Selena Travel

3 Best Ger Camps in the Gobi Desert

Posted by Selena Travel / 07 19, 2024

A ger camp, also known as a yurt camp, is a type of accommodation commonly found in Mongolia and other parts of Central Asia. Gers are traditional portable dwellings used by nomadic peoples in the region for centuries. These round, felt-covered tents are typically constructed with wooden frames and are designed to be easily dismantled and transported.

A ger camp consists of several gers arranged in a campsite setting. Each ger serves as a guest accommodation, providing a cozy and comfortable space for travelers to stay. Staying in a ger camp offers travelers a unique opportunity to experience traditional Mongolian hospitality and immerse themselves in the nomadic way of life.  Ger camps vary in size and amenities, ranging from basic setups with shared facilities to more luxurious options with private bathrooms and additional services. They typically have a stove in the middle and a couple cozy beds inside. You can look up at the sky through a window in the top while you’re cozy in bed. They rarely have a bathroom inside, though, so late-night bathroom trips will require you to leave your cozy ger.

Inside a standard ger in ger camp

Photo: the traditional interior of a standard ger (a private Ger equals as a room) at Heaven Envoy ger camp in Terelj National Park.

In the countryside, ger camps typically offer two types of gers for clients: "standard ger" and "Ensuite ger." A standard ger refers to a ger camp (tent/yurt) with shared but clean Western-style bathrooms and showers located in a separate building from the ger itself. Some ger camps provide ensuite gers at an extra cost, where the facilities are attached directly to the ger, eliminating the need to go to another building. It's important to note that most ger camps do not offer double bed gers; instead, they usually feature 2-4 queen-size beds per ger.

Inside the en-suite ger at a ger camp

Photo: Ensuite ger at Gobi Mirage ger camp, featuring a cozy bed and attached bathroom.

The Gobi Desert stands as one of the most captivating regions within Mongolia. Optimal times for visiting Mongolia include the summer months spanning from June to Late September, where you can really experience the Mongolian Gobi Desert. 

The vast dunes spreading out around you will put you in awe. Seeing the life that can survive in the harsh environment is exciting, and there are several natural features to visit. There are also fossils and tours where you can see where dinosaur eggs were first found!

Choosing a ger camp can be difficult though. Each year there are more to choose from in the Gobi region. Here are three of the top choices for staying in a ger camp in the Gobi Desert.

Gobi Mirage Lodge

Established in 2005 by a local couple, "Gobi Mirage" tourist camp boasts over a decade of experience in guiding travelers through the enigmatic landscapes of the Gobi Desert. Renowned as one of the best-managed and most comfortable ger camps in the region.  Offering buffet-style meals for both dinner and breakfast, including options for vegetarians, it ensures ample selection for all guests. 

Situated conveniently within an hour's drive from the main attractions of the Gobi and the local airport, it provides easy access for visitors. Committed to sustainability, the camp adheres to environmentally and culturally responsible practices in its power, energy, water, and waste management operations.

Gobi Mirage ger camp in Gobi desert Mongolia

The camp has been recognized as the best tourism organization of 2006, 2008 in South Gobi province, whereas in 2009 it was chosen as the best tourist camp by the Mongolian Tourism Association. 

Each Standard ger is crafted from sheep wool and wood, providing an authentic experience of the nomadic way of life. Gobi Mirage Lodge provides 24-hour electricity and hot rain showers for guests' convenience. The restaurant serves a blend of traditional Mongolian dishes and modern cuisine. 

Gobi Erdene Camp

Located further south in the Gobi Desert, Gobi Erdene Camp stands out for its unique combination of traditional gers and modern log cabins. This well-appointed and comfortable camp offers a refuge from the spring sandstorms that occasionally sweep through the area. 

Visitors praise the excellent view of the sand dunes and are intrigued by the dining area, which features tables crafted from massive logs. Ample outdoor space allows guests to relax and admire the starry sky. Gobi Erdene Camp serves as an ideal base for exploring the wonders of the Gobi Desert.

Gobi Nomad Lodge

Situated in the Southern Gobi Desert, the Gobi Nomad Lodge offers some of the largest gers available for tourists in Mongolia, making it one of the most luxurious ger camps in the region. Each ger is equipped with a private attached bathroom, and the air conditioners provide both heating and cooling, ensuring comfort throughout all seasons. Additionally, the lodge provides props for unique photo shoots, perfect for capturing memorable moments to share on social media. 

While amenities include a small gift shop, it's worth noting that alcohol prices may be slightly higher compared to other ger camps. Visitors should also come prepared with water due to the camp's remote location. However, this remoteness makes it an excellent base for exploring attractions such as the Gol Valley and the Flaming Cliffs.

Nomadic Families and guest houses in Gobi Desert

Nestled within the expansive stretches of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia lies a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the authentic hospitality of nomadic families. While there may be a scarcity of traditional ger camps in the Gobi, families in the region offer an alternative, inviting guests to stay with them and immerse themselves in the nomadic way of life.

These nomadic families often provide accommodations in a spare ger, a traditional felt-covered dwelling typically used for various purposes by nomadic peoples. These gers, equipped with 4-5 beds, offer travelers a comfortable yet rustic setting to rest and rejuvenate amidst the desert landscape. Facilities are basic, reflecting the simplicity of nomadic life, with no running water and certainly no en-suite bathrooms.

Despite the lack of modern amenities, guests find warmth and hospitality in the welcoming embrace of their nomadic hosts. Meals are typically prepared using locally-sourced ingredients and cooked over an open fire, offering a taste of authentic Mongolian cuisine. Evenings are spent gathered around the hearth, sharing stories, songs, and laughter under the vast expanse of the desert sky.

Any of these ger camps offer an excellent opportunity to experience Mongolia authentically. Visitors have the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture and, if fortunate, indulge in seasonal traditional Mongolian cuisine. 

Certainly, embarking on Gobi Desert Tours allows you to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Mongolian desert firsthand—a truly unforgettable experience.

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