About 76km from Swakopmund, this windswept town is set immediately above the shore and around one stream (normally just sandy) of the River Omaruru. Overseas visitors will find little to do here, though in December and January Namibians flock here on their annual holidays, to escape the interior's heat and go fishing. If you'd like to join them, try contacting West Coast Angling Tours (tel: 064 500675) Non-fishing visitors might like to take a short wander up the Omaruru's course, though most will simply refuel here before leaving as quickly as they arrived.
While keen fishermen delight in the pronunciation of their catches – galjeon, kabeljou, steenbras and stompneus – ardent golfers can have a game at the Henties Bay Golf Course. This resides in a section of the riverbed, just near to De Duine Hotel, and doesn't suffer from a shortage of sandy bunkers. And for fit, acclimatised hikers, a new circular hiking trail of 35–40km has just been designated, taking in some of the desert scenery around the town.
Do fill up with fuel in Henties Bay if you're heading north. Fuel stations are rare further north, but there are several here: one on the main road which slightly bypasses town, and two in town itself.
If you haven't been able to stock up on food and drinks in Swakopmund, then Henties Bay does have a reasonable supermarket and a few general shops, including a couple of bottle stores, and a paint and hardware store that will rent out basic camping gear and fishing equipment. Some are centred on the Eagle Complex (location of the holiday flats), in the middle of town, but carry on up the road and you'll come to the supermarket, a couple of restaurants, and the fuel stations.
Where to stayHotel De Duine
(20 rooms) 34 Duine Rd, PO Box 1, Henties Bay; tel: 064 500001; fax: 064 500724; email: email@example.com; web: www.namibialodges.com. (Not to be confused with Die Duine, in the NamibRand Reserve.)
This reliable hotel is across the road from a steep beach and the ocean. Its owners are friendly and helpful, and if you stay a while they will go out of their way to help you organise fishing trips – especially if you don't arrive in their busy season.
The rooms have recently been refitted, and all are comfortable with direct-dial telephones and en-suite bathrooms. The restaurant is à la carte, simple but good. Some claim that Henties Bay has the world's best crayfish, so perhaps this is the place to try them out.
If you are just passing through and want a break, then breakfast is served about 8.00–10.00, lunch 12.30–14.00, and dinner usually 19.00–21.00.Die Oord Restcamp
(15 chalets) PO Box 82, Rob St, Henties Bay; tel: 064 500239/500165
This small, pleasant restcamp has fully equipped chalets for up to four or five people. Don't expect luxury, but if you want a place to sleep then it is fine.Eagle Holiday Flats
(2 chalets, 13 rooms) 175 Jakkalsputz Rd, PO Box 20, Henties Bay; tel: 064 500032; fax: 064 500299; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleholiday.com
Basic twin rooms and simple self-catering chalets, each with two bedrooms, are conveniently situated in the centre of town, part of the main shopping centre. Rooms have en-suite facilities; flats are clean, cool and a little spartan. The kitchens have microwaves, toasters and even a second freezer specifically for fish – and yet no dishcloths. Each has a TV, and bathroom with a shower.Fisherman's Lodge
(9 rooms) PO Box 200, Henties Bay; tel: 064 501111; fax: 064 501177; email: email@example.com
The bright yellow building that is Fisherman's Lodge (formerly Henties Bay Guesthouse) lies just 200m from the beach. Popular with anglers, it has a lounge, bar and restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner are available (the latter on request). Double rooms are all en suite, with minibar, TV and telephone. Public rooms and three of the bedrooms are accessible by wheelchair. Outside, secure parking is available. Deep-sea fishing, guided rock and surf angling, and dolphin- and seal-viewing trips can all be organised, along with other shore-based activities. Meals are available by arrangement.
Haus Estnic (3 rooms) Omatako St; tel: 064 500992; fax: 064 501143; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This small B&B offers well-appointed double rooms around a small courtyard with braai facilities. Each en-suite room has a fridge, hairdryer, kettle and cafetiere.
Where to eat
Close to the supermarket and petrol stations are a couple of simple restaurants. There's the Desert Sands Restaurant and Pub
Pirates Cove (tel: 064 500960), a sports bar serving steak and pizza that also offers accommodation. Behind the bank (which has a useful ATM) is the Spitzkoppe café.