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HENTIES BAY NAMIBIA. The 'Laid Back' Holiday town and surf angling base for keen fishermen...and women


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Henties Bay Namibia

The 'Laid Back' Holiday town and surf angling base for keen fishermen...and women



If you're an angler, you'll find Henties Bay a perfect place to base from. it's nicely situated close to some popular fishing bays and holes. OK. We know it's not as good as it used to be in the 'Good Old Days', but we do know that (a) If you go at the right time, (b) if you find the 'right' place, (c) if you use the right bait, You too can catch a BIG FISH.


Henties Bay the water hole where Hentie camped

The Water-Hole where Hentie camped

Henties Bay North Dune

North Dune - Henties Bay

Henties Bay has, over the past ten years or so experienced a considerable expansion in the property market. If you haven't visited the town for some years you'll see the development has spread south-wards, and you'll notice the growth in upmarket houses. For the holiday maker there are still many well equipped holiday homes for rent at reasonable rates as well as high standard B&B's, guest houses and self catering units. The Desert Rose time-share complex on the North Dune is an old favorite.

Henties Bay is perfectly situated for visits to Cape Cross, the Messum Crater, The Branberg and Twyfelfontein.

Cape Cross

Nearby Cape Cross

Rocks Wind Etched by the Desert Winds

Wind-etched rocks

Henties Bay Accommodation

Modern Accommodation

Henties Bay Developing Town

New Housing Extensions


In the beginning: It is known that a patrol of Schutztruppe found the 'sweet' water at the mouth of the Omaruru River Delta in 1886 and camped there for the night.


In later years it was to this water hole in 1920 that an old South West minerals prospector known as Erasmus pitched his tent tasted the water (and no doubt caught a few fish) and was cured of a great affliction - the quest for those elusive alluvial diamonds that in the 'Good Old Days' were found in the rivers and along sections of the coastline of  Namibia.


In 1922 a garage owner and motor dealer from Kalkveld, Hentie van der Merwe, went on a hunting trip north of the Brandberg, where his Chevrolet truck developed an overheating problem and it was to this water hole that Henty eventually arrived and pitched his tent under the palm trees while he repaired his truck. In those far off 'Good Old Days', following a high tide, the beach, at Hentie's,  lay deep with fresh red bait, so Hentie cast out a line and caught one of those big fish that the old timers keep telling us about. Hentie must have enjoyed it, as he settled down for the rest of the week and the hunting holiday turned into a fishing holiday.


On his return inland, the word 'got out' and by the next holiday period in old 'South West'  a few farmers brought their families along, pitched their tents alongside Hentie's, made use of that sweet water hole, and they all 'hooked on some red bait and went fishing' and caught big and plenty.


Henties Bay The Early Days

It only took a few seasons of tented holidays where everybody enjoyed the coolness of the coastal summer climate, the getting together with old friends, sitting around a braai (BBQ) fire in the evenings, and of course those BIG and PLENTIFUL FISH...

A few months later the question would be asked,, "Where are you going for your holidays this time?" And the answer would be,

"To the coast, that good fishing place about fifty miles north of Swakop. You know where I mean....... Henties Bay." And that's how it all began...

General Location of Henties Bay

Etosha Region

21º 11'S 14º 28'E


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The Big Fish: OK. You've heard it all before, and no matter what generation you belong to you will always hear older folks talking of about the  'Good Old Days'. If you're a 'fisherman' you'll be subjected to stories of how plentiful and how big the fish on the Namibia coast were 'back then'. In the case of Henties Bay those tales of the 'Good Old Days' are true. This was the place where they caught them.

Who was Henty van der Merwe:

It is written that Hendrik van der Merwe  originated from the Pretoria area and  that he had fought in the 1st Boer War against the British (10 Dec 1880 to 3 Aug 1881) and in the Anglo-Boer War (11 Oct 1889 to 31 May 1902) Where he attained the rank of Kaptein. He married a young woman who was a survivor from the British concentration camp at Bethulie. Their first son was born on 21 February 1908 and was named Hendrik Jacobus Stephanus.


Hendrik senior served in the 1st World War with the Allied forces in Europe and later with the Union of South Africa forces in South West Africa with the rank of Major and was garrisoned at Grootfontein. On demobilization the van der Merwes were one of the first families of ex South African service personnel to settle in South West Africa. Hendrik, known as Hentie moved to the rich farming area of Kalkveld where he ran a garage and prosperous motor dealership. The small town of Henties Bay is named after this man.      Xmas  Henties Bay 


Road Distances from Henties Bay

Torra Bay Terrace Bay Uis Khorixas Swakopmund Windhoek
230 / 143 290 / 180 115 / 72 240 / 149 75 / 47 440 / 273


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Of Interest:   Bartholomew Diaz  sailed along this coastline in 1488. The fish were so abundant he called it "Praai das Sadhinas" The coast of the fish. He and his crew were the first people to tell the stories of this coast line and I'm sure they told their friends about...  the 'Big Fish'.

Skaamhaai is Afrikaans for 'Shy Shark', and if you're really quiet and observant, you'll find them off the coast at Henties Bay.

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Sky Diving Swakopmund with Ground Rush Adventures
Hot Air Ballooning Swakopmund with African Adventure Balloons
Living Desert Tours / Tommy's Tours half day nature excursion on the Coastal Dunes

Henties Bay

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