The Nyala is a spiral-horned antelope native to Southern Africa and is one of the most beautiful antelope you will see at Africa Expectation Safaris. What stands out with the Nyala is the extreme sexual dimorphism, with the two sexes looking completely different. You could even be excused for thinking that they are two different animals entirely. Both sexes have a white chevron between the eyes, and the bushy tail is white on the underside. Otherwise the differences are radical…

The female is short haired with a rufous chestnut coat. There are no horns on females, and there is no mane on the neck. It is distinctively smaller than the male. The female has very prominent white markings running vertically along the sides of the animal.

The males are larger than females, and have a shaggy dark brown to charcoal grey coat, often with a bluish tinge. There are fewer and less conspicuous markings than on the female, but there is a bold erectile white dorsal crest. The lower legs are tawny and a similar colour to that of the female’s coat. He has yellow tipped horns that can grow to about 80 cm spiralling as he ages.

One thing we find striking is that the young males start off looking like their mothers and then start changing their colouration after 10-14 months to start resembling their fathers. Size and the presence of horns and a shaggy mane are often more easily used to ID a male then the actual colour.