The adventure starts in 1968. Spurred on by the adventurous stories told by Belgian hunting friends, Rudolf Schulte senior sets out with his family on his first big game safari. The magnificent landscape and the friendly people stimulated the desire for a permanent domicile on the Indian Ocean coast. After making enquiries, Rudolf Schulte senior finds a 15,000 m² piece of land directly on Bamburi Beach north of Mombasa. This palm grove with its simple villa was called “Bamburi Inn”. As a person who likes socialising, he immediately built some bungalows and a 24-hour bar for his friends and named this Kenyan refuge “Severin Sea Lodge”.
Severin Sea Lodge opens as a subsidiary of the German company Severin Electric Appliances. But after a few years, the investment was not a financially viable one. A hotel business professional recommended either selling or extending the hotel. Rudolf Schulte senior decides on growth. An additional 2-storey building with 16 rooms is built.
Together with his partners, Rudolf Schulte senior buys the neighbouring piece of land and extends the hotel to an economically-sensible size of 200 rooms in 1978.
Due to repeated requests for direct reservations, Rudolf Schulte senior together with his sons Severin and Rudolf found the SeRudo Reise GmbH. SeRudo takes an active part in the Röhrtal Travel Agency in Sundern in 1980, the regular guests at Severin Sea Lodge can now book their Kenya trips at the travel agency in Sundern. Rudolf Schulte senior dies, his sons continue to run the German travel company.
In 1989 Severin and Rudolf Schulte take over the majority of stock and initiated a complete renovation of the Comfort Class. Severin Sea Lodge is the first hotel in Kenya to build its own waste water treatment plant to European standards in 1992.
In 1993 the Seba Farm with only biological cultivation is integrated into the company. Vegetables and fruits are grown on the hotel’s own farm without any kind of artificial fertiliser, Severin Sea Lodge has received lots of awards for its effort in protecting the environment since.
With the support of construction companies and workmen from the Sauerland, the building of a multi-storey mixed property with shops, flats and a 4-star hotel begins the same year. The Sunderland Hotel with its 55 rooms, banqueting floor, restaurant and bar opens in the completed property in May 1995 . In the same building, also the TUI travel agency opens its doors.
A small, motivated team of specialists built Severin Safari Camp at Tsavo West National Park in 2001. The camp opened its doors after only 100 days of construction works. Today the camp consists of 27 luxurious tents, Junior Suites and Executive Suites, sprawling over 25 acres of bush land.
In 2003 Severin Schulte takes possession of 100% of the shares in the tourism company in Sundern. The SeRudo Reise GmbH is renamed and known from then on as Severin_touristik GmbH.
The KENBALI SPA at Severin Safari Camp is opened in March 2009. Inspired by the African wilderness and centuries-old Southeast Asian techniques of wellbeing, our Spa is an oasis of peace and relaxation. The 430 square meters wellness area offers the first infinity Ying-Yang swimming pool in Kenya and a selected offer of massages and relaxation treatments.
The brand-new plane of Scenic Air Safaris with its 8 luxurious first-class-seats has been transferred from the USA to Kenya in October 2009. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan is a plane of the latest generation and equipped with most modern techniques like weather radar, Garmin 3D terrain mapping and air conditioning. Severin Schulte and Sebastian Severin Schulte are members of the Board of Directors and Severin_touristik is a marketing
partner of Scenic Air Safaris.
After weeks of renovation works, the Comfort Class reopens in August 2011. A total of 90 rooms is completely restructured, considerably modernized and equipped according to international 4* standards. Additionally, two Junior Suites, the Kitani and Royal suite as well as the KENBALI Spa & Fitness Centre revalue the hotel’s offer. At Severin Safari Camp the new KENBALI fitness tent for workouts amidst the Kenyan wilderness opens in summer 2011.
The highlight of the year 2012 is without a doubt the Anniversary of Severin Sea Lodge. Together with lots of friends, partners, politicians, regular guests and press representatives, the hotel celebrates its 40 years in the tourism industry.
The Sunderland Restaurant closes its doors for a couple of weeks in the summer of 2013 in order to completely renovate the kitchen and the guest area. There is even more African atmosphere waiting for the guest, of course paired with the known culinary delicacies of chef Thomas Fritz.
At the same time the old mattrasses of the hotel are changed and replaced by qualitativly valuable and higher mattrasses with better sleeping comfort.
In autumn 2013 the organisation Skills for Kenya e.V. is established on the initiative of the Schulte family and togehter with additional founding members. The organisation particularly focuses on socially underprivileged and disadvantaged children and young people respectively whose living conditions and family circumstances are not conducive to providing any financial means for professional and further training.
The first project to be supported is the Severin Training Center, which will be built on a 40,000 square metre plot of land behind the Severin Sea Lodge.The training centre comprises five training workshop facilities for technical and artisanal professions. The concept is less about imparting theoretical knowledge and instead focuses more on technical and artisinal skills that have immediate added value for the participants. For this reason training modules for electricians, plumbers and steel workers are to be made available. The course line-up also offers training for bricklayers and joiners. Given that there is a high demand for technical and artisinal skills, students will not have any difficulty in finding work in the region or operating their own craftsman's business once they have graduated from their courses.
In June 2014, the Severin Hotels family is joined by another hotel: The hotel and restaurant Seehof at Lake Sorpe with its great location above the lake promenade, shall add to the existing portfolio. With operating the hotel, ideal synergies for marketing, sales and staff are offered between the Seehof and the Sunderland Hotel. Especially the different restaurant concepts complement one another and therefore serve the guests with a huge spectrum to choose from.