Travelling north along the misty salt and sand road of the Skeleton Coast prepare yourself to encounter the cozy little coastal town of Henties Bay. Usually calm and peaceful providing homes for retirees, the little town comes to life on holidays and is a favorite amongst local holiday makers.
The town, much like the inhabitants that reside and vacation there, portrays a great deal of character. Many of the homeowners have a somewhat quirky tradition in which they name their houses and post the house’s name outside for everyone to view. Some of them are warm and welcoming like happiness, Rus ‘n Biki (Rest a little bit) and koelnkalm (cool and calm). Some are really well thought out and make the use of puns like Knot-4-Sale and Seaduced. The favorites though are the ones with a real Afrikaans sense of humor or charm that will bring a smile to your face when you take a stroll past their house. Some of these include Hie’s Oupa Baas (Here Grandpa is the boss), Ek dink nog… (I’m still thinking…) and Wat kyk jy (What are you looking at).
Well renowned for its angling and fishing competitions Henties Bay attracts thousands of people from Namibia, South Africa and even abroad every August with its famous Visfees or Fish Festival. It’s quite a lively event with fishing competitions, stalls and famous Afrikaans musicians that are invited to perform every year. Join in the fun in August or other school holidays, especially December, when a usually quiet town buzzes with excitement and anticipation as people flood the town for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. During this time Henties Bay presents a charming Christmas market and the ever-growing annual touch rugby tournament playfully nicknamed ‘Touchies’. Come over and join a team to play rugby on the beach or just join the sunbathers and take a dip in the cold sea when the sun heats up as it does at this time of year. There is always an abundance of tasty food and drinks and heaps of games and entertainment.
For those looking for the calm away from the storm, Henties Bay proves to be quite a quaint little town the rest of the year and is the only town on the National West Coast Recreation Area of Namibia. Just nearby are the areas of Jakkalsputz and the Omaruru riverbed which provide great areas for hiking. Home to some unique wildlife you are bound to see a black backed jackal or even the endangered large green sea turtle in the north. The Damara Tern is a rare and conserved seabird you can have the privilege of sighting. Always take your water bottle with on your walks and if you see some sensitive lichens sprinkle them with water and watch as their colourful components wondrously change position.
Henties Bay invites the golf lovers with a 9-hole golf course build in the Valley which is an old Omaruru delta sand bed. It makes for a fun day and a bit of a challenge to keep the ball on the green grass islands while surrounded by well-kept trees and greenery and the sound of the crashing waves nearby. 4×4 enthusiasts as well as quad bikers have a wild terrain to enjoy provided they don’t damage the delicate natural environment. One the biggest lures of Henties Bay is the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. You can camp on beach and light a fire to enjoy a traditional southern African barbeque called a braai. The people are welcoming and friendly and it won’t take you long to have a chat with someone over a beer, a fishing rod or swim in the sea.