NYALA - Tragelaphus angasii
SIZE: Shoulder height (m) 1,1 m, (f) 0,95 m; mass
(m) 108 kg, (f) 62 kg.
COLOUR: Males shaggy, grey-brown coat; white chevron
between eyes; up to 14 faint, narrow vertical stripes
on sides. Mane of long, whitish hair from shoulders
to rump; bushy tail brown, with a white underside.
Lower parts of legs light orange. Females bright orange-brown,
with bolder white stripes on their sides; often no
chevron, narrow mane of short, bristly black hair
from head to tail.
GESTATION PERIOD: 6 months
POTENTIAL LONGEVITY: 8 years
RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 83 cm
MOST LIKE: Males are similar to young Kudu bulls,
which, however, lack the pronounced chest fringe,
the fringe of long hair on belly, the ivory-coloured
tips to the horns and the yellow orange 'socks' on
legs. Females unmistakable with orange coat and vertical
HABITAT: Dense bush close to water but, where protected,
may be seen by day in the open.
Although usually silent, they sometimes communicate with
some very distinctive sounds: females, for instance, utter
a throaty clicking sound when tending their calves; a ram,
acting sentry, will let out a resonant, warning bark when
danger threatens, sending the rest of the herd fleeing for
safety; a calf, separated from its mother, will bleat pitifully.
Nyala are mixed grazer-browsers, and eat leaves, twigs,
flowers and fruits from a wide variety of plants, as well
as grass, particularly after rain. In spite of the fact
that baboons have been known to eat nyala young, nyala often
associate with them, picking up the remains of wild fruit,
berries and leaves discarded by the baboons on foraging
Older rams can often be seen browsing among herds of other
antelope, especially impala. A single calf is born, usually
in the cover of a thicket. The calf hides in the grass for
about 18 days, after which it joins the herd.
|Their name originates from the
Zulu name inxala. Female nyala are a characteristic rusty red,
with white stripes down their sides. Nyala are gregarious, and
are normally found in small groups of two or three, although
they sometimes form herds of up to 30: these herds are transient
in nature, and no lasting bonds are formed.
Often these larger groupings are formed due to preferred feeding
grounds: in addition, it is characteristic of bovids that normally
frequent cover to form larger groups when on open ground, as
this provides greater protection from predators. They are not
territorial, and occupy overlapping home ranges.
AFRICAN SAFARI DESTINATIONS, INFO & TRAVEL GUIDES