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Affordable luxury on Kenya's south coast

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Space 3,444 sq. ft.
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

2 double bedrooms w/ en-suite bathrooms plus 1 double and 2 single beds upstairs

Topi Villa is just a ten-minute walk from 12 kilometres of glorious Indian Ocean beach. The house stands in a secure gated compound containing no other houses, within a larger gated development. The house has a 0.4-acre mature tropical garden with a large totally private swimming pool, a poolside bar, and a shady veranda with sofas, armchairs, and a dining area.

The price shown on the right is an all-inclusive price, covering accommodation, use of all facilities, staff time, electricity, etc. You provide your own food; you can then cook the meals yourself, or Matano, the very talented cook/housekeeper, will be happy to cook up to two meals per day for you.

The accommodation downstairs comprises two main bedrooms (each with a double bed, a day bed and its own large bathroom), plus a big modern fully-equipped kitchen, pantry, laundry room, hallway and guest bathroom. Upstairs there is a huge open-plan area with a double bed, two single beds, a lounge with satellite TV and DVD player, a bathroom, and a balcony that can be used as a work area or as an additional lounge area. The villa will sleep 3 couples plus two singles. One bedroom has air conditioning, and there are two ceiling fans and several movable floor fans. Even without these, all the rooms remain relatively cool in the hottest weather due to the thatched roof and the sea breezes. You can contact the owner via this site, or directly by email to

Topi Villa offers three main forms of holiday activity. First, leisurely poolside living, perfect for the youngest child to the oldest adult. Second, walking, jogging, swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, kite-surfing, dhow trips, and of course eating and drinking on and next to Galu Beach and the adjoining Diani beach, which between them provide 12 kilometres of continuous and stunning white coral sand and palm trees. And third, 'safari' visits of one to four days to Kenya's national parks for game viewing. Shimba Hills national park and elephant sanctuary are a one-hour drive away; Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks are a 3-hours’ drive; and Masai Mara national park is served daily by light aircraft. Leisure Lodge Club (an 18 hole, par 72 golf course) is just 15 minutes away by car, and visitors are welcomed. See

The house comes with a complete set of high quality furnishings, appliances and kitchenware, plentiful bed linens, a TV with satellite feed, a DVD player, a wireless internet router, a safe, and an extensive library of books and DVDs.

The house has a large private pool (10x6 metres, 2.2 metres deep) with a poolside bar, a poolside shower, and seven sunbeds. The pool has gentle steps in rather than a ladder.

All of this comes within a well-maintained 0.4-acre mature tropical garden with grass, flowers, vegetables, and trees producing coconuts, limes, papayas and more. We never tire of watching the colourful birds eating the birdseed we put out near the dining area.

There is parking space for three cars (one shaded) and staff quarters for one. The house stands in a secure gated compound containing no other houses, within a larger gated development.

Topi Villa has three excellent and totally dependable staff: Matano, the cook/housekeeper (who is a professionally trained cook); Wicky, who looks after the pool and garden; and Emmanuel, the night guard. The first two have been with the house for over a decade, and Emmanuel for about three years.

Topi Villa is 35 km South of Mombasa. Within a 15 minute drive from the house you can reach several supermarkets, multiple restaurants and beach-side bars, Diani (Ukunda) Airfield for direct flights to Nairobi, Mombasa and national parks, and more.

Many airlines fly from Europe to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). At least two fly from JKIA to Mombasa. (See and Two fly from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to Diani (Ukunda) Airfield. (See and And one, Jambo Jet, flies at discount prices from JKIA to Diani/Ukunda. In addition, nonstop scheduled and charter flights are available from Europe to Mombasa.

Taxi to Topi Villa from Mombasa Airport or Diani (Ukunda) Airfield can easily be arranged. Public minibuses, very inexpensive three-wheeled tuk-tuks and and car rentals are also available.

Free advice is available on local services and travel options, either by email before arrival from the owner, or in person after arrival from our local agent, Anke Wulff, who speaks English and German. Upon request, Anke can do a supermarket run to buy food and drink for you before you arrive, and can arrange a taxi to meet you at Mombasa airport or Diani (Ukunda) airfield. Anke will also visit you at the house when you arrive or shortly afterwards, and will happily show you the neighbourhood and answer your questions at any time.

Matano, our excellent cook and housekeeper, speaks fluent English, and both adult and children guests always find him very friendly. One client wrote to say, “The villa and surroundings are stunning, but it was Matano and the way he looked after us all so well that made our holiday so special.”

