Visible Male/Female Differences
Only males bear horns and manes. Horns are corkscrewed with a ridge up the outside of the
curve with short yellowish tips. Females have two pairs of nipples between their hind legs.
Habitat and Distribution
Prefers thickets in savanna woodland and
riverine bush but they are not dependent on water. Widely translocated outside
their natural distribution range. High densities of nyala may
degrade habitat for bushbuck, suni, and
blue duiker and red
Browses and grazes of available grass
and broad-leaved plants. Will eat both fresh and fallen leaves, shoots, fruit, flowers and bark. Males eat
almost twice as much as females.
breeds throughout the year.
A single lamb of about 5 kg is born after gestation 220
days. Females first lamb at 2-3 years. Females give birth in thickets where
lambs lie hidden for 18 days
Behavior and Habits
sundown and into the night, they rest in the
middle of the day and after midnight. Nyala go to grassland to graze only at
night if it feels threatened. Nyala often associate with vervet
monkeys or baboons to benefit from the fruit
and leaves dropped by them. Nyala are solitary or can normally be seen in herds
of up to 6, sometimes up to 30.
Young males leave at two years old and join a bachelor
herd. Nyala are not territorial. Males dig up soil and thrash bushes with their horns. Status
display involves raising the mane and a stately parade past the adversary with very
high steps of the bright yellow legs. The head will be down, the horns pointed forward
and the tail curled up over the back to show its white underside. If this grand
display is ineffective, serious fights resulting in death may result but they are
rare. Nyala react to the alarm calls of baboons, impala and
The alarm call is a deep bark. Lost lambs bleat to attract their mothers.
Dung and Field sign
Horned up soil and thrashed bushes. Droppings are 1,5 cm long with a
small bump at one end and a hollow at the other.