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Legendary among dedicated fishermen, who flock there from all over southern Africa, Henties Bay is also the main urban gateway to the desolately beautiful Skeleton Coast.
Situated about 70 kilometres north of Swakopmund, Henties Bay is a small fishing village sustained by an isolated freshwater spring discovered there in the 1920s. The surrounding rocky beaches offer some of the finest shore-based fishing in southern Africa, making it the focal point of Namibia’s leisure-fishing industry. The surrounding coastline is studded with remote campsites catering to this specialised clientele, while the top fishing sites, which bear such colourful names as Predikantsgat (Pastor’s Hole), Bakleigat (Fight Hole) and Winston Wreck, are all signposted.
I know many fishing enthusiasts who drive a couple of thousand kilometres every year to spend their holidays at Henties Bay. And even if fishing isn't your thing, the seal colony at Cape Cross is a truly spectacular and sense-assaulting apparition!
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A popular day trip from Henties Bay runs north to Cape Cross Seal Reserve, which supports an impressive breeding colony of around 200,000 Cape fur seals. Cape Cross has some historical pedigree as the site where the Portuguese navigator Diego Cão became the first European to set foot in what is now Namibia. The namesake cross erected by Cão in 1486 is long gone, but a pair of replicas erected in 1893 and 1980 still stand there today.
Inland of Henties Bay and Cape Cross the desert scenery is spectacular, comprising tall coastal dunes and vast saltpans that attract plenty of seasonal waterbirds. Other wildlife includes springbok, gemsbok, black-backed jackal and brown hyena.
Henties Bay Map
Henties Bay's location on Google Maps