OwnersDirect uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
OwnersDirect uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit

Affordable luxury on Kenya's south coast

Bedrooms 3
Separate WC's1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


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 Bernard.Rivers@Gmail.com.

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 www.golfinginkenya.com/primary/introduction.htm.

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 www.kenya-airways.com and www.fly540.com.) Two fly from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to Diani (Ukunda) Airfield. (See www.flysafarilink.com and www.airkenya.com.) 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 bernard.rivers@gmail.com. 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 https://www.google.com/maps/place/4%C2%B021%2715.9%22S+39%C2%B033%2721.9%22E/@-4.35471,39.55975,1027m/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 a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
14 February, 2017


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(10 traveller reviews)


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.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 24, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

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!

  • Review Submitted: Nov 9, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

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....

  • Review Submitted: Sep 9, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

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!!

  • Review Submitted: May 31, 2012
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

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..

  • Review Submitted: Apr 23, 2012
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
5 0

Topi Villa is just supreme!

  • 5 of 5

My boyfriend Oisin and I stayed at Topi Villa for the first week in April 2011. We were looking for somewhere by Diani Beach that would give us some wind-down relaxation, before heading off on safari in week two.

Having never been to Kenya before, we were looking for four main things from our week at the beach.

1. Be close to beach.

2. Live in beautiful surroundings to completely unwind.

3. Opportunity for exploration!

4. Feel safe.

Topi Villa was our perfect choice on ALL counts.

The booking was very straightforward. Bernard quickly turned around contracts, sent us some really useful information (directions, house info, things to do) and made sure we had transport from the airport.

Driving ourselves from the airport with a google map and Bernards instructions had us there in 40 mins without a single wrong turn!

What followed was a week of amazing evenings of playing in our pool, drinking champagne with gold flakes, watching movies, exploring the towns south of Diani, enjoying the cheapest fillet steak and langoustines in town and chilling out on the paradise beaches....

The staff were wonderful – Matano is an amazing cook and his always-cheerful manner and warm, open conversations were endlessly entertaining. We enjoyed delicious eggs in the mornings, steak, salads and langoustines in the afternoons, and in the evenings we enjoyed champagne by candle-light out by the pool, chatting and laughing all night long.

The three bedrooms are all very authentically African rooms, with heavy dark wood finishings and wooden crafts – really beautiful.

And the people of Diani are all so friendly! I was amazed and delighted by their warmth, chattiness and welcomes everywhere we went.

This is a wonderful place. Our week went far too quickly and I would absolutely love to be going back. AND if I was going back I would definitely stay in Topi Villa again – it’s a perfect place to be.

Huge thank you to Matano, Wicky and Bernard!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 18, 2011
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0



Prices & Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Easter 2017
9 Apr 2017 - 23 Apr 2017
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest
Low season
1 May 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest
Pre-Christmas 2017
15 Dec 2017 - 21 Dec 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest
Christmas 2017
22 Dec 2017 - 4 Jan 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest
Post-New Year 2018
5 Jan 2018 - 14 Jan 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £12 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

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
Available arrival


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Galu Beach in Africa

Property Type:
  • villa (detached)
  • Catering available
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 320 m²
Location Type:
  • near the sea
  • 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 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , en suite.
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , en suite.
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , upstairs, for use by those sleeping in upper gallery.
    Bathroom 4 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , located off the downstairs hall, for use by all
  • The bathroom for Bedroom 1 is particularly spacious.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 1 Sofa bed/Futon , A/C, en suite bathroom.
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed , 1 Sofa bed/Futon , fan, en suite bathroom.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , 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 - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Golf ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Garden
  • Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • Terrace
  • veranda
  • 8 garden chairs
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • 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
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing

Partner Offers

Partner Offers

Portable wifi hotspot