A washing machine is provided, and Matano will do your laundry.

The owners are Bernard Rivers (UK citizen) and Karen Rothmyer Rivers (US citizen). We retired in 2012 after working for many years in Kenya, and we have divided our time between Topi Villa and the USA. The best way to reach us is by emailing Bernard at If you prefer to phone or text, Bernard’s mobile number is +1-518-821-6706; any voice mail message will be automatically forwarded to Bernard by email, and he will reply promptly from wherever he is at the time.

We've written a memo containing detailed additional information about the house and neighbourhood. This is intended primarily for people who have made bookings, but if you like we'll be happy to send it to you before you make your decision. To request it, send an email to the address in the previous paragraph.

For a great satellite view of house and beach, see,39.55975,1027m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0. The house is immediately below the pointer.

More Details

Bernard Rivers and Karen Rothmyer Rivers
Member since: 2006
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 25, 2017


Galu Beach Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa (detached)
  • Catering available
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 3444 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • pets not allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Filtered Water
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Mobile Phone
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Safe
  • Security System
  • Sunbed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Cooler
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , en suite.
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , en suite.
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , upstairs, for use by those sleeping in upper gallery.
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , located off the downstairs hall, for use by all
  • The bathroom for Bedroom 1 is particularly spacious.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , 1 sleep sofa /futon , A/C, en suite bathroom.
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon , fan, en suite bathroom.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 king , 2 twin/ single , in upper gallery. En suite bathroom.
  • All beds and the TV area upstairs have their own fitted mosquito nets, and fans are provided in each room. Air conditioning is provided in Bedroom 1, but the entire house is relatively cool thanks to the thatched roof and the coastal breezes that maintain inside temperature between 25 and 29 degrees centigrade at the hottest time of the year.
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Golf ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • Terrace
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • 8 garden chairs
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • Staff
  • reefs
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • paragliding
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(11 traveler reviews)

Affordable luxury on Kenya's south coast
average rating of 4.909091 based on 11 reviews

Amazing Experience! Couldn't of been better!

  • 5 of 5

The place looked way better than the pictures! So beautiful, The garden was well looked after by Wicky who was a very lovely man who also made sure there are fresh flowers in vases around the house! The pool was lovely, warm and was cleaned every morning. Matano was an amazing host, He knew when to interact and when to allow time for privacy. Matano was very helpful and hard working, He cleaned every day, cooked, did our laundry and made sure the bed was prepared, the mosquito nets were laid and the room was cool every single night before bedtime. We couldn't of asked for a better host! Would definitely stay here again. Pure luxury without losing the touch of the african roots :)

  • Submitted: Mar 27, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Lovely memories

  • 4 of 5

It is a lovely house with all facilities needed. We have many memorable moments from late night small talks on the terrace or floating in the pool looking at the stars to Matanos delicious cooking. The staff was taking very good care of us, enabling us to celebrate a merged Swedish and Kenyan Christmas. We hope to be back soon.

  • Submitted: Jan 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Absolutely Perfect

  • 5 of 5

The property was every bit as beautiful as the photos suggest, if anything they don't do it justice! We spent our honeymoon here, and our first few days at Topi were bliss, relaxing by the pool and enjoying fresh local seafood cooked by Matano, the housekeeper.

Both Matano and Wycliffu were absolutely brilliant, and looked after both us and the villa beautifully. Matano in particular was always able to help out with local knowledge in addition to cooking some of the best lunches and breakfasts we've had, but was also very unobtrusive when we just wanted to relax.

The surrounding area is great, the beach is fantastic though we spent only a little while there - we enjoyed relaxing in the house too much! There's also plenty good places to eat - Sails and Ali Barbour's Cave were both fantastic for dinner. We also recommend going snorkeling on the reef, and going on safari of course - we went with DM Tours and had an wonderful time.

The house itself was big and surprisingly cool even when the day was hot, though not too chilly at night (we went in September). We used one of the two large downstairs bedrooms, which was very nicely set up and had a palatial en suite shower room. The other bedroom was similar, and then the upstairs area could have slept quite a few more. We just used the TV area upstairs, which is conveniently mosquito netted for relaxing of an evening.

The shady area by the pool has both a nice dining table and some comfy sofas, and is a pleasant place to spend the whole day - reading, eating or having a break between swims. The furniture is lovely, and it's very thoughtfully laid out.

We would recommend this villa to anyone looking for somewhere nice to stay in Kenya, and we very much hope to come back sometime in the future!

