General Information

Nature Conservation

The Henties Bay environs and the surrounding desert offer an attractive and diversified natural environment with many sites of interest such as outstretched beaches, sensitive lichen fields and a wide variety of desert plants. Interesting geological phenomena and archaeological sites attract more and more visitors every year, which contributes to tourism development in Henties Bay.

We welcome all visitors to our beautiful area and invite you to share its riches, but we also appeal to you to help us protect this sensitive area in order to enjoy it for years to come and to preserve its pristine beauty for many generations.

Quad Bikes

Quad bikes provide its riders with a lot of fun but it can have hazardous consequences on our natural environment if not used responsibly. When riding on the beach, please take other people in consideration and be on the lookout for children and pets!

Quad bikes are NOT allowed on the beach and dunes in front of the residential areas. Areas  designated for the use of quad bikes: The beach south of Henties Bay and 5 KM in the Omaruru River. Please note that quad bikes are not allowed in or in front of the Jakkalsputz Camp site.


The West Coast Recreation Area has a highly sensitive soil surface due to a very brittle gypsum crust and extremely sensitive lichen fields.

The lichens grow on the gypsum plains, which are made up of long translucent crystals that break up easily when cars or quad bikes drive over it. It may take up to 100 years for the gypsum to form again and the lichens to recover. Besides that, lichens are extremely slow growing – no regeneration may be noted in 40 years. Therefore destruction of the lichens leaves a long-lasting scar.

Carelessly laid tracks of numerous vehicles are clearly visible all over the Namib plains and lichen fields. Please do not leave the existing tracks to venture over virgin land.

Damara Tern

The Damara Tern, one of the rarest seabirds in southern Africa is in danger of becoming extinct unless its breeding areas can be secured. It breeds exclusively along the Namibian coast in November/December, coinciding with the height of the tourist season.

This small swallow-like tern makes its nest in shallow scrapes on the ground amongst the saltbush, Arthraerua leubnitziae and various lichens, which provide an excellent camouflage for eggs and chicks. Its nesting grounds are always between the coastal road and the beach; therefore its habitat is threatened by thoughtless and reckless off-road driving.

If you leave the main road to reach the beach, please make sure that you stay on existing tracks and NEVER venture over virgin land.

Marine Resources

Make sure that you are informed about the Angling Regulations. Heavy penalties are imposed for the possession of bristle worm, angling without a permit or in prohibited areas and the possession of more than the prescribed quantities of fish. Inspectors of Sea Fisheries will accept no excuse for the violation of the Regulations. The Angling regulations are available at the Tourist Bureau.

  • Do not buy worms or undersized mussels or fish from anyone as you will then be liable for prosecution.
  • It is illegal for a recreational angler to sell his catch.
  • Fish must be cleaned at the fish cleaning facilities and not in the residential areas.


Please keep our beaches clean at all times – littering on the beach is unsightly and can be dangerous to children and wildlife.Enjoy your picnic on the beach and make sure that you leave the beach clean for the next person who wants to enjoy it again. Bring all your rests home with you where it can be discarded with your home refuse.

  • Do not leave fishing line on the beach. This is extremely dangerous to seabirds.
  • Do not leave the heads of barbel lying around. This is dangerous to people.
  • Return undersized fish and unused bait to the sea and do not feed jackals or seabirds.
  • Do not drive or angle in areas where it is prohibited.

There are some thoughtless people around (hooligans would be a good description) who think it a fun pastime to chase and run jackals down with their fancy 4×4’s. Jackals play a vital role in the desert ecology and help to keep the beaches clean from fish rests.

They should under no circumstances be disturbed.


  • Do not indulge in off-road driving on the lichen fields, gypsum plains or any other place in the desert, but stay on the existing roads and tracks.
  • Do not leave anything in the desert that does not belong there. Litter may last longer than a human’s lifespan and can be dangerous to wildlife and often cause painful deaths.
  • Do not throw cigarette butts from car windows – it can lead to enormous veld fires where grass is high and dry.
  • Do not remove any plants, stones or wood from the desert. Heavy penalties can be imposed.
  • It is of vital importance not to spray any liquids on rock paintings in order to brighten the colours. It destroys the paint.

Wild animals must please be respected and not disturbed. Elephants can be encountered in the northern regions and can be very aggressive and dangerous when disturbed. Jackals play a vital role in the desert ecology and should under no circumstances be disturbed.

Prospecting and mining rights at most of the mineral occurrences are granted to third parties and their rights should at all times be respected.

Violating the stated rules and regulations will result in irreparable damages to the environment like those documented in these picures below!