The concept of the Three Camel Lodge began as the keen desire to preserve and protect the Gobi Desert by creating a property that enabled controlled tourism to bolster the local community. Founder, CEO and President Jalsa Urubshurow — also the Founder, CEO and President of Nomadic Expeditions, our sister company—began plans in the late 1990s for a luxurious and sustainable ecolodge modeled after traditional Buddhist temple architecture. An advisor to all seven of Mongolia’s Prime Ministers and two Presidents on tourism development and environmental protection legislation for the country since its democratic transition in 1990, the beauty of Mr. Urubshurow’s ancestral homeland very much inspired him to protect and preserve its precious ecosystems and nomadic culture.
Local Mongolian nomads and numerous organizations were consulted over the course of three years to best determine Three Camel Lodge’s placement and its design within the Mongolian landscape. Actual construction of the Lodge sourced as much as safely possible from local resources. Purchased lumber from Siberia kept the fragile Gobi Desert from further depletion and moved away from the last few decades’ worth of irresponsible logging. The design traces the traditional outline of the Buddhist temple-style architecture guests can see today—the design of which negates the use of nails or ironwork of any kind. Unprocessed natural stone pieces were utilized for the buildings, and traditional Mongolian felt ger tents were constructed for use as unique and luxurious guest rooms.
During the years following, the Lodge became the first ger camp in Mongolia to sign a contract with the National Park and local government to protect the surrounding area of 160 kilometers from poaching and other non-environmentally sound activities. It began a children’s club, initiated cultural celebrations such as the Camel and Horse Festivals, built greenhouses and constructed small family-run farms to provide supplies of fresh vegetables, meat and eggs for local ger camps.
The Three Camel Lodge set the stage for the development of the sustainable ecolodge concept in Mongolia by opening its doors in 2002, and it instantly became a haven for paleontologists, archaeologists, filmmakers, thrill seekers, history buffs and the luxury traveler alike. Today, it remains the only luxury accommodation in the Gobi Desert and continues to inspire tranquility, education and authentic adventure in the hearts of its guests.