Lake Shipping Company (Pvt) Ltd

Lake Shipping Company (Pvt) Ltd


The Lake Shipping Company (PVT) Ltd was established in the early 1970’s to run a car ferry, named Seahorse and Sea Lion, to run the length of the Lake Kariba. Bev and Audrey Portman ran the company between the years of 1971 to 1973.

Bev designed both the Sea Lion and Seahorse and Zimbabwe Coachworks built these ferries. It is believed that the Sea Lion design was used for the building of Ubique, although the superstructure would be different.

The company commissioned a hydrofoil at the cost of $250,000 from Seaflight s.p.a. of Italy and it was built by Cantiere Navale Torro., Messina, Italy. The manufacturers gave permission for their company name to be used as the name of the hydrofoil – Seaflight. It was shipped whole as deck cargo (without foils), the hull being welded down to the ship it was on. The foils were added when it arrived in Kariba.

The hydrofoil could accommodate 54 passengers seated in aircraft-type seats, and when needed, 6 more were carried, seated in the bar. On 11th May, 1972, the press were taken down Sanyati Gorge and the first commercial trip began on 12th May, 1972 to Bumi Hills.

The hydrofoil could speed tourists up the lake while their cars were being ferried on the Seahorse. The hydrofoil made the trip in 4 hours while the Seahorse would take 20 hours.

Stamp Release


  • Chris Halse
  • James Gavin
  • Audrey Portman