  • Submitted: Nov 9, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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Exquisite house, glorious beach, and lovely staff!

  • 5 of 5

The combination of a truly luxurious and exquisitely (though unfussily) furnished and decorated house, a short and delightful walk to a truly spectacular beach, and two wonderfully warm and welcoming staff (Matano and Wycliff) made this a perfect holiday for us. In fact, given the reasonable rental prices and the convenience of Diani and the south coast, Topi is an incredible holiday bargain and gem. Nothing marred out stay, and I would encourage prospective visitors not to be put off by any concerns about safety etc. Perfect for a family or a romance....

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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Absolutely Outstanding

  • 5 of 5

What can say about Topi? Well we had the most amazing holiday here, everything was just perfect, from the location, the villa itself & of course the amazing staff (BIG BIG thank-you to Matano), also in Bernard we had great point of contact and supplied outstanding info. Overall quite simply one of the best vacations i've ever had and can't recommend it highly enough, but i will say that it was so good i'm going back, only next time bringing my folks from the u.k. for a nice winter break in the new year!!

  • Submitted: May 31, 2012
  • Stayed: Apr 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
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It could not have been better...

  • 5 of 5

Our stay at Topi Villa was better than words could describe.The place is decorated to very high standards while at the same time very comfortable and accommodating to different people's needs.Bernard made the booking and payment process very straightforward with fast and reliable communication and convenient payment options, while also offering advice and tips on Diani.

There was absolutely no need to leave the Villa if not for food shopping and to take the children to the beach on the last day of our stay. The place is ideal and caters for everyone's needs. Matano the chef/housekeeper was a Godsend and the jewel to the crown that is Topi Villa. He is most courteous, helpful and genuinely happy to help out in whichever way he can.

Everyday was an experience, the kids spent most of the time in the pool, and grudgingly came out between 12 and 3 when the sun was too hot, while the adults lounged in the outside sitting area or at the bar. We enjoyed the evenings in the upstairs sitting area, watching movies, while a cool breeze blew through the house.

Our stay came to an end much too quickly and we are happily recommending Topi Villa to all our friends, while definitely planning a return visit. A very big thank you to everyone involved in making Topi Villa what it is, Bernard, Karen, Anke, Matano and Wycliffe..

  • Submitted: Apr 23, 2012
  • Stayed: Mar 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
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5 0


Nearest Airport
10 Kilometres
Ukunda/Diani Airfield
Nearest Golf
10 Kilometres
Diani Leisure Lodge
Nearest Train
35 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
600 Metres
Nearest Beach
600 Metres
Galu Beach (a continuation of Diani Beach)
Car: not necessary

Topi Villa is located just 10 kms (10-15 minutes' drive) from Diani (Ukunda) Airfield. It's also 35 kms south of Mombasa Airport (approximately 90 minutes' drive, including ferry time). Taxi from either is easily arranged. Flights from Europe to both destinations are available with a change in Nairobi.

Galu Beach is a leisurely 10 minutes' walk away - a stunning white coral sand beach with a live coral reef 400m offshore. Galu Beach is a continuation south of Diani Beach, the main tourist destination on the coast south of Mombasa. The Galu and Diani beach tourist areas have a good choice of restaurants and beach bars and many of the major hotels welcome non-resident diners. The National Parks of Tsavo East and West are a 3 hour drive away, and the Shimba Hills park and elephant sanctuary are a 1 hour drive away. Mombasa 'old town' (a heritage site) is one hour away by car.

For a great satellite view of house and beach, see,39.55975,1027m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0. The house is immediately below the pointer.


Rates & Availability

Galu Beach Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Low season 2017
May 1 2017 - Jun 30 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Pre-Christmas 2017
Dec 15 2017 - Dec 21 2017
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Christmas 2017
Dec 22 2017 - Jan 4 2018
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Post-New Year 2018
Jan 5 2018 - Jan 14 2018
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Easter 2018
Mar 24 2018 - Apr 8 2018
5 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Low season 2018
May 1 2018 - Jun 30 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Rates quoted cover the cost of renting the entire house and pool, including staff. (But there is an additional charge for parties of more than six people.)

Multi-month rental rates are available by negotiation.

A 50% deposit is payable upon signing a simple contract. The balance must be received by one month prior to arrival. The rental can start on any day of the week. Payment can be made by bank transfer in US dollars, UK pounds, Euros or Kenya shillings.

Rates and availability after 1 April 2017 have not yet been determined.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

Enter dates for accurate pricing


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