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SA9.co.za | June 18, 2019

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8. OLIFANTS

8. OLIFANTS

Runs: 560 kilometres | Province: Mpumalanga / Limpopo

Flowing between South Africa and Mozambique, this river is known by at least four different names. Our Portuguese-speaking neighbours in the north, call it Rio dos Elefantes. As it flows throw the different villages in South Africa, it is known as either Lepelle or Obalule. Its widely known and accepted name, however, is the Olifants River. The river’s birthplace is a fertile area between Breyten and Bethal in the Mpumalanga province. From there, it follows in an interesting trajectory north towards the Limpopo River through Witbank Dam, Loskop Dam and is then forced east by the Drakensberg, cutting through at the Abel Erasunus Pass and the flowing east further across the Limpopo province to join with the Letaba River. It then crosses into the Gaza province of Mozambique, after cutting through the Lebombo Mountains by way of the Olifants Gorge, becoming Rio dos Elefantes and finally joining the Limpopo River, 40 kilometres before it launches into the Indian Ocean at Xai-Xai, north of Maputo.

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