An underlying requirement for anyone involved with our companies, whether staff, suppliers, or trip leaders, is a respect and genuine love for the world and its preservation. In all of our adventures with clients, we strive for sustainable practices that leave communities and the environment in which we travel whole. We love what we accomplish together, and we want you to as well.
Our approach to business includes extended exchange programs for our employees, ensuring that each member of our team is aware of the expectations of our clients as well as having an understanding of the spirit and way of life of the cultures we are visiting. With second languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, our trip leaders and guides – an entirely Mongolian staff – are proud of their heritage and culture and are dedicated to providing the best experience possible.
Taking into account the nature of “adventure,” our trip leaders have the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that may arise spontaneously and are attuned to the interests and needs of individual travelers. You can be assured of a blend of personal attention and professionalism.
We hope you enjoy your experience with us!
Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder and CEO
A pioneer in environmental conservation through for-profit sustainable tourism initiatives, Jalsa Urubshurow’s story began in 1952 when his parents immigrated to the US after a seemingly endless search for safe haven from Stalinist persecution in Russia. Born on the other side of the world from his ancestral heritage, Jalsa grew up speaking Mongolian and listening to the legends his father recited to him. Jalsa fought his way toward a hugely successful career as a carpenter. One year after the establishment of his framing business, All•tech, Mongolia transitioned to democracy and Jalsa’s dream of visiting his father’s homeland became a reality. During his first exploration of Mongolia’s astounding beauty, the nation’s first democratically elected Prime Minister, His Excellency Dash Byambasuren, recruited him to advise on expanding accessibility to Western travelers. Jalsa eagerly took up the challenge, and Nomadic Expeditions became a full-fledged operation in 1992. In the two decades since its inauguration, Nomadic Expeditions has developed into the premier tour operator for the region and a strong force within the sustainable tourism sector.
Jalsa’s continued exploration of Mongolia, especially now through the eyes of his son, have brought him great joy and an enduring desire to engage others personally in initiating and developing sustainable practices wherever they travel. A co-founder of the North America-Mongolia Business Council (NAMBC), a non-profit organization comprised of the CEOs of American and Canadian corporations active in Mongolia, Jalsa and his colleagues are dedicated to expanding bilateral economic, investment and trade relations between Mongolia and North America. He also serves on the board for the Bodhi Tree Foundation, and continues to support numerous charities and nonprofits around the world.
Undraa Buyannemekh, Executive Director
Undraa is Nomadic Expeditions’ Executive Director, a frequent traveler between our NJ and Mongolia offices. An expert in marketing initiatives, educational affinity group travel programs and special programs, Undraa earned her bachelor’s degree from Urals State University in Russia and holds an MA in International Relations from California State University, Sacramento, USA. Undraa has traveled extensively throughout North America, Asia and Europe, developing and managing custom trips for leading nonprofit and for-profit organizations and individual travelers worldwide. Her passions include adventure travel, sustainable tourism, and a commitment to the environmental conservation and cultural preservation of Mongolia. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, photography and playing tennis.
Sanjay Saxena, Director of Operations
Sanjay Saxena was born in New Delhi, India. The son of a Brigadier General in the Indian Army, Sanjay has lived all over India and traveled extensively across Asia. He began mountaineering and rock climbing in the high Himalaya at age fifteen, after successfully completing mountaineering courses from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, India.
A professional guide since 1979, Sanjay has led numerous groups trekking, climbing, touring and on safaris to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar/Burma, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Venezuela, Peru, Iran, and of course throughout his home country of India.
Sanjay’s deep, insider’s knowledge of his homeland together with his talent for creating unique itineraries to traditional and remote destinations, make him one of the travel world’s top-ranking India and Tibet specialists. Since 2003, he has received Conde Nast’s “Top Travel Specialist” award for his exemplary work in South Asia, specifically India, Tibet, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In September 2014, Sanjay was also chosen to be on the “WOW” List by WendyPerrin.com.
In February 2014, Sanjay was named one of the 51 Honorees at the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion,” honored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Sanjay was selected as one of the 2014 Honoree for his longtime commitment to involving and empowering local communities in the travel destinations he showcases.
