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The allure of the dunes and the buried treasures

By | Oct 27th 2010 | 2 min read

By Patrick Beja

Mambrui is an ancient Arabic-style seaside town located about 15 kilometres North of Malindi town.

To access the tiny fishing village, one drives over the Sabaki Bridge on the Malindi-Lamu Road.

The serene village is fronted by a beach between the river Sabaki and the Ngomeni salt mines.

Next to the village lies a popular destination, with tourists enjoying the long beach lined with palms.

As one drives along the main road, a cluster of makuti-thatched cottages stand out in the popular tourist resort.

It is believed that many visitors to East Africa were in touch with Mambrui, including the Arabs in the 18th century, who influenced the local architecture and culture.

The village is dotted with many big mosques, some of them dating many years back.

The roaring ocean and the high sand dunes make Mambrui an amazingly beautiful village.

Villager Salim Duhmu explains that Mambrui has existed over the years because it has a permanent source of fresh water.

"We are close to the sea but boreholes in the village produce fresh drinking water.

Apart from Mambrui being a tourist and fishing village, residents also practice farming.

The villagers believe Mambrui’s close proximity to the Sabaki River could be reason for boreholes to yield sweet water.

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK), which gazetted the Shella sand dunes in Lamu as a monument explains that the sand mountains there also hold fresh water.

NMK official Athman Hussein says Takwa on Manda Island in Lamu and Gede in Malindi were abandoned as settlements many years back after they ran out of fresh water.

The Mambrui sand dunes stretch from Ngomeni to the Northeast, to the mouth of River Sabaki to the South.

The tall and clean features hug the sea and visitors find them alluring.




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