It is formed by the confluence of the Lozva and Sosva Rivers. The Tavda is 719 kilometres (447 mi) long, and its drainage basin covers 88,100 square kilometres (34,000 sq mi). The river freezes up in early November and stays icebound until late April. Its main tributary is the Pelym River. The Tavda is navigable and is used for timber rafting. The town of Tavda is located on the shores of the Tavda River, as is Pelym, the earliest Russian settlement east of the Urals.
The Tavda and its main tributaries, the Sosva, Lozva and Pelym all flow southeast and drain the central Urals. They are shaped like the letter 'Щ', but with a longer tail. The Sosva (the westernmost one) flows southeast, turns somewhat northeast near the town of Sosva, picks up to Lozva and gains the name of Tavda. This continues east, picks up the Pelym and flows southeast into the Tobol between Tiumen and Tobolsk.