Nikhita Ambre, Expeditions Manager
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Nikhita studied Hotel Management & Catering Technology and has since spent 10 years in the travel and tourism industry with a main focus on leisure trips, international trade fairs and luxury train travel in India, South Africa and Spain. Her travel adventures began at the young age of 7 on a journey to northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir, where she experienced sleeping on a houseboat and riding a shikara – a type of gondola colorfully decorated with fresh flower petals and large open air sitting quarters. Having now traveled extensively throughout India, New Zealand, North America, Hawaii, Scotland and Mongolia, Nikhita is always learning new things about different cultures, people, food and history. She is excited to continue her travels, explore new destinations, and help others plan their dream vacations.
Anand Munkhuu, Program Director
A native Mongolian fluent in English and Korean, Anand attended high school in Manhattan while his father worked at the Mongolian Mission to the United Nations. Subsequently he earned a Bachelor of Accounting from the Institute of Finance and Economics (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) and a Bachelor of Arts from Ulaanbaatar University. He specialized in teaching and interpreting the Korean language during his studies at Ulaanbaatar University, and continues this mentorship-focused attitude in his current vocations: founder of a consulting firm and Program Director for Nomadic Expeditions. His professional expertise covers over 15 years in the Mongolian tourism industry. His specialties in leading expeditions include field experience conducting trips of a paleontological, archaeological and historical nature, kayaking, eagle hunting, hiking, horse riding, and camel riding. In his spare time, Anand enjoys martial arts, soccer, judo, running and practicing yoga.
Buyandelger Ganbaatar, Active Adventures Manager
Buyandelger was born in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and spent his childhood living with his grandparents amongst the livestock and wilderness of Uvurkhangai province in Central Mongolia. Riding horses and herding sheep or cattle was an everyday occurrence for him, and the nomadic lifestyle of the wilderness became a routine that Buya could not live without. Buya’s dreams turned toward tour guiding and the travel industry. After studying Tourism Management at the Mongolian University of Humanities, he started his career at Nomadic Expeditions as a waiter at the company’s premier Gobi Desert ecolodge, Three Camel Lodge. In 2011, he participated in the Tourism Competition of Mongolia, known as the Young Tourism Pro, and won first place. After a number of years guiding, Buya now works from our Ulaanbaatar office as travel manager, helping to ensure the quality of our programs.
Nancy DePalma, Marketing and Communications Manager
Nancy is the marketing and communications manager in our New Jersey office. Nancy is a seasoned travel writer and has written or contributed to over 35 guidebooks, as well as numerous print and online publications. She brings her expertise in luxury consumer travel to Nomadic Expeditions by writing the monthly newsletter, blogs, and creating other marketing materials. She graduated from Lafayette College with a double major in English and Political Science.
Neil Atkinson, Expedition Specialist
Neil is an expedition specialist who helps create memorable and formative experiences for our clients from our New Jersey office. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, he completed his BA in Geography at Hunter College. His passion for travel began when he studied abroad in Prague and Amman. He began his career in luxury tourism in New York City before accepting a fellowship with Princeton in Asia, where he taught geography in Singapore. Exploring the region on weekends and holidays, Neil developed a deep and profound love for Asia. He spent six months traveling across Asia and Europe after his fellowship. It was on this trip that he first visited Mongolia. Neil enjoys running and dancing to R&B music in his free time.
Bolorchimeg Soronzonbold, Reservations Manager
Bolorchimeg is the reservations manager in our Ulaanbaatar office. Bolorchimeg began working for Nomadic Expeditions in 2014 after graduation from the University of Humanities with a degree in tourism and hotel management. She is fluent in French and also spent a year at Sejong University studying Korean. Travel is a particular passion for Bolorchimeg, who hopes to travel around the world. Outside of the office, she enjoys reading and playing the piano.
Badmaarag Itgel, Head Accountant
Badmaarag is the head accountant in Ulaanbaatar. She is particularly fond of the South Gobi, as her father is a native of the region. Her strong family link to the region also includes her grandfather, who led a camel caravan during his lifetime.
Bolortuya Araanz , Assistant Accountant
Bolortuya is the assistant accountant in the Ulaanbaatar office. Born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Bolortuya has a Bachelor of Arts from Mongolian State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, meeting new people, and nature walks.