Who would have imagined that Mongolia would feature one of the world’s best eco-adventure lodges? Indeed, this is the case at Three Camel Lodge, where comfort and eco-tourism come together in one of the world’s top ten adventure lodges.
Set on the edge of the Gobi Desert in the Gobi Gurvansaickhan National Park, Three Camel Lodge is the ideal starting point for adventuring Mongolia’s diverse terrain. Nestled in the foothills of the Gobi-Attai Mountains, this 50 acre wilderness outpost serves as a perfect base for desert exploration. The vast and fascinating landscape of the Gobi Desert, with its red rock cliffs, lush valleys and towering sand dunes is best negotiated by foot, on horseback, camelback and kayak with superb expedition options on offer.
Desert wildlife – hares, hedgehogs and numerous species of birds traverse the camp’s grounds. Ancient petroglyphs depicting antelopes, sheep, ibex and wolves are a short walk away. Camel treks through sand dunes and forests to explore the Gobi’s diverse ecosystems are one among many adventures affording the opportunity to view local wildlife. Horseback riding through the vast desert plains of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where brown bears and numerous birds roam under an infinite blue sky, will lead to the legendary Gunjin Buddhist Temple.
Multi-activity expeditions include kayaking on Lake Hovsgol, then continuing along ancient tea trade routes on a double-humped back camel. Four-wheel drives, horse treks and mountain biking to remote canyons, mountain springs and verdant valleys are part and parcel of the myriad adventures on offer, while overnight tented expeditions are ideal for experiencing the Gobi’s unique wilderness. Closer to camp, the brilliant red rocks of the Flaming Cliffs hold the mysteries of ancient dinosaur fossils to be excavated. And for those wanting a taste of the Gobi, hands-on cooking classes are offered.
Built with the help of the local community according to environmental and sustainable development standards, the lodge utilizes its natural elements – sun and wind – for its renewable energy. Hand-crafted by local artisans, the thirty latticed-wood, canvas and felt gers, traditional tents of Mongolia’s nomadic herders, provide peaceful repose in the silence of the desert. The gers simple exteriors blend into the remarkable landscape with southward-facing doors, built according to local tradition, providing unobstructed desert views. The simple exteriors betray lovely, comfortable interiors, appointed with hand-painted furniture, wood-burning stoves, wide beds with plush cashmere blankets and felt slippers and bathrobes.
Fashioned in traditional style after a Mongolian temple with nary a single nail, the Dino, the camp’s main lodge, buzzes with energy and activity. Guests here enjoy meals created from locally grown, fresh organic ingredients of traditional Mongolian fare. In the evening, music and dance performances are held by the light of the glowing fireplace. In the silence and utter darkness, the star-studded sky seems endless. The lodge’s setting provides an authentic taste of Mongolian culture where often, Nomadic herders stop by to visit and revel with guests. The Three Camel Lodge combines adventure, sophistication and traditional Mongolian hospitality to create the ultimate adventure travel experience with the stunning setting of the Gobi Desert.