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The Letaba River (Afrikaans: Letabarivier), also known as Leţaba, Lehlaba or Ritavi, is a river located in eastern Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is one of the most important tributaries of the Olifants River.[2]

Letaba River
Letaba River (16651107134).jpg
View of the Letaba River
Letaba River is located in South Africa
Letaba River
Location of the Letaba River's mouth
EtymologyMeaning "sandy river" in Northern Sotho language[1]
Native nameRitavi
CountrySouth Africa
RegionLimpopo Province
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationGauteng Province
2nd source 
 ⁃ locationSoutpansberg
MouthOlifants River
 ⁃ location
Limpopo Province
 ⁃ coordinates
23°59′22″S 31°49′36″E / 23.98944°S 31.82667°E / -23.98944; 31.82667Coordinates: 23°59′22″S 31°49′36″E / 23.98944°S 31.82667°E / -23.98944; 31.82667
Basin size67,000 km2 (26,000 sq mi)
Basin features
 ⁃ leftNharhweni River, Ngwenyeni River, Klein Letaba River, Molototsi River, Nsama River
 ⁃ rightGroot Letaba River, Nwanedzi River, Makhadzi River


It starts at the confluence of the Groot Letaba River and Klein Letaba River, whence they continue their journey eastwards through the Lowveld as the Letaba River. It joins the Olifants River in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains, near South Africa's border with Mozambique. In Mozambique the latter river is called the Rio Elefantes.

Tributaries include the Middle Letaba River, Nharhweni River, Ngwenyeni River, Nwanedzi River, Molototsi River, Nsama River and Makhadzi River.

Dams in the basinEdit

Game animals along its banks, near Letaba camp, central Kruger Park

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jenkins, Elwyn (2007), Falling into place: the story of modern South African place names, David Philip Publishers, p. 75
  2. ^ Key rivers of South Africa[permanent dead link]