the “Flaming Cliffs,” it’s a testament to Mongolia’s rich paleontological history. The Gobi also surprises visitors with Moltsog Els, a unique region covered in sand dunes – a rare sight in the Mongolian desert.

For nature enthusiasts, Yol Valley and Mongolia’s Gobi Gurvan Sakihan National Park offer opportunities to explore diverse ecosystems, from deep gorges to verdant valleys. The lodge provides experiences ranging from nomadic archery and stargazing to cycling and cooking classes, ensuring guests connect with the Gobi’s natural wonders.

Sustainability in the Wilderness

The Three Camel Lodge stands as a pioneer in sustainable tourism, guided by three pillars: sustainable stewardship, preservation, and community empowerment. In a region so pristine, preservation is paramount. The lodge has implemented eco-friendly practices, from eliminating single-use plastic bottles to creating a waste management system that diverts garbage from landfills.

Solar panels power the majority of the lodge’s lighting, and materials for construction are sourced locally within 50 miles. The commitment to sustainability extends to the community, with nearly 30 full-time Mongolian staff employed, emphasizing the importance of hiring locally and investing in the region’s people.

Challenges of the Journey

While the Three Camel Lodge offers a unique and enriching experience, getting there is no easy feat. A seven to eight-hour drive from Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, or a flight that lands at Dalanzadgad Airport in the middle of the night, followed by an hour-long car ride across roadless desert, it demands commitment from adventurous travelers.

The lodge is open for business from May to November, navigating the challenges of weather and logistics. Jalsa hopes for increased government support to enhance infrastructure, making the Gobi more accessible and extending the tourism season.


The Three Camel Lodge is not just a place to stay; it’s a bridge to Mongolia’s nomadic heritage and the untamed beauty of the Gobi Desert. Jalsa Urubshurow’s dream has become a sustainable reality, inviting travelers to embark on a journey that goes beyond the ordinary, connecting with nature, culture, and the spirit of nomadic life in Mongolia’s vast wilderness.

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