The town of Mambrui is located on the Indian Ocean only eleven Kilometres north of Malindi. The Portuguese knew this town as Quilimanci, but they left little information about it. Mambrui was probably sacked by the Galla in the Seventeenth Century and not resettled until about 1861 when the Arabs from Lamu refounded the Town.

golden beaches of Mambrui
Golden beaches of Mambrui

History of Mambrui

By 1866, Mambrui had already become of one the most important Coast towns. During his visits in 1887, Le Roy wrote of large cultivated fields that extended for many Kilometres around the town. He was also struck by the many cattle he saw in the town itself. Until Today, this is the most distinctive characteristic of Mambrui. Descendants of Arab keep cattle in the outskirts of the town (the Giryama rarely keep large herds of cattle).

One of the major links between Mambrui and Malindi was the formers supplying milk to the people Malindi. Because of the tsetse fly, no cattle could be kept in Malindi. There was a great demand for fresh milk, especially among the Arabs and Indian communities. Since the path to Malindi was very poor, the milk was transported by persons walking down the beach at low tide. After 1920 motor vehicles regularly ran between Mombasa and Malindi, but the Mambrui area was cut off from motor transport because there was no bridge across the Sabaki River.

When a bridge was finally built and the coast road improved for traffic by 1933, the town of Mambrui did not increase in importance, as one might have expected; rather its economy began to slow downhill turn. The Indians began leaving: they were twenty-six in 1932, twenty-two in 1936 and by 1968 there was only one.

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